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Joe Cole Can't Save England Blushes

 44994291 cole getty416 Joe Cole Can't Save England Blushes

Fabio Capello asked for patience.

Between the Czech Republic last month and Andorra today, I would say the fans patience has run out.

England’s performance against Andorra this afternoon can only be described in one word, dire.  From the team selection that had me wondering if Fabio Capello thought this was a friendly, to a first half that saw England huff and puff and not finish, it took two early second half goals from substitute Joe Cole to put this game away. Yes it must be said that Andorra played everyone behind the ball, but that is not an excuse for a failure to miss chances.

As I said above, I was shocked at Fabio Capello’s team selection.  Understanding this was a somewhat weakened squad already with the absences of Steven Gerrard and Rio Ferdinand, I was stunned to see Stewart Downing and Theo Walcott start. However, of the England starters in the first half, Theo Walcott was the only one who lived up to any potential on the pitch.

It wasn’t surprising to hear the reaction at halftime, and I would argue it was louder than the reaction England received during Euro 2008 qualification. However those boos quickly subsided with Joe Cole and Emile Heskey’s inclusion to the match. Joe Cole’s opener was a decent move off Lampard’s free kick. The flick on from Lescott to Joe Cole set him up perfectly to fire far post. It was Wayne Rooney’s deft pass that set up the second.

When it’s said and done, England have to accept they played poorly. However if you listened to the post match from Setanta Sports, they weren’t. Yes it was a job done, but a job that was poorly done at that. If their performance against Andorra is the same performance against Croatia on Wednesday, it will not be pretty for England.

Now with that said I have a little rant I need to get off my chest with regards to Setanta Sports. I know they do a poor job of advertising their Setanta Broadband package out in the general public and for that they should be ashamed. However to hide the fact that if you’ve paid for a year’s subscription to Setanta Broadband you would get to see not only the Andorra/England match, but the Croatia/England match is downright embarrassing and someone at Setanta has to be held accountable. The match at any point was never listed on Setanta’s live broadband page on the Setanta website, and it was only going to the PPV events page itself after signing in did you see the fact the game was being shown (after scrolling past GAA PPV reminders).

To more or less make people think they would have to pay the pub cover charge or the 20-25 PPV charge depending on your service provider makes you wonder if they wanted people to know at all.  I guess you could say I’m doing their bidding for them, which is something that shouldn’t have to happen.

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8 Responses to Joe Cole Can't Save England Blushes

  1. agree….I was lucky that I found the game on there….but another question is why they didn’t show the Ireland game on PPV/Broadband as well?
    I was watching the game on justintv.com which had Setanta and RTE coverage of the game

  2. Saw much of the game as well and I disagree. Any 3 points win, especially a clean sheet when you are looking ahead in qualifying is good. The same people who criticized the US for our tactics in stealing 3 points in Guatemala are sure to come out and criticize England here. but I respectfully will defend Capello’s tactics and the team mentality.

    Keep in mind Russia needed a late goal to beat Andorra to qualify for the Euros at home when England lost to Croatia. They are not the pushover some think and if your media treats them as such it’s more a dis service to the players than anything besides looking ahead.

  3. Johnathan Starling says:

    Sorry Kartik you couldn’t be further from the truth.

    Tactics, England abandoned tactics for sixty-five minutes of this game and went back to the tried and failed long ball. Team mentality, I sure didn’t see one. For the entire first half, they looked more disjointed than they ever did under McClaren.

    This was a win yes, but a good one no. Croatia looked very good against Kazakhstan (who mind you, got three against Andorra) and I expect them to look the same against England. I will be very stunned if England get any result against Croatia, I thought England looked that bad.

    Are Andorra pushovers, once you get a goal against them yes. They have little to no attacking sense and would rather sit everyone back and hope for the best.

    However as Joe Cole said to Setanta Sports, it’s all about Wednesday. They better perform a hell of a lot better than they did today.

  4. Jeff Hash says:

    Kartik, we can go back and forth on the form England had for the win. It was a poor first half, better second, which may have been a function of the team Fabio trotted out to start and the halftime subs. The tactics worked, but thankfully they still have time before going to Croatia. That said, you shouldn’t be caught looking ahead anyway.

    But you are going to argue Andorra is underrated?

    Here’s something for you to chew on: these are results of the last 5 international qualifying campaigns for Andorra-

    Euro 2000: 0 points, -25 GD
    World Cup 2002: 0 points, -31 GD
    Euro 2004: 0 points, -17 GD
    World Cup 2006: 5 points (4 of which came against one team, Macedonia), -30 GD
    Euro 2008: 0 points, -40 GD

    A total of 1 win and 2 draws over 52 matches (not counting the two they have already played for World Cup 2010). They lost more matches by four or more goals during Euro 2008 qualifying (4) then the number they lost by one (2).

    Want to defend an average performance out of England? I have no problem with that. You want to make Andorra out to be anything other than an UEFA bottom feeder? I’m sorry, but I have to wonder if your seeing the same game everybody else sees.

  5. England won two nil. They parked eleven men in front of net, Joe found a way through, the end. I’m no Ingerland apologist, but if it had been Italy or France, none of this would have even been talked about. At all. Period.

    The longer England fans expect to see Brazil-like performances, including ten-nil scorelines against the minnows, the heavier the cross self-hating England fans seem to want to bear.

  6. Johnathan Starling says:

    Richard, you don’t know me very well.

    France and Italy deserve to be thrashed for their pitiful performances as well.

    Quite frankly I could give a toss either way with England. The way I saw it, they were pathetic. With the number of chances England had, they should have won AT LEAST 3-0 MOST LIKELY 4-0.

  7. I think it was a good performance from England. Nothing spectacular but certainly not as dire as Spain, the US or France today.

  8. patrick says:

    It irks me that I pay 15 bucks a month for Setanta, and they pull this PPV crap with England.

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