England Start With Good Performance and Win

In Fabio Capello’s first game in charge for England, against Switzerland at Wembley tonight, the Italian manager got off to a winning start when England beat the Swiss 2-1.


England celebrate the winning goal scored by Wright-Phillips

While the previous manager Steve McClaren seemed reticent to play the young fringe players, and stayed with the old guard, that certainly doesn’t look like the way Capello will use the younger players. Fabio gave a first start to David Bentley of Blackburn Rovers, and in his first game David was probably England’s best player.

But England started rather nervously and gave the ball away far too often in the first 20 minutes, probably through nerves. But once they settled down in the first half, they went ahead with an excellent goal. Joe Cole got the ball down the left and then left the full back for dead, and crossed a great ball for Jenas to poke home, even though he was off balance. It was a well worked goal by England.

The score at half time was 1-0 with the game fairly evenly balanced.

But then in the second half England came into the game and could have, and probably should have, scored more than the two goals they end up with. As it happened England were having most of the play after the break, but Switzerland scored a surprise goal, in what looked sloppy play by the England defense.

The Swiss were able to slice through the England defense like a knife through butter (or should that be cheese). Hakan Yakin got himself into space and put a great ball through to Derdiyok, that split the England defense, and Derdiyok hit the ball first time past James, to score on his International debut. It was a well taken goal, but where was the England defense?

So it was 1-1, against the run of play, but England kept attacking and as the second half went on, they looked more fluid and were creating chances, but couldn’t put the ball in the net.

England kept going, with Rooney seemingly covering every blade of grass as he was up front and then back defending, and really trying to get a goal. But tonight it was not to be for Wayne, who had several half chances. England finally got their second goal following good work by the captain Gerrard, who burst through the penalty area in the inside left channel and swung the ball across for young Shawn Wright Phillips to shoot home into an empty net. Another well worked goal by England.

Capello introduced Hargreaves and Bridge for Barry and Cole, in a straight swap, after around 65 minutes.

Then Crouch came on and looked energetic during the rest of the game. This boy is way under-rated, and following an excellent cross from Bentley, almost had the ball in the net, but shot straight at the keeper, when he met the cross on the volley.

David Bentley played very well tonight and it looked like he had played for England for years, as he continually provided excellent crosses into the box. It would seem, at least on this performance, that he will have a long England career ahead of him. Near the end Ashley Young of Aston Villa, was also introduced, for his first full England appearance.

Capello will be able to take a lot of positives out of this game. But there was no sign of Michael Owen coming off the substitutes bench, and based on the performance of some of the younger players tonight, Michael will have a struggle to regain his place in this England side. He’ll have to start scoring a lot of goals for Newcastle (good).

This may be changing of the guard for England under Fabio Capello, and former England regulars will no longer be chosen just because of what they’ve done in the past – which is the big mistake McClaren made – and paid for it.

England Starting Line Up:

James, Brown, Ferdinand, Upson, A.Cole, Bentley, Jenas, Gerrard, Barry, J.Cole, Rooney

19 comments so far

  • Knypzya Knypols

    Feb 6, 2008 at 10:26 PM

    Comment #1

    Very poor first half but a better second half.

  • Leo*

    Feb 6, 2008 at 10:38 PM

    Comment #2

    was a bit of a dull game. 451. why didnt he play a 442 with rooney and crouch up top…

  • piman

    Feb 6, 2008 at 10:40 PM

    Comment #3

    I can understand Owen not getting a game tonight because Rooney was great, though I suppose Capello could have put him on instead of Crouch

  • Tom_Toon

    Feb 6, 2008 at 10:44 PM

    Comment #4

    Leo – Two words; hes italian!

  • toonfan1

    Feb 6, 2008 at 10:57 PM

    Comment #5

    has anyone heard that habib beye has reportedly retired from international football since senegal did crap at acn. that would be good for us

  • Tippo

    Feb 6, 2008 at 11:01 PM

    Comment #6

    Lots of work to do for Owen to get into the starting eleven but that work will be done for Newcastle.

