We watched England win their first warm-up game for the World Cup last night against Mexico, and we were underwhelmed by the performance.
Fabio Capello – poor England performance
England won the game 3-1 and that’s important, but Mexico controlled the game for long periods with their skillful play, and they also managed to score their first ever goal against England in England, just before the break, and it was a sloppy goal for England to let in.
But England seemed to be able to score from set pieces and their first two goals came from left wing corners – the first a well planned move as Crouch headed the corner back to Spurs team-mate Ledley King, who headed it home in fine style.
And then Crouch got his 21st goal for England after the ball had hit the cross bar, following a corner, and he jumped to try to head it home but the ball hit his chest about a foot from the line – but it was a goal..
But the goal of the game was scored early in the second half when
right-back Glen Johnson beat a number of Mexico players before rifling home with his left foot just outside the penalty area – a wonderful goal.
If Wayne Rooney had scored that goal there would be headlines talking about the world-class goal this morning in the English papers.
In the first half the England defense, usually so strong and steadfast, looked disjointed at best, and Mexico should have scored more goals last night.
England boss Capello did not look very happy during ther game, but then again he never does. 😀
But we have to hope he gave the England players a rocket after the game for their lackadaisical play – they deserved it.
“I know Mexico are good technically, faster than us, and it was not easy getting the ball back. But I learned a lot about this game with the situation on the pitch, because I spoke to the players at half-time after that first half.”
“We have to press more. Not all the teams we play against will play like this – this was a different style. But you know that, for me, it’s very important to press the ball and win it back quickly.”
“I spoke with the players and said what they had to do. It’s normal, though. After the first training session in Austria, where we worked two days really hard, we weren’t that fresh. We are focused on the first World Cup game against the USA.”
“But I’m not concerned by tonight. It was really important to know where we are now, physically and mentally after a long season. We have time to recover a lot of the spirit of the team, of the group, and those qualities we have.”
“When we play counter-attacking, we are really dangerous. But I don’t just want to play on the counter. I want more.”
And Capello played the very injury prone Ledley King for 90 minutes to see whether he will be fit enough to be taken to the World Cup.
We’ll have to wait and see how long it takes for the player to recover – but if he’s not fit Fabio should leave him at home, even though he’s an excellent player when he does play for England. England cannot have any passengers in South Africa.
Fabio talked about King:
“I decided that he had to play all the game today. He will not play the next game. I think he’s a good player. I’m happy (with him) because these important players, good defenders, and these games give me an opportunity to see them.”
England striker Wayne Rooney, who looked very ordinary last night, wanted to be taken off in the dying minutes damaging his shoulder, but Capello had already used all of his substitutes.
Nobody really shone for England although goalkeeper Robert Green saved England twice in the first half with two very good saves, the first one being world class.
Everton left back Leighton Baines struggled to contain the quick and skillful Mexico forwards and did little for Capello to include him in the final 23.
Wallsend-born Michael Carrick was unimpressive too, as was Liverpool’s Steven Gerrard – in fact nobody at all – other then Robert Green – really stood out for England.
Next up for England is a game on Sunday against Japan in the Austrian city of Graz.