A Tale Of Two Countries

By , June 14, 2010 4:28 pm

England Keeper Green Makes A Howler

Team USA Celebrates The Draw

Where to begin when discussing the England vs. USA World Cup match. For a game with few goals and overall little action from each team on the pitch, there could easily be a novella written in response to the game, which enraptured so many from both sides of the pond. That the game induced such a polarized response from each country was astounding. What was seen as a massive disappointment in the English camp for not producing a win they should have easily attained was conversely seen as a monumental triumph to the USA. How can two such disparate opinions be used to reflect the same 1-1 draw? In an attempt to answer this, let’s take a look at both sides.

For England, before the game even began and the team lineups were announced, there were definitely some raised eyebrows. Two things struck me immediately. One, where was David James? I think it’s safe to say that while James has had his “calamitous” moments for England, he’s still the most experienced and trust worthy keeper they have, surely the best bet to be in goal in what was always going to be a cagey match. Instead, Robert Green, a very good keeper despite having a somewhat mixed season at West Ham, was the starter between the posts. An interesting choice by Capello, but not a total shock. And two, young winger James Milner was on the left wing, a position I questioned who would fill before the start of the game. Despite the piqued interest the lineup brought, I decided to have faith in the manager, and especially applauded his choice of Milner over Joe Cole. While Joe Cole is one of England’s most creative players, he’s been injured off and on for almost two seasons and Milner has shown vast improvements in his game over the same period of time.

Even with a strong lineup, there was doubt in the team selection, and trust me, the English don’t need much of a reason to have doubts about their team, so much so that winning the World Cup wouldn’t quell them all. But even with those doubts, you felt a sense of confidence in Capello and his strategy. Conversely, you had the USA team. And, unlike England, the USA doesn’t need much of a reason to get behind their team. They felt confident in their manager, Bob Bradley, who proved that the USA can not only compete in the world of football, they can win, as their infamous win over Spain showed. Nevertheless, England were still highly favored to get the job done and after four minutes, with influential captain Steven Gerrard scoring, you felt it would be a day of vindication for England and a way to silence their own supporters’ ever-present doubts.

Five minutes before half time and once again, it was the England fans who felt vindicated as Green committed a howler to end all howlers. He fumbled what should have been a simple save and the USA went delirious with joy. The game continued for another 50 minutes, with neither team making much of a push to win and it ended in a 1-1 stalemate. England, perhaps as usual, started the game brightly with a lot of cut and thrust, as well as an early goal. They ended it, perhaps as usual, with a whimper rather than a bang. Despite Green’s massive mistake, England made no real effort to win. Golden boy Wayne Rooney was nonexistent, Milner was substituted after 30 minutes for being ineffective, and Ledley King came off injured at the half. A great wave of disappointment certainly washed over the England camp, even though they got what some would see as a respectable result.

On the other side, the USA celebrated as if they had just won the World Cup. They defended well, created some chances, and in the very American tradition of seeing the glass half full, they saw their team’s lucky draw as proof they can come up against the best teams in the world and walk away with a result. In some ways, I can see their point. This is a team who not so long ago were always amongst the lowest rated in the world, yet they recently beat Spain and now have an important draw against England in the World Cup under their belt. All credit to them feeling a great sense of accomplishment, but I’m afraid this really wasn’t much more than England living up to their reputation of bottling it when the pressure is on.

19 Responses to “A Tale Of Two Countries”

  1. Ricky says:

    I loved your view of the game…can’t wait to read more of ‘em…!

  2. James C says:

    Great blog! Can’t wait for the next one!

  3. whitsport says:

    Poor Greeny, he’ll never live that one down. US were fortunate, huge game against Slovenia if they want to advance. Cheers!

    http://whitsport.wordpress.com/

  4. Whatever may be said, was a pitiful game.

  5. ryandunny says:

    Really good summary of the game! Really enjoyed reading it!

  6. Great review of the game. I think England were quietly confident of a win so much so that I know Green has cost a few people money on bets!

    Best of luck to England for the rest of their world cup campaign!

  7. world cup fever is gripping the world.

    Thanks.

  8. Great story! Lots of work went into this one. I appreciate that. I see so many story with little content. Come check out my story and let know what you think…? Ladbrokes

  9. I Choose Italy.,.,.
    Italy, Numero Uno…!!!

  10. tophatal says:

    A pitiful game from two mediocre teams !

    England coach Fabio Capello may well be out of a job if his team fails to make the latter stages of the competition. And supposedly he’s the highest paid national coach on the planet.

    AP

  11. tophatal says:

    If at all interested let me know what you think as to the merits of the following World Cup pieces. Merely click on the links provided below to view and by all means do leave a comment.

    Well No Good Can Come From Being A Lame Duck …………

    Let The Smack Talking Begin …

    Countdown To The One …….

    AP aka tophatal

  12. oasis says:

    England play not good in first match.I hope it’s better more.

  13. Come on USA !!!! sorprendieron a muchos empatando con England, tienen huevos, son Yankies !! Viva USA !!!
    Son un equipo raro, como el pais, sus jugadores son de diferentes paises, son como una seleccion mundial que represaenta a USA, is good, son muy originales.

    Les mando un saludo grande, y suerte in “the world cup”!!

    Gabriel (Buenos Aires – Argentina)

  14. soratothamax says:

    USA OMG I am from the USA. I think that when Americans get support they play better. This year, more than ever before, America is getting the exposure it needs through internet and the news. It’s finally being watched on television by the US. So I think they played better this time around.

    But it is not my favorite team. I need to see more results to even acknowledge them.

  15. Mad Ant says:

    Hopefully Green can rebound from that blunder… what a thing to happen!

    http://www.peermusic.com/ecard/theladdz.html

  16. newsbyphotos says:

    Good point. Same 1-1 result but both sides see it different. England Crushed – US Elated. Perception is everything.

    http://newsbyphotos.com/2010/06/17/usa-england-world-cup-1-1-robert-green-hand-of-clod/

    Best of Success.

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