Thursday, 7 February 2013

England deserve win amid cautious optimism

Lampard netted his 27th international goal.
When the older, more experienced players are in the mood, England tick.

They were bright from the get-go recording a first win over the 5-times world champions in 23 years, 2-1 at Wembley.

Despite some early defensive flurries and the mistake by Gary Cahill which led to Brazil’s goal, England deserved it.

The Roy Hodgson and Steven Gerrard regime has given England a spring in its step, a desire to do well.

It was a friendly, so it wasn’t as frantic as per, but there was definitely a competitive edge to the challenges.

Wayne Rooney took his most recent Manchester United form to the Three Lions shirt to give us the half time advantage. But the Brazilians came out after the interval. Right Said Fred! he equalized.
Right said Fred, let's get back into this game

Then Frank Lampard exquisitely placed the ball into the net and restored the lead for his 27th international strike.

All this after Ronaldinho had a penalty saved by the imposing Joe Hart.

Theo Walcott skinned the defence with frequency, Jack Wilshere’s long, long England absence is water under the bridge, he's such a talent and Tom Cleverley is unfazed at this level.

Chris Smalling and Gary Cahill are the latest defensive partnership to be tried out. It wasn’t glorious – but they’re the most likely duo that Roy will go with.
Composed calm opportunism from Rooney to open the scoring
But what of the Samba Boys? The truth is they're totally demystified. Gone are the days of the faraway fantasy football which captivated worldwide audiences.

We’re totally used to the players and personalities of Brazil in 2013.

Hark back to the 70’s and 80’s and the Samba Boys with their free-wheeling, flowing football captivated the world.

With honourable exceptions, Brazil have the look of a built for purpose group of European stars, so many ply their trade in our Premier League - at Chelsea, QPR and the like.

I’m not saying the Brazilians don’t have a shout of winning the World Cup in their own backyard next year, but they’re definitely not the best team going into the tournament – and I’m wondering whether home advantage will be a hindrance rather than help.