Tuesday, June 20, 2006

England 2 - 2 Sweden: Tanto nadar para ahogarse en la orilla...

Everything went wrong for England tonight. After weeks of hype about the night when Owen and Rooney would start together, the partnership lasted exactly 3 minutes, when Owen took what seemed like a bad injury and was stretchered off. This took them right back to where they were before Rooney recovered: with a gangly 2 meter clutz bearing the burden of the attack alongside a very talented striker who is still recovering from injury, with the other talented striker definitely hurt. It's just that Owen and Rooney switched roles.

Joe Cole was the only good news for England. He put in one of the best goals of the tournament, added a superb pass to set up England's other goal, and he created chances out of thin air time and again. The Swedish defenders had no clue how to deal with him at all.

Still, it's damn hard to win the world cup with great midfielders but only so-so strikers. If Owen is out of the tournament my prediction that England can win the Cup looks pretty unlikely.
On the other hand, the Swedes were definitely much better than against Paraguay, especially in the second half, and especially in the air. I know a lot of Latin Americans think the air game is just an aberration, but it's the weapon they have and they can't be blamed for using it, and using it well. Sweden deserved their tie.

Still, I can't imagine that this kind of shenanigan is going to work against Germany. Or that Ecuador can do to England on the ground what Sweden did to them in the air.


Anonymous Mumin said...

The guy with a trumpet who started up God Save the Queen just before England's 2-1 has reason to feel good about himself tonight. That was a beautiful moment in English football, or it would've been. Unless the old decree had still proved to be valid; Thou shalt not defeat Sweden!

Smiles all around after the final whistle, it seemed, but I hope the Swedes are still hungry, 'cause there's Giant on the menu!

5:15 PM  
Blogger Francisco said...

Methinks that giant will be a bit more than Sweden can chew...

8:22 PM  
Anonymous mumin said...

True dat, and also true that we apparently have an even longer non-winning streak against the Germans than the English have against us (the latter harkens back to 1968).

But may we not go gracefully into the setting sun!

2:24 AM  

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