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Montenegro vs England, World Cup Qualifier: Open Thread

England faces a tough match this evening with a World Cup qualifier match against Montenegro in Podgorica.

Roy Hodgson has made six changes to his England side. It’s a strong lineup today for England, so they can’t have any excuses against a tricky Montenegro side who will be buoyed by a vocal home support.

England starting XI: 1. Joe Hart, 2. Glen Johnson, 3. Ashley Cole, 4. Steven Gerrard (c), 5. Joleon Lescott, 6. Chris Smalling, 7. James Milner, 8. Michael Carrick, 9. Danny Welbeck, 10. Wayne Rooney, 11. Tom Cleverley.

Today’s match kicks off at 4pm ET/8pm UK time. If you live in the United States, you can watch it live on GolTV, ESPN Deportes or

Follow the conversation with fellow soccer fans in the comments section below.

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  1. Sammy

    March 27, 2013 at 12:18 am

    I really hope Montenegro finish top of their group, would be nice to see an underdog like them do so well and qualify for the WC. Will be great to see Israel get in too. Unfortunately I think England will still qualify even if they get into the playoffs. And so will every other “big” nation.

    • Tyler

      March 27, 2013 at 9:22 am

      Imagine ISrael gets drawn into a group with a country with a Muslim majority. All hell would break loose.

      • Dave

        March 29, 2013 at 10:28 am

        Israili teams have played Turkish teams lots of times.

  2. Smokey Bacon

    March 26, 2013 at 10:26 pm

    Relax people, we will qualify no problem. We are no fun to watch these days but just like the cricket team we refuse to be beaten. I’m still hopeful of making the trip to Brazil to see us lose in the quarter finals again on penalties.

  3. Dust

    March 26, 2013 at 10:18 pm

    Sorry but England were embarrassing, I cant believe how poor roy was in selection and tactically during the game, I am not a fan of Roy by any means but even I was surprised at his tactical ineptitude. Smalling Johnson, Carsick, Cleverly Gerrard, all terrible.. not just ok or just passed but terrible.

    Everyone i hear keeps making excuses trying to justify macedonia as some kind of force or acceptable footballing nation with good players that should give England a hard time but I have to disagree, given the resources of the english game and shear numbers to pull from it IS embarrassing.

    53 million from England, 625k from Montenegro thats 84 people in England to 1 montenegrin.. a massive pool to choose from. In now way should the England national team have any trouble with a country like montenegro.

    The manager has to take the blame, its his selection, his tactics, his training regime and usage for preparation of a new 100 million dollar facility
    The players in the squad and available for selection play at a higher level in the premier league on a weekly basis than they do playing against the squad of Montenegrins.

    Players have to own there performances to a point, they are given instructions, if they aren’t executing thats one thing, but I don’t think that is the case, say what you want about Cappelo in the tournament, qualifying was a breeze under him with the same selection of players and in more difficult groups.

    Please show me some one evidence of it not being Roy, how players that play at the highest level struggle against a team of players that do not play at that level .

    I have said before Id didn’t think we would qualify, I don’t know that I actually believed it, it is just how I felt looking at what Rot was doing. but all Roy has done is cement that thought and now belief.

    I am a truly disappointed England fan that rightly expects more of the national team. I’m sure Im the only one that feels this way, and I’ll get grief, but I don’t care.

    ROY OUT!

    • Dust

      March 26, 2013 at 10:19 pm

      Players have to own THEIR, stupid Mountain Lion autocorrect

    • Mufc77

      March 27, 2013 at 4:32 am

      England are the Liverpool of international football they are still living of past glory when reality is they haven’t been a good team in years.

      They’re a team of individuals with egos and until a manager with some balls comes in and drops the players who are selected purely on reputation instead of those who actually deserve a chance nothing will ever change.

    • Jake

      March 27, 2013 at 7:07 am

      Sorry mate but you know nothing. It’s not about the population of the country it’s about the players on the pitch. Why has China who has 1/6th of the world population not one a World Cup? 1 Billion people! Vucinic And Jovetic are WORLD CLASS. Basta Vukevic etc are good players.

      Secondly Roy only made 2 selection errors. Gerrard and Johnson. Walker is much better. Hey even Garry Neville would of done better. Gerrard cannot play football I bet his pass completion is arround 50% why? Because he always tries to hit it long. Carrick deserved his cap and played very well. He was composed under pressure and rarely wasted the ball. Cleverly played well and created pass of the game for Wellbecks penalty shout. Smalling and Lescott were solid together rarely getting beaten by there man.

      Roy is a good manager he knows what he’s doing and we need to give him chance. If we don’t qualify sack him but we will so leave him be. All we need is to get rid of Gerrard. He is too old to run box-to-box and he doesn’t have the quality to be a playmaker.

      • Yespage

        March 27, 2013 at 11:09 am

        Isn’t Gerrard near the top in the EPL for assists?

      • Rob

        March 27, 2013 at 12:30 pm

        Welback’s penalty “shout” was a shocking dive, but of course English players don’t dive do they?
        And Cleverly was virtually non existant. What game did you watch?

