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England failed to deliver

2010-07-01 09:50
Peter Shilton

The game against Germany was a real nightmare! Losing to our rivals, in such a disastrous manner was embarrassing and summed up England’s whole tournament for me.

Our defending was a shambles; Matthew Upson and John Terry were caught out too many times and could have prevented all of the goals from being conceded. I think the game proved how much of a blow losing Rio Ferdinand was. As an experienced and world-class defender we could have done with his international experience in a game like this. Terry is a great defender and competitor, but he is not necessarily a leader and could have benefited with having Rio next to him in the middle of the defence.

Some of the blame has to lie with goalkeeper David James who was beaten at his near post on two occasions and should not have hesitated in leaving his area to collect the ball before Miroslav Klose got to it for the first goal. He was left in no-man’s land as Klose stabbed it past him and his positioning was just not good enough. From a goalkeeping point of view in terms of technique, this was poor. There was no communication between him and the back four. The cohesion was poor and this ultimately led to serious mistakes being made. 

There was no doubt that Frank Lampard’s disallowed goal was a major turning point in the game. I have called for video technology for many years and in this instance England suffered badly as a consequence. Going into the break at 2-2 would have given the England boys a real lift and I am sure the result would have been very different. We cannot use this as an excuse as we had a team capable of scoring again, but we simply lacked creativity in the final third.

The errors that were made were real schoolboy mistakes. I believe that despite his natural ability, Gareth Barry is just not a good enough defender to adopt the midfield holding role. We have seen holding midfielders in the past have the energy and determination to win the ball back, but I don’t think he has that. None of the midfield four are natural defenders and we needed one individual to make sure that the defence was protected.

The game was a catalogue of errors from start to finish. I don’t think Germany played that much better, but they took their chances and benefited from poor defending on England’s part. There was no communication throughout the team and this was their undoing, the Germans simply looked like a team and England didn’t. A disappointing end to a disappointing tournament for England!

Former England goalkeeper, Peter Shilton, is an ambassador for British Airways - the official airline of the England 2018 World Cup Bid.

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