  • James Oliver

    Feb 6, 2008 at 11:12 PM

    Comment #7

    This is how Capello playes. He would call it 433 and he always has 2 defensive midfielders today Barry and Jenas and one in front of them who was Gerrard. He likes for 2 of the three to be able to switch position and that would today be Gerrard and Jenas. He only uses one center forward and then two outer forwards who are not “true” wingers but players who can finish and pass. At juventus that was Del Piero and Nedved and today it was Bentley and Cole.

    The only way Owen will play is if he gets the outer forward role or if he is center and Rooney get outer forward.

  • Gordon

    Feb 7, 2008 at 12:03 AM

    Comment #8

    James Oliver – by the contrary: Capello himself admitted the formation tonight was something different saying “I’ve played 4-4-2 all my career”

    So think you’re wrong 😉

    PS – Del Piero was always played as a striker or second striker.

  • mikeygd

    Feb 7, 2008 at 12:47 AM

    Comment #9

    YO ED
    if blackburn have applied for intertoto y cant we?
    its on skysports that they have, i thought that had been scrapped

  • Leo*

    Feb 7, 2008 at 12:58 AM

    Comment #10

    does anyone understand the reopening of the loan transfer window on friday…

    does that mean teams can sign people on loan if needs be?

    or do they have to be certain loans…

  • Leo*

    Feb 7, 2008 at 1:02 AM

    Comment #11

    he may be italian, but he is young, so should be able to learn the game and understand the league, hopefully he wont need to move to see his family as soon as he is bigger than the team, obviously his family like nzogbias will be in london

  • Tripp

    Feb 7, 2008 at 4:46 AM

    Comment #12

    I don’t understand why people don’t rate Crouch. His minutes to goals ratio must be pretty damn good. He’s remarkable coordinated for a two legged giraffe.

  • Aussie Dave

    Feb 7, 2008 at 6:09 AM

    Comment #13

    Who cares about an England friendly, when the Aussies tore Quatar another asshole last night.

    If we are looking for a left back who can tackle, is fast a f**k and can cross, then check out Dave Carney, left Sydney FC for Sheffield utd and is scoring goals for them from the back. He was absolutely brilliant again last night. Oh yeah you tube Aust V Nigeria and you will see his winner in that game. He is only young but a good player.

    By the way if we sell Nzogbia we must charge up the arse for him, like evry club does to us. About 15m seems about right.

  • Steeley

    Feb 7, 2008 at 8:31 AM

    Comment #14

    Well, I hope this is the kick up the @rse that Owen needs to actually put some effort into his club game. Coz if he keeps performing like he has for us then I think MO’s England career will be over.
    There are too many up-and-comings for him to sit on his laurels, so hopefully we might see more from him at SJP….fingers crossed anyway!!

  • Steve_48

    Feb 7, 2008 at 8:38 AM

    Comment #15

    Just wanna say one thing, whoever said we should sign Wes Brown, get a taxi, he was shocking last night

  • GM

    Feb 7, 2008 at 9:40 AM

    Comment #16

    Steve – Totally with you there, he was absolutley sh*te he would make bramble/marecelino look world class, couldnt tackle, pass or even stay on his feet. Its the usual story with manure players, as soon as they leave manure for any other club they very rarely perform to the same level, butt + smith are prime examples.

  • wayne

    Feb 7, 2008 at 9:50 AM

    Comment #17

    as previously mentioned Owen will have to start banging in the goals to get a start but he can only do that if he is getting the service from his team mates lets hope it happens on Saturday

  • Bill F

    Feb 7, 2008 at 10:06 AM

    Comment #18

    An awful lot of us have been saying how good Crouch is, we shuld have lobbed in a bid when there was a chance of getting him.

  • steve

    Feb 7, 2008 at 11:38 AM

    Comment #19

    Same old England, we’ll struggle against better class teams. Early days yet for Capello, he can hardly be expected to change years of English football mediocrity in 3 days with the players.

    Wes Brown – shocker

    Gerrard – will never produce for England like he does for Liverpool

    Owen – I hear he was injured and is likely to be out for 6 weeks with a bruised ego 🙂


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