England have finally played their opening game against Italy, and to no one’s surprise or shock, they lost.
Having said that, the game was full of an unusual strength in attack, a youthful direction, and a performance to be proud of.
England still need a bit of work when it comes to lasting the full 90 minutes, and I’m still not sure what Jack Wilshere’s useful for, but it was a decent first game.
Here’s a look at the good, the bad, and the ugly from England’s opener versus Italy.
Quite frankly, that was the best attacking England performance I’ve seen in years.
Danny Sturridge and Raheem Sterling bring a life and an energy to England that’s been missing for such a long time. Sure, not every shot was on target, but for once, we were a team who were taking shots.
Sturridge was easily my man of the match, and was everywhere he needed to be when he needed to be there. His goal was gorgeous to watch and very well-deserved.
As good as we were at attacking, our defenders didn’t even look like they were part of the same team.
We were shaky at the back, and Italian players were left un-marked far too often.
Admittedly, Jageilka pulled off what might have been the save of the tournament by heading a ball off the line at a crucial moment, and I appreciated Johnson’s runs up the pitch and decent crosses, but if we want to get some points from the next few games we must lock down the back four and mark players far better than we did against Italy.
It was also a bit of a shame our physio Gary Lewin got injured celebrating a goal, but let’s be honest; we’d have sacrificed a second physio to have an equalizer if we could.
I’m under the impression that the non-Brazilian players actually need a work permit to play in Brazil for the World Cup.
Wayne Rooney is lucky his didn’t get revoked for that god-awful corner. You really don’t get much for £300,000 a week nowadays, do you?
England now need wins against Uruguay and Costa Rica, and will hopefully go in to those games knowing they are capable of a decent performance. We lost our opening game, but we can be grateful we didn’t have our first game against Germany or Holland (so much for the Iberian peninsula!)
We lost the game, but it was a performance for the country to feel proud of, and become – dare I say it – hopeful for the future of English football.
What did you think of England’s performance? Let us know your thoughts below or tweet us @LaFootyettes.