Euro 2012 – England v Ukraine – Brief post match thoughts

After going into the competition being described as “no-hopers,” England have qualified for the quarter-finals relatively easily!

Despite allowing the opposition a lot of the ball last night, they never really looked in danger of conceding. Ukraines best two chances, a close range header and one that Terry cleared “ahem” off the line – were both off side. I don’t remember the ex-Blues keeper having to do too much other than one save over the bar.

I thought we looked solid and well organised. We had a good shape, and everyone stuck to it. Yes it wasn’t pretty to watch, but at least we have achieved some success.

Rooney looked rusty in his first game back, but that was to be expected – he got himself into several good positions and if he had been match fit, could have had at least a brace. He finished the goal off well from 5 inches, with a bullet header!

Gerrard played much better than the previous game, but still not as good as I’d hoped. Having said that, he provided several sublime passes.

My man of the match was Parker. He must have covered enough ground to have run home and back again. He put in a number of brilliant blocks and although didn’t offer the same threat coming forward as against Sweden – did the job set for him very well.

So thanks to Sweden, we now face the Italians on Sunday. I don’t expect it will be free flowing stuff, as both teams like to play out of a solid formation – but it will be interesting. I imagine as long as there aren’t any injuries, the same 11 will start. IF we win that, we could be playing the “old enemy” in Germany and we have a score to settle there. BUT BEFORE that, the Italians will probably provide us with our stiffest test yet. This is where we REALLY begin to see what this team is made of.

Come on you Blues, err sorry, England!

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5 Comments on Euro 2012 – England v Ukraine – Brief post match thoughts

  1. Well done to England backs against the wall time but we managed to get the job done!!!.

    Gerrard not as good as hoped??….wow, high expectations indeed Kev, thought he drove us on (playing in a deep position) and was in and around all that was good about England ( i’d had a couple of pints to be fair tho) .Some off his passing was sublime and reminded me of Jordan Mutch (ok not really).

    I think we have a decent chance against Italy, they’re very similar to us, a bit overrated with a couple of quality players. After the quarter fiinals it really is a lottery,so who knows……..we could all do with a summer cup final to help us forget Blues troubles.

    Keep Right on England!!!

  2. What I mean is, he has set such high standards before – and there were times he drifted out of the game. This IS a bit churlish though – he did drive us on last night as you say.

    He needed to play better than he did in the previous two games though as captain.

  3. Well said Kev.

    I think you know my feelings on the Captain! His pass to pick out Carroll was a beauty.

  4. Gerrard did play well which truly surprised me given his usual displays for England. He’s been excellent at cub level but usually dire for England, still let’s hope he continues in this new vein.

    As for this business about Rooney being rusty I just don’t buy that, he was dire, missing a sitter, showing a real lack of pace when put through by Gerrard and trying some really daft stuff like the intricate back heel when he should have played the ball direct to the wing. Shevchenko hadn’t played for a while before he played against Sweden, he was excellent in that game and he’s 35.

  5. Though Gerrard MOTM, and I don’t normally like him. Thought Parker was pretty ineffectual – lacked the thoroughgoing commitment he has previously delivered prior to this tournament. maybe he’s carrying one injury too many. Milner is overweight and too slow – but who would you replace him with other than Walcott? Too many times Cole had to battle and tackle after Ukraine had breezed through our porous midfield. Oxlade-Chamberlain has vigour, but is erratic and too volatile. Andy Carroll tracked back well, and to my mind will be superior to Rooney. A good team would tear us to pieces if we don’t get it together.

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