Sunday, 13 June 2010

England vs USA - Match Ratings


Made a good save to keep the score at 1-1, and hardly put a foot wrong. But the one he put wrong was damaging. Mistakes are never more costly then when one plays in goal. I hope he can recover but the fact is that England would have probably have won the match if it wasn't for his error.


Not only did he assuage any worries over his defensive capabilities, but he attacked with purpose throughout. We always knew that he can give England an extra dimension going forward, and as long as he defends in the same manner, he could be a star of this World Cup.


He was understandably reticent to go forward, worried as he was about Landon Donovan's pace. Defended capably, but will need to attack more in England's next two games.


The captain's armband has gone, but the leadership qualities remain. Terry was excellent in defence. Was seldom beaten to the ball, and held the back line together superbly when America counter-attacked.


Given that he strained his groin early in the first half, my rating may be a little harsh. Had to go off at half-time, and Capello's selection gambles in defence may turn out to have backfired.


An experienced shop floor man who replaced King at half-time. His positional sense was solid but his lack of pace and propensity to concede 'clever fouls' almost cost England, and could do so later in the competition.


At times he gave England a real spark down the right, and gave Heskey a delightful ball that should have resulted in a goal. But on other occasions he was careless in possession and you felt that he could have been more penetrative on occasions.


Was the more diligent and selfless of England's centre midfield partnership but his passing was lacklustre. Could have also done better with a late chance in the penalty box. Lampard is key to England's chances of doing well in South Africa and he will have to do better than this.


He only gets a 7 due to the way he took his goal. This was the best and worst of Gerrard. At times he was at his most rampaging and destructive. But his positional indiscipline means that he will probably go back out to the left hand side against Algeria.


Was surprised to see him start after an illness had rendered him bed-ridden for three days prior to the game. He was patently not physically ready for this match and an early yellow card precipitated his substitution after 25 minutes.


It's clear that Capello was worried about the threat of the USA's Landon Donovan, as his preference for Milner and then Wright-Phillips over Joe Cole meant England were rarely exposed on that side. But Wright-Phillips was frustrating when England went forward, especially with the chance he missed when played through by Rooney. I'd be surprised to see him figure much more in this competition.


He began to light up in the later moments of the match. But it was too little, too late for the England team that relies so heavily on him. His passing was poor and at times he looked off the pace. Algeria could be in for a severe Rooney backlash on Friday.


It took 3 minutes for Heskey to show all his critics (of which there are many) why he has to start for England. Like the donkey who pulls the plough, Heskey is not aesthetically pleasing but totally essential. He should have scored when put clean through by Lennon but he's never been in the side for his goals. England's star man.


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