England; A country with one World Cup, yeah one! Envy of all the other home nations, especially our neighbours north of the border.
So, the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. Should be a walk in the park for England, right? Well, it's England, you can never be sure.
Here, I rate the England players on their performance in their first game against Italy.
If you didn't see the game, why not?! It finished 2-1 to....ENG..Italy? Italy beat us? They draw with Luxembourg, yet beat us? Good going England. I'm just kidding, or am I? Yeah, we couldn't even beat those pesky Italians. Claudio Marchisio and Mario Balotelli for Italy, and Daniel Sturridge for England were the goal scorers.
Without further ado, I think it’s time I get this thing other and done with.
Joe Hart, 6: Not much to do for England’s number one. Fumbled once, and was left rooted to the spot when Andrea Pirlo hit the crossbar with a free kick.
Glen Johnson, 6: A better performance by Johnson’s recent standards, but still rather poor defensively. Looked promising going forwards, but lacked certainty when the Italians went forward.
Gary Cahill, 6: An average performance from Cahill, poor defending lead to Mario Balotelli’s late winner. However, stopped Immobile from scoring a third for the Italians.
Leighton Baines, 5: A tough game for Baines, with Antonio Candreva running the show down the right flank for Italy. He wasn’t given enough protection in his place either.
Steven Gerrard, 5: A lacklustre performance from the England captain, not giving enough support to England’s defensive players.
Jordan Henderson, 7: A good game from the midfielder, having a good first half. He forced a smart save from Salvatore Sirigu. Was subbed off for Jack Wilshere after 73 minutes.
Wayne Rooney, 6: A sublime assist for England’s goal showed what Rooney can do.
Raheem Sterling, 9: My man of the match. Sterling repaid the faith of RoyHodgson, and put in a terrific performance. Providing a superb through ball for Wayne Rooney, which led to a goal. The Italians couldn’t deal with the youngster.
Danny Welbeck, 8: A good performance from Welbeck. Showed good defensive capabilities, and looked promising when going forward. Substituted for Ross Barkley after 61 minutes.
Daniel Sturridge, 7: Scored England’s goal, and looked threatening in front of goal. Seemed to lose energy in the heat of Manaus. Subbed off after 80 minutes for Adam Lallana.
Ross Barkley, 6: Very promising for the Everton midfielder, coming close on a number of occasions. He still has time to make his mark for England.
Jack Wilshere, 5: Not much to be said, really. Didn’t get involved in much. He had a few decent runs, but didn’t stand out for England.
Adam Lallana, 5: Only 10 minutes to make his mark, Lallana wasn’t given enough time to show what he had in his locker. A cameo appearance for him.
So, next up for England are Uruguay and Costa Rica. Can they make it through the group? The nation expects.
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