Croatia 1-4 England: Walcott Grabs Hat-Trick In Zagreb
England achieved a massive three points tonight with an emphatic 4-1 away win against Croatia in their second match of 2010 World Cup qualifying.
It was far from an ordinary night for England in Zagreb. Wayne Rooney scored his first goal for England since October 2007. Theo Walcott, who started on the right wing in place of David Beckham, not only scored his goal for England tonight but grabbed a hat-trick.
Overall, the performance tonight by England was superb. The team played with an energy and confidence that has been missing for far too long. Walcott added a lot of pace to the side and troubled Croatia time after time. Frank Lampard, who was probably grateful that Steven Gerrard was injured, shone in midfield and was able to make his mark on the game.
Such was Walcott’s dominance in this game down the right wing that you have to wonder whether David Beckham’s career as an England starter is over. For all the ways that Walcott has teased England and Arsenal fans in the past with glimmers of brilliance followed by simple mistakes, tonight everything came together beautifully for the former Southampton player.
It’s amazing what winning can do. The England fans were jubilant. The English footballers played with a swagger, and this brilliant win will undoubtedly silence the critics.
This was a wonderful display from Fabio Capello’s England tonight. It was a good thing the Italian manager led England to victory. Otherwise, the title of a new book being published next week in England would have been a bit embarrassing. Instead, it’s the perfect title for a perfect night of English football: “Fabio Capello: Portrait Of A Winner.”