Monday, 28 June 2010

Barry, SWP out, Boateng through

England crashed out of the 2010 World Cup on Sunday with a 4-1 loss to Bloemfontein, with MCFC players on either side.

Gareth Barry started for England in his defensive midfield role. This placed him in opposition to Germany's star man and one-time City target Mesut Özil. Barry might have wanted to track him across the pitch but with Özil's imagination so lively, and with Germany having an extra man in midfield Barry spent much of the game having to choose whether to leave Özil or Bastian Schweinsteiger unmarked and untroubled.

And aside from the fact Germany were better throughout, Barry was unfortunately at fault for Germany's third and fourth goals. The third came when he gave it away in the opposition penalty area, setting up a counter-attack that ended with Thomas Müller scoring. And the game was over when Özil glided past Barry and round the back before setting up Müller. Barry could have brought Özil down and escaped with a yellow but he was too gentlemanly slow even to do that.

Jérôme Boateng started at left back in the absence of Holger Badstuber. He does not look like a natural left back but still did his job well. He's big, physically imposing and cuts off danger well. It was to his credit that James Milner was withdrawn for Joe Cole after 64 minutes. If we do not sign a more able specialist, it's quite possible Boateng will play left back at times next season.

There was more MCFC involvement: Shaun Wright-Phillips came on for Glen Johnson with three minutes left. He hit one cross straight to Manuel Neuer. England are out, but Boateng is through to the quarter-final.


trinder said...

Let's once again thank our lucky stars that £10m a year wasn't enough to persuade John Terry to lumber north with his witless, born-to-lead pronouncements and his progressively wretched defending.

trinder said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
ChrisR said...

I thought Glen Johnson was at fault for the third, he easily could have fouled Schweinsteiger and taken a yellow and suspension for the team, but skipped out the way. Exactly the same with Barry for the fourth. England are a team of very good individuals who didnt play to their sum, and currently just don't have that gritty, cynical winning nous. (remind you of any club? :) )

Elephant said...

I wouldn't be too hard on Barry. He was slated by the TV pundits for making visible mistakes - but at least he was actually in the game trying to do something. Too many of his teammates spent too much of the game hiding. The captain's performance was particularly atrocious.

Chap said...

Unfortunately, Boateng was at fault for England's (first) goal. He lost Upson initially and then was left rooted to the spot unable to apply pressure giving Upson a free header. Otherwise, I thought he played quite well not being his natural position. He managed to keep Milner reasonably quiet after offering a bit too much room with some early crosses.