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FRI, 2:45PM ET

England 2-1 Slovenia: Observations

england fa badge England 2 1 Slovenia: ObservationsIt was only a friendly, so I got the sense that both the supporters and England footballers were a little more subdued than usual, but in England’s 2-1 victory against Slovenia at Wembley on Saturday night there was a lot to worry about.

Despite winning, England looked like they were playing in slow-motion, had difficulty rapidly moving the ball up the field and revealed lots of holes in the back. England had plenty of chances to score more goals. But so did Slovenia who came close on several occasions.

During the first half of this match, the flock of birds that seemed to constantly dive across the pitch were more exciting than the football on display. But the first half was punctuated by another controversial penalty decision involving Wayne Rooney. In this one, he engineered the penalty by pulling the defender’s shirt. And fell down when he let go. Frank Lampard scored the resulting penalty and England were undeservedly one-nil up.

Near the beginning and end of the game, Slovenia were in control of this game and were able to open up the English defense on several occasions, which will be worrying news for Capello and England fans ahead of Wednesday’s crucial match against Croatia.

Overall, it was a pretty uneventful game. Jermain Defoe continued to show his brilliance up front by firing at goal whenever he got a chance, which resulted in a well-deserved goal. Also impressive was Carlton Cole’s performance. His combination of pace and power will be a welcome relief next summer in South Africa.

On the negative side, Joleon Lescott had a poor game and looked like he had difficulty fitting into the game. After his excellent performance for Everton last season, Lescott needs to regain his form in the Premier League before he’s thrown in to the England national team again.

Lastly, for those who watched the England against Slovenia game on Fox Soccer Channel, what was the deal with Fox promoting their NFL coverage twice during the game? Perhaps Fox will return the favor and promote FSC’s soccer coverage during the NFL games? Like that’ll happen anytime soon.

NFL On Fox returns Sept 13
Slovenia was able to open up the English defense on several occasions in first half, which will be worrying for Capello and England fans.
What was the deal with the flock of birds attacking the pitch throughout the first half?
Another weak penalty decision involving Wayne Rooney. In this one, he engineered the penalty by pulling the defender’s shirt. And fell down when he let g

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About Christopher Harris

Founder and publisher of World Soccer Talk, Christopher Harris is the managing editor of the site. He has been interviewed by The New York Times, The Guardian and several other publications. Plus he has made appearances on NPR, BBC World, CBC, BBC Five Live, talkSPORT and beIN SPORT. Harris, who has lived in Florida since 1984, has supported Swansea City since 1979. He's also an expert on soccer in South Florida, and got engaged during half-time of a MLS game. Harris launched EPL Talk in 2005, which was rebranded as World Soccer Talk in 2013.
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