Hmm… hardly convincing was it?
England beat Belarus 3-0 last night – without Wayne Rooney, Steven Gerrard, Ashley Cole, David James and Emile Heskey – who have played in most of England’s matches under Fabio Capello.
The team are already taking a shoe-ing in other quarters for not setting the world alight in a dead rubber. Personally, I feel that many of the players should have had more than enough motivation to put in a stellar performance: a full-house at Wembley; the last competitive game before the World Cup; and those World Cup places up for grabs.
Mostly, they didn’t seize the chance to push their claim for a place in the World Cup squad – demonstrating England’s reliance on the fitness of a few key players.
Peter Crouch rose (no pun intended) to the challenge. Two goals for the 6’7″ target-man about all you can ask of a striker.
It gives me no pleasure to report that Glen Johnson did not excel as I had hoped he might in a previous blog.
In just the first 20 minutes I counted two occasions where he gave the ball away cheaply which ended in an attacking chance for the opposition. Fortunately for him Belarus lacked the attacking power to fully punish those errors. I fear World Cup qualified teams may not be so generous.
Ben Foster made one excellent eye-catching save – another dent to Rob Green’s World Cup hopes and his relationship with Rio Ferdinand.
But England have qualified. Mission accomplished – in some style too. Next blog I’ll pick my England squad for South Africa – and I’ll predict Capello’s too.