Monday, 2 June 2014

England's win did nothing to raise expectations

England beat Peru 3-0 in their last warm-up game on home soil before the World Cup. Frankly the scoreline flattered England.

The highlight was undoubtedly Daniel Sturridge's left-foot beauty to open the scoring. A touch of class in an otherwise low-quality encounter. Sturridge got the man of the match award for his goal, but apart from that he was unimpressive.

England's insipid display was typical of their thrustless, sideways, stumbling performances. Without a Townsend, a Walcott or an Oxlade-Chamberlain, there is no one who is willing to carry the ball forward 20 or 30 yards and make the opposition start to worry. When Raheem Sterling came on in the second half, he DID show some of that forward thinking that is required. Passing it around the back four, the goalkeeper and the two holding midfielders will not worry the opposition. Neither will chipping the ball forward to tightly-marked attackers.

There were also troubling signs of defensive problems with several unforced errors. A weak Peru team was unable to punish them, but don't expect the same profligacy from Italy, Uruguay or even Costa Rica.

The only good thing about England's performance was that it will do nothing to raise expectations!

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