England vs Jamaica – Match Report

Oh the joys of a 6-0 victory…

3-0 inside 20 minutes, 4-0 in 30, Owen with an assist and a goal and the England celebrations were truly underway. What chance did the Reggae Boys have?

It’s a shame to be so cynical at a time like this, but England, while looking remarkably well-tuned as an attacking unit in the last two games, have simply not gone up against the type of opposition that could give them a test in these three games. Belarus managed a bit of a scare, but we brushed it off because the first goal was because of an injury.

The 6-0 win will give the team a lot of confidence but the World Cup will be a lot different. The fact that England strolled to the win is great, but defense lines in the World Cup will never be this charitable, and neither will be the forwards. England’s defenses will meet their first real test against Paraguay on the 10th, and let’s hope they actually live up to the hype.

To be fair to Jamaica, they started off really fast and came hard at England. It was interesting to see Terry and Gerrard pull out of tackles they normally would go for without even thinking about it – under orders to “take it easy”.

England Team Report

Paul Robinson – Safe pair of hands, had very little to do as most Jamaican shots went wide in the first half. Made a good block off Jason Euell and started the move that led to Lampard’s – and England’s first – goal.

Jamie Carragher – Benitez called him the best defender in the Premiership recently. I wouldn’t go that far, but he definitely is England’s no. 3, and at today’s evidence should be in the starting 11, even if he has to replace Gary Neville. Yes, I said it, throw Neville out and bring in Carragher.

Rio Ferdinand – Did not go as far forward as he did against Hungary, and had little to do throughout the match.

John Terry – Made a hash of a clearance that led to a hamstring strain and a shot on goal. Came off right after the 3rd goal, but it was precautionary, much like Neville’s retreat a few days earlier.

Ashley Cole – Still rusty. Him and Owen needed match practice the most, and he hasn’t been able to get enough of it. Luckily England have Wayne Bridge as backup, although Bridge would never start if Cole is fit.

Sol Campbell (sub) – Replaced Terry. Poor defending, but then he can claim rustiness a la A. Cole.

Wayne Bridge (sub) – Came in place of A. Cole and impressed down the left flank despite a couple of defensive errors. Good backup for England.

David Beckham – Once again Becks showed why England will be a real threat from set pieces. Whizzed in crosses and corners all day.

Steven Gerrard – Back in his usual midfield role, Gerrard played cleanup for England, putting in crunching tackles and pushing forward with smart passes. For my money he shouldn’t even have played, but he needs to find a rhythm with Lamps.

Frank Lampard – Should thank Michael Owen for that pass – got the first goal and looked a bit better than against Hungary.

Joe Cole – Strong and fast as usual, but guilty of some showboating. Made some excellent tackles as well.

Aaron Lennon (sub) – Wasn’t given much of a chance to impress – will perhaps play a bigger role against Trinidad & Tobago. His pace looks more suited to a 4-5-1 formation.

Michael Carrick (sub) – Much more assured than the B match, Carrick tackled hard and passed well.

Stewart Downing (sub) – He started the move that led to the 6th goal, and is another player who seems to play better in a 4-5-1 formation.

Peter Crouch – Scored two goals, but also missed a penalty. He’s a certainty for 10th June, but will he make way if Rooney returns?

Michael Owen – Was muscled off the ball too easily, and looked to be trying a bit too hard to be involved in the beginning of the match. At least he can say he’s fresh for the season if nothing else.

Germany awaits.

Obi Mikel, Chelsea and Manchester United
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