Synyster Graves

[Last 16] England 1 – 4 Germany

by on Jun.29, 2010, under International Football

The oldest battle in football history, Germany have defeated England in the World Cup in 1970, 1990 and Euro 1996. We’ve defeated them in the final in 1966 4-2 and who will ever forget the 5-1 drubbing in Berlin in 2002, so there is so much history with this game.

However, Sunday was not one of the classics. England were almost falsely riding on the wave of the 1-0 win against Slovenia and although attempted to play the possession game straight from the off, again there was no purpose with the play going forward. Rooney continued his tournament like he has for the previous three games, inept and jaded. England pushed forward but on the 20th minute, a huge shank up the field from goalkeeper Manuel Neuer caught Matthew Upson and John Terry off guard and the ever present Miroslav Klose snuck in the give the Germans the lead. About ten minutes later the non-existent England defence were slayed again as Klose burst into the box and squared the pass to an unmarked Lukas Podolski who just casually wandered into the box to smash the ball in at the near post. Why Terry and Johnson didn’t cover on the line is anyone’s guess.

Matthew Upson gave England hope on 37 minutes, heading in a Steven Gerrard cross as Manuel Neuer flapped at the airborne delivery. Suddenly the momentum was with England. Camped in Germany’s half, they looked shaken and Frank Lampard’s drive from 25 yards lobbed Neuer and appeared to bounce over the line before bouncing out. TV replays showed the ball over the line by a good 2 yards and while the 80,000 strong crowd in Bloemfontein shouted goal, the only two people who disagreed were the referee and linesman. Now seeing that the ball was well OVER the line, how did TWO officials fail to spot that. The ball was a country mile over the line and no matter what replay was shown there was no argument about it. FIFA’s continual stance of being against technology only makes the game’s arbitration utterly draconian but it makes a mockery of the game. In fact it’s embarrassing that something like this can happen on this level. So the goal was disallowed and we went in at half time 2-1 down.

With the impetus with England, straight after half time the sides were as they left off, Germany looking shaky and England pressing forward for the equaliser. After a good spell of pressure, a Frank Lampard free-kick 20 yards out had the Germany penalty box rammed with 8 red shirts. Lampard being the ricochet specialist that he is nailed the ball against the wall (to be fair had hit the bar with an earlier free kick) and dropped before holding midfield Gareth Barry. Obviously needs to assess his job title because he lost the ball and left England scrambling back with only the appalling Glen Johnson back in our own half.

A typical German route one long ball finds Mesut Ozil, and calm as a cucumber slots the ball sideways to an unmarked Thomas Muller, who beats David James at his near post for the second time in the match. Muller had successfully jogged about 80 yards unnoticed, set up camp, got some sausages on the stove before Ozil played him in and he smashed it near post. Again, uncovered by the media, another goal against the run of play as England had the possession in the German half, just did nothing with it. The most alarming problem was as Ozil’s cross came across, there were five red shirts in the centre and none of them seemed to pick up the unmarked German striker.

With the defence all over the show, another German long ball finds Ozil again who pretty much walks towards England’s goal and squares it again for Muller to smash in his second. The defence was nowhere to be found and Germany and a 3 goal cushion.

Game Over? Dead right, so what do we do. We’re chasing the game…so on comes Heskey. I mean how many times does this man have to play for England before he’s dropped? It’s like giving a lame horse four wheels; it doesn’t improve something which wasn’t doing great in the first place.

England rounded off a flaccid limp performance and despite the disallowed goal from FIFA’s very own Stevie Wonder, that controversy can’t mask the fact that England were shit from start to finish. Not just this match, the entire tournament. One to forget for England fans, another cup passes us by. Would the real Wayne Rooney please stand up.

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