      • dust

        March 27, 2013 at 1:13 pm

        What are you talking about Jake, of course population matters when you are talking about resources, which is exactly what I was saying, from a resources perspective we have more, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see that resources combined with football as its national sporting focus in England that we should be able to beat them.

        The players in the England team play at a higher standard week in week out. Your argument of why haven’t China won a world cup doesn’t stand because I wasn’t saying that on resources ALONE, its resources plus focus. However, I will now show you an example of china with resources plus FOCUS.

        Lets look at the medal table in the Olympics, a great example of Resources PLUS Focus. china dominate.

        With England’s resources and focus of football we should have beat Montenego…END OF I don’t care if they have 3 good players we have 25 good players if the right ones are selected.

        Roy made “only 2 mistakes” thats your opinion, I think you are wrong, but that opinions for you.

        As for you thinking Roy is a good manager and knows what he is doing, I say show me the evidence… we beat San Marino twice and Moldova thats it. The reality is that during this game when the opposition made tactical changes he stood by and had no answer he made no positive impact, he had no answer, despite having the recourses to adjust.

        Show me evidence to support your argument that Roy is good enough, What has he won at a high level? (no Swedish league and danish league are not high level)

        The England qualifying group is the easiest by far and who have we actually beat? We cruised through the qualifiers in harder groups with Capello and he had the same crop of players to choose from.. explain that?

        Carsick, Smalling, Milner and many more were terrible, instead of being an apologist, wake up check in on reality.

        Also go through the montenegro team and look where they play their football and tell me honestly that the players Roy can pull from aren’t in a better league playing against better quality opponents?

        Vucinic is NOT world class he plays for Juventus and IS a good player but that doesn’t make him world class, would he start in the world starting 11, that’s how you should define world class, if it was Earth V Mars who wold start.. People use “World Class” way to often and inappropriately.

        Again Jovetic plays up front for Florentina and they sit 13 in Seire a, he is 23 years old and could trun out to be world class but to say he is world class is a joke.

        Next you will say Rooney is world class, lol… he is so world class that in Man Utd’s biggest game of the season, against Real Madrid he was dropped. Rooney is a great player but NOT world class.

        continue with your delusions, thats fine, but show me some evidence, because we just drew with Montenegro which imo is all the relevant evidence you need to judge.

    • Scrumper

      March 27, 2013 at 10:29 am

      It’s not the manager (although Lampard may have tightenened things up a bit in the second half) it’s the quality of players. We simply don’t have 3 or 4 world class players let alone the five and six you really need to compete at the high level everybody expects.

  4. Terry

    March 26, 2013 at 8:42 pm

    What an awful second half performance by England. Hodgson should have made changes early in the second half. Montenegro’s manager changed things after 10 minutes and continued to make changes till the end. That’s why Montenegro got a deserved draw.

    Sad to say but Gerard needs to retire from international duty. Just not good enough anymore. Also not a leader on the pitch. Walker is better than Johnson and Johnson will only get worse by the time the world cup comes around provided England get there.

    How this England team is ranked so high is beyond me.

  5. Tyler

    March 26, 2013 at 7:44 pm

    Montenegro for 1st in the group with England getting the playoffs where they will draw France or Portugal and miss out on the world cup. said it here 1st.

    • Mufc77

      March 26, 2013 at 8:08 pm

      That would be ok with me.

    • laticsfan

      March 26, 2013 at 8:09 pm

      Playoffs will be seeded, so there’s no way England, France, or Portugal can end up being drawn together.

  6. Matt

    March 26, 2013 at 6:03 pm

    too bad Poland or Ukraine aren’t consistent enough to knock England off 2nd place

    Other than England pretty much every British team eliminated

    Croatia got a little lucky against Wales, Bale missed a sitter which should have been 2:0 Wale, but Croatia improved 2nd half

  7. Hoosiergunner

    March 26, 2013 at 5:18 pm

    Enjoying watching four different games simultaneously at espn3… some fun games overall (Especially the Spain v. France game).

    Too bad they didn’t consider my “old man” bedtime in scheduling the US game tonight.

  8. Hubie McDonough

    March 26, 2013 at 4:55 pm

    The England game is not on GolTv (at least in NYC). They are showing RoI v Austria. Any idea why this is the case?

    • Patrick

      March 26, 2013 at 5:12 pm

      Try ESPN3 if your internet provider carries it. This is the way to watch it legally at least in the US. ESPN3 actually have quite a few World Cup qualifiers for the UEFA region. Most may not on paper be that appealing, but when all is said and done a point dropped hear and a point dropped there even if against minnows can be quite damaging to a country’s qualification hopes.

      • Hubie McDonough

        March 26, 2013 at 5:17 pm

        Thanks. I have been watching it online via WatchESPN. I saw a bunch of listings thar say game is on GolTv which doesn’t appear to be the case. I was just curious as to why.

    • The Gaffer

      March 26, 2013 at 5:50 pm

      Not sure. GolTV originally had the game on their TV schedule on their website, but there must have been a last minute contract or feed issue.

      The Gafer

  9. The Gaffer

    March 26, 2013 at 4:39 pm

    Comfortable lead for England so far. They’re looking confident, well organized and are running off the ball nicely.

    The Gaffer

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