Andy Munro on England’s win over France.
Well, trash talking only gets you so far, as Gareth Bale found out despite opening the scoring thanks to Joe Hart doing an excellent impression of Gary Sprake between the sticks.
While on the subject of dead ball kicks, surely a defensive wall is pointless when a free kick is so far away that the wall unnecessarily unsights the keeper? I, fact, the first half was a fairly turgid affair reminiscent of a local derby which I suppose in Euro terms it was. However, why Woy persisted in sticking with Sterling and Kane up front is a mystery. Kane is misfiring and Sterling is no striker; one wonders if he can even be called a winger given his crossing disability.
Surely ‘loyalty’ shouldn’t come into team selection – if Woy was a parks manager in division ten of the Wheeltappers and Shunters League then he might legitimately be swayed by the fear that dropping the duo would mean that nobody would answer the door when they were due to be picked up the following Sunday. Yet, this is supposed to be top level soccer with top level professionals.
Having said all that, in his desperation, he eventually got it right by bringing on Messrs Vardy and Sturridge to devastating effect. In fact, he almost turned Barry Fry when he brought on Rashford to make it three forwards in a row. So barring a disaster of monumental proportions, the Three Lions should make it into the knock out stages but let’s also hope that Wales also qualify by winning the battle of the Reds.