Failure To Win Group Creates Tough Path Forward For England

England needed to win by two goals last night to ensure they won Group C, but an injury time goal by the USA  against Algeria, from Landon Donovan,  has put the US on a much easier path forward than England.

England players celebrate after victory against Slovenia

If England had won their group they would have played Ghana and then the winner of Uruguay vs South Korea – so a way through to the semi-finals would have been fairly easy – at least on paper.

But having only finished runner-up, England must now play Germany on Saturday evening, and if they get through that tie they will face the winners of Argentina vs Mexico in the quarter-finals – a potential repeat of the 1986 and 1990  World Cup quarter finals with Argentina – both of which we lost.

So you see what we mean.

But of course given England’s position before yesterday’s games, we should be pleased enough just to still be in the tournament – that’s also true.

And if  England are to win this thing, they have to be able to beat any team that’s put in front of them,  and if England can play anywhere near their best form, then  there is no reason they cannot beat both Germany and Argentina in successive game – but it will not be easy.

And we shouldn’t get too carried away with the England performance against Slovenia – it was certainly the best performance of the last 4 games to be sure –  but Wayne Rooney still looks a shadow of himself , and we were surprised to see Emile Heskey brought on again near the end as a sub – what has Peter Crouch done wrong?

He must have BO or something, because surely he is more of a goal threat than Emile, and England will need to find goals from somewhere, if we are to beat Germany and Argentina (or Mexico) in the next two rounds.

Comments welcome.

10 comments so far

  • Captain Beefheart

    Jun 24, 2010 at 8:38 AM

    Comment #1

    ‘if England can play anywhere near their best form, then there is no reason they cannot beat both Germany and Argentina in successive games’

    Joke, right? Has everyone lost it around here? 2 goals in 41/2 hours of football against 3 of the worst teams in the tournament (and only one win to show for it) and we are now set up to beat Germany and Argentina? This lot couldn’t get out of the Fizzy League.

    Germany will be tight, only because this is an inexperienced German team. But losing on penalties will be an appropriate last hoorah from England’s over hyped Golden (sic) Era team.

  • listie

    Jun 24, 2010 at 10:04 AM

    Comment #2

    Germany game will be tight, but having watched all the German games, not a hug amount to be scared about, they are almost as hit and miss as England at the moment.
    Argentina on the other hand will be way tougher, they are my tip for taking the cup even more so now as Maradonna seams to be getting things sorted. If we get to them we will get chances they have looked less than watertight at the back, but going forward they are a different class.

  • geordielad880

    Jun 24, 2010 at 10:28 AM

    Comment #3

    England can and will beat a poor german side, and as for argentina, they are great going forward but terrible defensively, brazil would beat them easily, only sides im concerned about are brazil, spain and holland

  • MacToon

    Jun 24, 2010 at 10:40 AM

    Comment #4

    I agree that Germany are beatable but the Argentinian game will be like our wc final….. and we have beaten them too in this competition before.

    It’s easy to be negative Beefhart but it’s the knockout stages now and anything is possible but one thing is for sure, we cannot play like we did against Algeria again in this wc or we will definately be on our way back.

  • geordielad880

    Jun 24, 2010 at 11:04 AM

    Comment #5

    my side against germany would be:-





  • geordielad880

    Jun 24, 2010 at 11:08 AM

    Comment #6

    Also cabaye is available for 5m according to his club, we should make a move for him, good central midfielder

  • boater

    Jun 24, 2010 at 11:13 AM

    Comment #7

    It’s a very lob sided draw. For e.g.

    One semi finalist will come from s.korea/US/uruguay/ghana

    and another may come from

    Germany will be tight 50/50 – all depends on which of the two englands turns up.. we did beat them last year in a friendly mind you. Argentina – don’t buy it sorry.. we’re out in the quarters.

  • UTD111

    Jun 24, 2010 at 11:23 AM

    Comment #8

    One of the debates which has arisen again as a result of the football world cup – is the insistence of americans on calling football “soccer”. This is because the US already have a game called football, which is a sort of “rugby in crash helmets” thingy.

    I have had a think about this problem, and have decided to suggest to the powers that be, that American football should be renamed “Handegg”. The reasons are clearly shown in the attached graphic:

    That should sort it all out….

  • OhioToon

    Jun 25, 2010 at 4:35 AM

    Comment #9

    woooo USA!

    yes, I know your players are great, I watch alot of football. But the national team is a sideshow to most of those (outside of maybe Milners and Defoes looking to further their names). But for the US team thier sum is way better than their parts when they have a tinge of confidence. For years the problem was not being able to get any goals. Well they scored 4 officially and 6 legitimately while England had a paltry 2. And that while being led by a fake everton player,a striker from hull who had one goal, a fulham star, and defensively led by a watford centerhalf. Of course England would beg for oen of Americas keepers they didnt bring to South Africa (well as long as they overlook Harper). And Still the US has trouble finishing. if they didnt they would would won 4-0 against algeria. They have been much more creative and organized and conscious of their team than England by far. England should be happy with their lot. Good luck on your travels

    GO USA (soccer..dont start on politics, im not evil),
    GO NUFC!

  • OhioToon

    Jun 25, 2010 at 5:01 AM

    Comment #10

    oh…please dont harp on people calling it soccer. I generally dont around people who dont like my girlfriend and some friends. Co-workers who dont follow its soccer. The reason you cant be mad people use that word is you created it. Its your word. Fact is the 2000’s interest in soccer has grown pretty well. Educated people here are generally familiar with some aspects of the champions league and the main stars,the ronaldos(ino), kaka, messi, rooney,zidane,Henry,and drogba are well known. But now as ESPN is beginning to show PL games people will get more knowledgeable. Americans are thirsty for sports. With soccer for so long they have only been shown world cups and bad american leagues save for those brilliant late 70’s NASL years.

    There is no need to be hostile. Enjoy when Americans take delight in your game. For so long football while global has really been a two continent dominated sport. It will be fun once the other three emerging regions begin to really threaten and compete with some consistency.


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