SPAIN may have had a shocker yesterday, but I’d still be feeling far happier if I was a fan of the European champions than I am as an England follower.
We have had a chance to see every team in action now, and I think it is fair to say Vicente del Bosque’s men suffered the most disappointing result of all.
But it was Fabio Capello’s sorry lot who put in the worst performance, at least compared
to their and our expectations.
England had problems all over the pitch in their opener against the USA and I’ve been
disappointed by the noises coming out of the camp since the game. They don’t seem to have acknowledged how bad they were.
Capello’s team selection was poor. For instance he picked Ledley King on the right side
of central defence when he usually plays on the left for Tottenham. King is used to the
movements of his normal side and, when you are carrying an injury, that just makes it harder to adapt.
He should let Wayne Rooney play on his own up front, with Frank Lampard and Steven Gerrard bombing forward in support, and I’d have Joe Hart in goal. He is in form, ready to go, and Algeria, who are likely to have very few shots, are perfect opponents to pick up experience.
By contrast, Germany have been the outstanding team in the opening exchanges and it
will be interesting to see if they can keep it up.
Although Australia are not the strongest of opposition, no-one expected Germany to produce such a pacy performance featuring four goals of real quality.
Perhaps the injury to captain Michael Ballack has been a blessing in disguise, in that it has allowed other players, such as the impressive Mesut Ozil, to come to the fore.