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England 4-0 Bulgaria: Spoilt For Choice

 England 4 0 Bulgaria: Spoilt For Choice

Qualification matches for European Championships used to be a rare delicacy in the United States. Often times it would be impossible to watch or listen to the games. The next best thing was reading the scores on the Internet and trying to imagine how the game must have played out in your head by reading the match report. Or paying scandalous fees for pay-per-view or handing over a cover charge to watch it in a pub.

But no more. Thanks to ESPN3.com and it’s long list of 2012 European Championship qualifiers it’s showing, and Fox Soccer Channel for showing England against Bulgaria, we’re again spoiled for choice. I wasn’t able to watch Montenegro versus Wales, one of the few European games not shown in the U.S., but based on the analysis I read and heard, maybe it’s best that I didn’t have to witness it.

For me, I had the rare treat of listening to the commentary of the England against Bulgaria match on BBC Radio Five 5. Luckily the broadcast wasn’t blocked, as it usually is, so I had a chance to hear the commentary team of Mike Ingham, Alan Green, Mark Lawrenson and Lee Dixon. It’s such a breath of fresh air to listen to a game on the radio. As I’m writing this, I’m watching the England game taped earlier on Fox. And while I love Martin Tyler’s commentary, it has lost its sheen a little because we get to hear him so often in the States.

As far as England’s performance, it’s hard to make your own judgements when it’s filtered by what you hear on the radio. It’s not as if you can disagree with a radio commentator’s analysis. All you know is what you hear. Unless of course, you’re watching the game on television at the same time (or later, as I am).

What is definite is that Joe Hart put in another brave performance for England. This is a goalkeeper that we’ve been raving about for a considerable amount of time on this site. Even when you listen to what he has to say during a press interview, you can tell that he has a good head on his shoulders and is already saying all the right things.

According to the radio commentary, the two men of the match based on their performances for England were Jermain Defoe and Wayne Rooney. The latter was crucial in setting up all four goals. And just as Dimitar Berbatov gets criticized for being the provider rather than the goalscorer, the same happens to Rooney time and time again. After all, it’s a sport focusing on teams, not individuals.

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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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4 Responses to England 4-0 Bulgaria: Spoilt For Choice

  1. entertaining performance, and some well-struck goals, but it’s hard to feel any better about this result that one would feel after a friendly. need to see the team perform well under pressure again.

  2. Sir Guy says:

    “After all, it’s a sport focusing on teams, not individuals.”

    Well, yeah, but England’s “problem”, imo, is that it focuses more on individuals than teams. Lampard, Terry, Gerrard. Yes, we must have them, regardless of how they work together. So, we are stuck with aging “stars”, who can’t get the job done on the international stage.

    I hope today’s line-up and result is a reflection of a new way to build England’s team…..but I doubt it.

  3. This was a much more fluid line up without Frank Lampard in the team. Gerrard dropped back into the role he excels at, we had a proper winger on the left hand side instead and everything seemed to click. Yes the result was slightly flattering, but everybody looked more comfortable in roles they are used to.

    My only fear now is that Capello will reintroduce Lampard once he is fit again. This would be a massive mistake. Yes he is a great player for his club in a central midfield role but that position has to belong to Gerrard now. He is the captain (albeit temporarily) and should therefore be given the right.

    A lot of people criticise him for not producing the same level of performances for England as he does for Liverpool, but he has never been given a run in the centre for England – always being forced to play on the left to accomodate Lampard. That was exactly the same reason why Paul Scholes quit international football aged 29. I blame Frank for that too.

  4. Ivan says:

    Bulgaria were awful, so god damn awful.
    The retarded coach won’t even quit…how sad…I am at a loss. I don’t care we missed a couple of decent chances in the 2nd. The team played like schoolboys, scared, w/ no passion and belief…
    Jesus, we made Jermaine Defoe look good…
    I am disgusted!!!I don’t think we can even finish in 3rd!

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