Joe Cole Can't Save England Blushes

06 September 2008

Fabio Capello asked for patience.

Between the Czech Republic last month and Andorra today, I would say the fans patience has run out.

England's performance against Andorra this afternoon can only be described in one word, dire. From the team selection that had me wondering if Fabio Capello thought this was a friendly, to a first half that saw England huff and puff and not finish, it took two early second half goals from substitute Joe Cole to put this game away. Yes it must be said that Andorra played everyone behind the ball, but that is not an excuse for a failure to miss chances.

As I said above, I was shocked at Fabio Capello's team selection. Understanding this was a somewhat weakened squad already with the absences of Steven Gerrard and Rio Ferdinand, I was stunned to see Stewart Downing and Theo Walcott start. However, of the England starters in the first half, Theo Walcott was the only one who lived up to any potential on the pitch.

It wasn't surprising to hear the reaction at halftime, and I would argue it was louder than the reaction England received during Euro 2008 qualification. However those boos quickly subsided with Joe Cole and Emile Heskey's inclusion to the match. Joe Cole's opener was a decent move off Lampard's free kick. The flick on from Lescott to Joe Cole set him up perfectly to fire far post. It was Wayne Rooney's deft pass that set up the second.

When it's said and done, England have to accept they played poorly. However if you listened to the post match from Setanta Sports, they weren't. Yes it was a job done, but a job that was poorly done at that. If their performance against Andorra is the same performance against Croatia on Wednesday, it will not be pretty for England.

Now with that said I have a little rant I need to get off my chest with regards to Setanta Sports. I know they do a poor job of advertising their Setanta Broadband package out in the general public and for that they should be ashamed. However to hide the fact that if you've paid for a year's subscription to Setanta Broadband you would get to see not only the Andorra/England match, but the Croatia/England match is downright embarrassing and someone at Setanta has to be held accountable. The match at any point was never listed on Setanta's live broadband page on the Setanta website, and it was only going to the PPV events page itself after signing in did you see the fact the game was being shown (after scrolling past GAA PPV reminders).

To more or less make people think they would have to pay the pub cover charge or the 20-25 PPV charge depending on your service provider makes you wonder if they wanted people to know at all. I guess you could say I'm doing their bidding for them, which is something that shouldn't have to happen.


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Johnathan Starling, the self proclaimed 'most brutally honest man on the net, dishes out his own unique brand of opinions, and analysis on the Premier League, Bundesliga, and all things US Soccer.

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