England v Moldova

Friday 6th September 2013

I watched the documentary http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uW0ebsf7ZRs earlier on in the day, documenting one of the worst England managers in history, as he failed to qualify for USA 94, despite having players like Shearer, Gazza, Seaman, Ince, Platt etc

Watching Graham Taylor flounder in a situation of his own making was embarrassing at the time in 1993, but watching it 20 years on hasn’t made the spectacle any easier to stomach or easier to forgive. Taylor really had no idea what he was doing…and we made him the NATIONAL team manager!

Later on in the day, I went to watch England play a world cup qualifier, and the parallels were shocking…Roy Hodgson is Graham Taylor. As clueless as each other, and getting similar results. I suddenly go the feeling that not only will England fail to qualify for Brazil as group winners, but if they do get through the play offs, it will be a shambles even greater than South Africa…despite Gerrard, Lampard, Rooney, Ashley Cole, etc

England 1 – 0 Ukraine

Tuesday 19th June 2012

Man of the Match: John Terry The ball may have crossed the line when Terry cleared, but it was a herculean effort from the Chelsea skipper to get back. He was a man mountain at the back as Ukraine pressed and pressed in search of a goal.

England verdict: It’s the style we’ve come to expect from Roy Hodgson’s England: never looking to dictate the attacking nature of a game but happy to sit a little deeper and take the chances when they come. They could have had the game tied up sooner than they did and will need to be more clinical against better sides.

Ukraine verdict: The co-hosts took the game to England but lacked the ability to really cut through their opponents. Their tendency to shoot on sight doesn’t help their cause and they may have had more success with a bit of guile. They were desperately unlucky with the ‘ghost goal’ which crossed the line despite John Terry’s best efforts, but England will feel that is justice for Frank Lampard’s at the World Cup.

Could do better: James Milner and Ashley Young Yet again they failed to deliver and were the cause of frustration throughout. Young went missing for large chunks of the game while Milner’s only true contribution was a cross moments before he was subbed.

Stat attack: Wayne Rooney ended a run of 673 minutes without finding the net for England at major tournaments.