It 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.