SO, England sent home packing by the Italians in the penalty shoot-outs yet again. England did exceed most people’s expectations, and did so.....
SO, England sent home packing by the Italians in the penalty shoot-outs yet again. England did exceed most people’s expectations, and did so in an unconventional way to what most people are used to seeing.
They topped their group amazingly and went to the quarter finals in which they drew 0-0 even after extra time. They did all this with being the second best team in each of their games, as they were dominated in most of their games. it was expected France would dominate England which they did, but England were expected to easily get past Sweden and Ukraine but even against them they didn’t fancy themselves too much in possession. after that, people were talking about a potential semi-final as Italy were their quarter final opponents, and people thought England should see through this game but they were not to be.
With them exiting the tournament, I’m going to rate the players that featured in the games for England throughout the tournament. This is just my opinion, so feel free to comment or criticise on the ratings of the players and comment on how you would rate them.
Joe Hart: He was peppered with one of the most amounts of shots throughout the tournament for any team but conceded only 3 goals, which is only of the least amount of goals conceded by a team. He made a lot of important saves and was very mature for his age and will have a gained a lot from this experience and he will be in the team for years to come. Rating = 8
Glen Johnson: Definitely one the better performers for England, as he showed a lot more of his defensive abilities rather than his attacking ones. But when he did go forward he was definitely more effect than Milner. He made quite a few important challenges and blocks. Rating = 8
John Terry: Was caught a few times for lack pace, but was good overall as part of a solid back four. His highlight will the controversial goal line clearance that he hacked away after crossing the line, but he was solid in make challenges and blocks. Rating = 8
Joleon Lescott: With the injury to Gary Cahill, he became first choice partner for Terry. He didn’t disappoint, with solid defending overall and highlighted with a goal against France. Rating = 8
Ashley Cole: Missed a penalty in the shootouts. He was caught a couple times but overall a decent performance in the tournament. Rating = 7.5
James Milner: Started all the games, was a workhorse in the tournament, running up and down the flank. Was relatively poor in attacking, as his crosses were not effective and he missed a glorious chance against France that could have won them the game. Rating = 5.5
Ashley Young: Again, like Milner started all the games and wasn’t effective enough. Was largely disappointing throughout the tournament, which was compounded with a miss in the shootouts. Rating = 6
Scott Parker: Formed a good understanding with Gerrard in the centre of the pitch. He showed a lot of grit and determination, in constantly making last ditch blocks and challenges, and even producing some forward runs. Rating = 7.5
Steven Gerrard: Given the captain’s armband, he has managed to unite the whole team together for the first time in a long time. He was surely England’s player of the tournament and as he was well disciplined and consistent in all of the games. Capped off with three assists for the tournament, overall a good tournament for him. Gave a glimpse to the world of why he is called Captain Fantastic in Liverpool. Rating = 8.5
Alex Oxalade-Chamberlian: A surprise inclusion, the wild card of the squad. He was put into the starting line-up in the opener against france and he showed flashes of brilliance. He will have benefitted from this tournament and will be a good asset come the world cup. Rating = 6.5
Theo Walcott: Was used as a sub in the games, he made an instant impact when he came on against Sweden and produced his best performance in England shirt to date by scoring the equaliser and assisting in the winner. In the other games, he didn’t really have enough time to make a big impact. Rating = 7
Jordan Henderson: Called in after injuries to Lampard and Barry. He got a lot criticism from the majority of English media and fans. But he got on with his job and came on a couple of times as sub for Parker. Was relatively quiet but this tournament should give him more confidence in his game and he would have learnt a lot. Hopefully improves a lot next season and he does have good future ahead of him. Rating = 6
Andy Carroll: Was nowhere near this squad a little over two months ago but with a good showing at the end of the PL season, he was called up. And he didn’t disappoint as in his first start of the tournament produced a good header to score the opener against Sweden. He was showing some good first touch, link up play and was threat to the opposition defence. He has a good future ahead if he keeps up his hard work. Rating = 7
Danny Welbeck: Looked good at leading the line in the group stages, and produced a very good back heel to score the winner against Sweden. Could be a good future for him in the England shirt. Rating = 6.5
Wayne Rooney: Suspended for the first two games, came back and scored the winning goal against Ukraine that sent them through to the quarters. But that was only a tap in, and other than that he was severely lacking match sharpness. Didn’t make an impact in the quarters. Rating = 5.5
Roy Hodgson: Wasn’t the media favourite for the job, but came out of the tournament respectably. He has helped the team grow close together and has instilled an organised defence but he must work on the attacking side of the team’s game and be more aggressive. Rating = 7
Others: Forgot to mention Defoe but only featured once of the bench, so didn’t really make too much of an impact (Rating = 5). Defoe along with the others who weren’t used such as; Downing, Green, Baines and Jagielka, may not get another chance in the set-up as they time is coming to an end in the international stage.
But the young guns who didn’t feature such as; Jones, Kelly and Butland, will surely have learnt a lot from this experience and will be contesting for spots in world cup qualifiers and for the world cup.
Lastly in my opinion, the England player of the tournament will probably have to go to captain Steven Gerrard, for his overall performance on and off the pitch, he was an inspiration and a great role model to others, especially the younger guys in the squad.