Sunday, 27 June 2010

England out of World Cup

England's World Cup ended in a mixture of humiliation and controversy as they were thrashed by Germany in Bloemfontein

Germany's deserved win and convincing victory margin will be overshadowed forever in the minds of Fabio Capello and his squad by a moment they believe robbed them of the hope of reaching the last eight.

Matthew Upson had thrown England a lifeline just before half-time after a vastly superior Germany had taken a stranglehold on the game with goals from Miroslav Klose and Lukas Podolski.

But moments after Upson's header, in a grim echo of Geoff Hurst goal that helped England to victory over West Germany in the 1966 World Cup final, Frank Lampard's superb lofted finish landed feet over the line behind German keeper Manuel Neuer, an incident obvious to almost everyone inside the Free State Stadium.

Wayne Rooney entered this World Cup as one of the three top players, behind Messi and  Ronaldo. He failed to deliver. Again today he looked sluggish, unwilling to close down players and disillusioned.

He must go home, rest and find his form at Manchester United under a manager he respects.

Wednesday, 23 June 2010

England through to face Germany

Jermain Defoe grabs the only goal as England beat Slovenia 1-0 to reach the second round of the World Cup.
Slovenia 0-1 England
England produced a much improved performance to beat Slovenia 1-0 and progress to the last 16 as Group C runners-up.

Fabio Capello's side needed to win after being held to dire draws by USA and Algeria in their opening two World Cup games, and responded with a fine display full of urgency and slick passing.
Two of the players brought into the side by Fabio Capello combined for the crucial goal on 22 minutes as James Milner delivered an excellent cross from the right and Jermain Defoe provided the finishing touch.
England continued to dominate possession and carved out many opportunities to double their advantage, with Samir Handanovic repelling Steven Gerrard and Wayne Rooney with athletic saves, and Defoe also flicking an effort wide.

Slovenia did carry a threat on the counter-attack and anxiety would have been spreading among England supporters as their team failed to take a more comfortable lead. However, England stayed solid in defence and held on to the final whistle to make it through to the next round, with Slovenia dramatically bowing out as a result of USA's last-gasp winner against Algeria.

Rooney played much better than in any other World Cup match. Still looking a little slow but when he links up with Gerrard things happen. He's not in best in the world form but getting better. 

Saturday, 19 June 2010

Rooney looses his cool

ENGLAND'S players were booed off last night - sparking a furious reaction from Wayne Rooney.

The sound of the World Cup vuvuzelas was replaced by jeers as the Three Lions trooped off the pitch following a dismal 0-0 draw with Algeria.

Disappointed Man Utd striker Rooney lost his cool as he headed for the dressing rooms, turning to a TV camera and saying: "Nice to see your home fans boo you. That's what loyal support is."

Captain Steven Gerrard made no excuses for the sloppy display, which left the nation's dreams of glory hanging in the balance.

He said in Cape Town: "We're not happy with the performance, we need more. We want to stay in this tournament until the final stages.
"We were not good enough to make the breakthrough in the final third. We've not got any excuses, we know what we have to do. We have to win the final game."
The Three Lions' faltering start to the tournament went from bad to worse as they failed to score against the North African soccer minnows, having already only drawn with the USA last Saturday.

Our millionaire stars started shakily - then got worse - with Algeria, ranked 22 places below England's 8th position in the FIFA world rankings, looking the most likely to score in the early stages.

Boss Fabio Capello wore a grim expression as he paced the edge of his pitchside technical area, shouting and pointing as his players sweated and struggled to little effect.

And as the vuvuzela horns droned in the stands, smart-suited princes William and Harry sat glum-faced in the VIP seats with their arms folded. The tensions on the pitch failed to dampen the fervor of the Three Lions fans, who urged on England with choruses of God Save The Queen and Rule Britannia.

However, the mood gradually changed as our players managed just three shots on target in a lack luster first half. And as the final whistle sounded with the game still goalless disappointed fans booed the team off the pitch, shouting "We want our money back" as Algerian players ran to salute their jubilant followers.

Sunday, 13 June 2010

US keep Wayne Rooney quiet

USA 1 – England 1
RUSTENBURG, South Africa - On Saturday night, Wayne Rooney was throwing his arms into the air, but it wasn't in celebration of what many expected to be a sure-thing goal against the U.S. team.

