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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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15 Responses to England 2-1 Slovenia: Observations

  1. Jose says:

    Terry is a disgrace for saying that English players don’t dive.

    Lescott doesn’t have his head in the game because he’s still counting his money from his trnsfer to Man City.

    Refs always favor England. Most especially at home.

    How did Robert Green not get sent off for handling the ball outside of the box? Lehman got a red for doing the same thing in the 2006 Champions League Final.

  2. Patrick says:

    Fabio will not be pleased. If they play like they did today against Croatia they will lose badly.

    USA won, but look like a very small team v El Salvador. and that shouldn’t happen…

    Scotland won, and I hear that the chants where, ‘are you England in disguise’

  3. g00ng00n says:

    “Everyone who watches me play knows I am an honest player,” he said. “I play the game as honestly as I can.”-Rooney on diving before the Slovenia match.

    The little c*nt then proceeds to rip his defender’s shirt off in the area to secure a penalty and the lead for England in the first half.

    What a disgrace. He should be ashamed. It’d be one thing if he didnt act like he was the perfect little golden boy, but he does and he’s just as dirty as the rest. Boils my blood.

  4. Ford Prefect says:

    Didn’t get to see the Slovenia match, but the article seems awfully negative considering England is 7-0-0 in qualifying matches-10 points clear of 2nd place Croatia in their group-Sporting a +22 gd having outscored their opponents 26-4–The only thing “crucial” about Wedensday’s match with Croatia is that the Three Lions can “punch their ticket” to SA by clinching the group with a win (over a Croatian team that they already beat 4-1 on the road)–Not sure why fans should be worried when this squad has given them more reason to be confident going into the World Cup than they’ve had in quite some time

  5. Ford Prefect says:

    Oops–sorry I missed the Croatia score today–England is now only 4 pts clear at the top of the group, but they have a game in hand…

    • Gaz says:

      But your point is valid.

      This is what us England supports always do. We criticize the hell out of the team. Nothing is ever good enough.

  6. ManUFC says:

    Dont get wrong with Rooney saying. He just said “I play the game as honestly as I can.” May be he just can’t control to be honest in all 90 mins :)

  7. Efrain says:

    Gaffer or anyone….do know why we cannot watch England qualifiers here in the states? I would think with the popularity of the EPL, that some stations would want to air it. I cannot find anywhere to watch the upcoming qualifier against Croatia. Does anyone know of a website/channel that will carry the game? And, if it is a website, then any experience with the quality/legitimacy? I do not want to pay for a site and then not be able to watch.

    Thanks!

    • The Gaffer says:

      Efrain, Wednesday’s game between England and Croatia will only be available in the United States on PPV or via Setanta Premium, which is the pub channel that select pubs in the United States show. Anytime England has an important match, it’s only available on PPV – which is a shame.

      Cheers,
      The Gaffer

      • Efrain says:

        Gaffer,

        Thanks for the info. At least its available to me. Looks like Setanta-i has it for $15. Ill have to check out the price on Comcast In-Demand. Depending on my mood that day, I may just end up springing for it.

        Thanks again for the tip.

  8. Grant says:

    The difference, Gaffer, is that there is an infinitely greater chance that footy fans care about the NFL than that NFL fans care about footy. This is still America, and the percentage of any population that watches major college football or the NFL is still upwards of 80%. Failing to recognize this, or even be as annoyed about two bugs in the corner of your screen when FSC has those massive, screen-squishing banners on the bottom of the screen, shows that you have no appreciation for the fact that this is still not a soccer nation yet. That is unfortunate, as your insight into the way footy TV works seems the best around aside from this.

  9. Robert George says:

    I would sooner watch paint dry then pay to watch an England game. Even if the game was on for free it would be boring. Give me the EPL or the USA national team anytime rather then a England game. And yes Im a UK ex pat.

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