I TOOK a long, hard look at the Germans in their final group game against Ghana last night and, to be honest, I really don’t think England have anything to fear.
I thought Bastian Schweinsteiger and Lucas Podolski looked off the pace, while the defence, for me, were vulnerable to pace and weren’t as organised as you would expect a German back four to be.
Indeed, but for better Ghanaian finishing, the result would’ve been a whole lot different.
One player England will have to watch out for is Mesut Ozil, who pulls the strings in the midfield and is their main man going forward. Capello will need to find away to stop him but, if we can do that, then I can see England marching further onwards in Bloemfontein on Sunday.
After a highly-charged week, it was refreshing to see England put in a positive performance in Port Elizabeth yesterday. They looked more focused, played with passion and gave it a real go.
We looked slick with our passing and carved the Slovenian defence open on numerous occasions, in the first half especially, before nerves seemed to kick in as the game went on.
James Milner was a major plus point. He gives the side tremendous energy and work ethic on that right hand side, while floating in a number of dream crosses for the strikers to attack.
It was a performance in the ilk of David Beckham, giving England that quality outlet they
lacked in the opening two games.
The one down side of the afternoon was the sight of Wayne Rooney limping off, but the signs are that the knock to his ankle is not that serious and that he should be fine to play the Germans on Sunday. You try keeping him away, in fact.
Wayne, inset, looked like he was gaining in confidence all the time, linking up well with Steven Gerrard and Jermain Defoe and twice going close to getting on the scoresheet himself.
Such was the overall performance, I can’t see Capello making any changes for the Germany game. John Terry was immense at the back and showed a good understanding with Matthew Upson, while Milner and Defoe gave us a dynamic and inventive look at the other end.
There’s still more to come from this England side, that’s for sure – and what better game than a knockout tie against the Germans to show it!
Ray Parlour, the ex-Arsenal and England star – on behalf of Spirit Events, tel: 01268 281725 – is opening the new Paddy Power bookmakers’ in Canary Wharf at 11am today.