Rooney, England's all-everything striker, had been on a goal-scoring tear, ripping through the English Premier League season. But in a 1-1 U.S.A.-England tie at Royal Bafokeng Stadium, Rooney was halted by the U.S. team's packed-in defensive effort.
Surprisingly, the Americans' defensive tactics didn't include bullying Rooney into an emotional tirade - something he's quite known for. In the first half, England's Steven Gerrard scored before Rooney even touched the ball. It wasn't until a few minutes later that No. 10 took the ball outside the box and introduced himself to the match.

"He didn't have many chances," said U.S. midfielder Landon Donovan. "He didn't really get behind us. He didn't have any really good looks on goal."
Rooney chased the ball everywhere, making runs up and down the field, but all of his efforts ended in visible frustration. Although Rooney avoided receiving one of the game's six yellow cards, on a handful of occasions he picked himself off the turf with his arms extended in frustration.

On the back line of the U.S. team's defense, Jay DeMerit marked Rooney. As Rooney crept into the midfield, the Americans communicated well enough to collapse into him. On the rare chances that Rooney slipped away for a shot on goal, either on a cross or from distance, U.S. goalie Tim Howard handled each of them.

"I thought Jay did well to follow him into the midfield, and they had pressure from the midfielders coming back to close him down," said U.S. defender Carlos Bocanegra. "Second half was a little bit more open, and he got a few more chances to run at us, but that's going to happen when we're a bit tired and space gets more open. I thought we did well on him."

By Kate Fagan, Inquirer Staff Writer

Thursday, 10 June 2010

Wayne Rooney Goal

Rooney goal is welcome but all the focus is on him keeping his temper.

Rio Ferdinand has backed England star Wayne Rooney to control his temper during the World Cup in South Africa.

Rooney was booked in Monday's warm-up win over Platinum Stars and accused of using "vulgar language" by the referee.Official Jeff Selogilwe also warned Rooney he risks being sent off at the World Cup unless he curbs his temper. 

But Ferdinand told BBC Sport: "Wayne's experienced now. His disciplinary record has been magnificent over the last couple of years." 

Rooney, 24, was sent off at the last World Cup in 2006, dismissed for stamping on Portugal's Ricardo Carvalho in their quarter-final tie.
And signs of the disciplinary problems that threatened to hamper the Manchester United player's early career reared themselves again in the 3-0 victory over South African club side Platinum Stars.Ahead of the match, England vice-captain Frank Lampard had warned his team-mates that discipline on the field will be a key factor if they are to be successful in the tournament. 

But Rooney appeared to become embroiled in a second-half spat with Platinum Stars' Kagiso Senamela before being booked for dissent. 

Rooney, 24, apologised to the referee after the game but decided against giving him his shirt, as had apparently been agreed beforehand.
"I think the man was in an angry mood, because he didn't even give me his shirt, but I cannot blame him because he's still my player," Selogilwe told BBC World Service. "He's still my favourite player, although I'm a referee there are players that I'm in favour of like Wayne Rooney and other England players as well.
"I was very much disappointed. I didn't expect a top top top player like Rooney to insult the referee.
"If it happens in that way, you are not going to see Rooney in the World Cup."He is a good player when you see him on the TV, but when you see him on the pitch, he just keeps on insulting the referees. 

"To me, it looks like Rooney insults people and fouls other players. If he insults a referee like me then he will use that vulgar language to other referees as well. I was very disappointed in Rooney because he is my favourite player." 

However, Ferdinand, who will miss the finals after injuring a knee in training, added: "Being here [in South Africa] is magnifying things before the World Cup.
"It was a practice match not an official match. I don't see Wazza [Rooney] having a disciplinary problem at the World Cup at all. 

"Since the incident in Germany, he's done so well to get to where he is now."

Rooney satisfied with England performance. His
team-mates also rallied around him after their final warm-up game.
Rooney made a goal for Joe Cole and scored himself late on after Jermain Defoe had given Fabio Capello's side an early lead against the local side.Tottenham striker Defoe, who scored the opener on Monday, said he did not see Rooney's temperament as an issue.
"If under control, I think Wayne's temper is a good thing," he commented. "He has that fire in his belly. If you take that away from him then he won't be the same player."


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