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England 1-1 with Japan

Everyone played well except David Beckham. He spent the whole game holding hands with Steven Gerrard in the middle or even on the left. He needed to be on the right, as Gerrard was on the left, providing service from the flank. It was his fault that Japan scored as well.

The midfield apart from him was good. Frank Lampard did a much better job of the 'Nicky Butt' role than Butt could ever do. His passing was excellent, and he chose the right times to pass and follow the ball up the pitch. Steven Gerrard filled in behind Frank when needed. Paul Scholes wasn't great, never seemed to be in the right position and didn't track back at all but with the ball he set the tempo as ever with his one-touch passing.

Rooney had little to do, but chased everything down and looked keen nonetheless. Michael Owen was sharp, had a great effort after his quick feet to beat the defender and did well to score the goal.

The d
England are obviously not going to play at full pelt in a friendly against Japan. England may not be the best team in the tournament but they're hard to beat and that could help them go a long way.
Obviously I never saw the game but I did keep up with the play via Guardian unlimited football.......

The guy who described the play every couple of minutes made it sound like that most of the English players were ineffective, and defensively poor - allowing the Japs numerous shots on goal. Lampard was described as not having one of his better games. The crowd were less then receptive at the conclusion.

Was this not the case?????

Really, friendly or not, England should put Japan away comfortably at home.
Originally posted by NZL fan@Jun 2 2004, 10:40 AM
Really, friendly or not, England should put Japan away comfortably at home.
Japan have proven that they have there fair share of class players, and soccer (football) teams in the top 15 in the world always seem to even out (barring perhaps brazil)... like France losing every game in their pool for example.
England in friendlies under Sven have been crap. They don't seem up for it. Look at Ireland and their friendlies at Landsdowne road, every player doing his best for the team and they have had excellent results, beating the Czech Rep. and drawing with Brazil.

For the France game I am confident that every player will do their best and play to their capabilities and that we do have a chance of getting a result.
I need help with this weeks tips. Who would you go for out of Iceland and England?

Whilst we were off the mark last night, it was definately with fitness than quality. Everyone knows we have a great team. You can certainly tell that the Japanese are a team who've been playing matches - we looked knackered and Sven did very much the right thing by waiting until the 77th minute before making his first changes.

They'll be ready to go by the France game, which is possibly Sven's hardest task as England manager.

A few notes:

A) Paul Scholes was utter dross last night. His presence in the team restricts the influence of Lampard. DROP HIM NOW! He has been totally ineffective for far too long to get away with it - if I was doing my job as badly as he is, I'd be sacked.

Steven Gerrard is NOT a left sided player. He's the most influential centre midfielder in the world at the moment. By dropping Scholes we could play Joe Cole on the left, and have some width and some skill out wide. Gerrard is too good to be on the left.

C) The Japanese are a very good team, who will cause anyone in world football problems. Their sheer pace is a worry for anyone - would love to see them have a run at the French back four.

D) "Alex" - what a lovely Japanese name!

Not too worried about this result, not that I'm exactly dancing on the ceiling about it. In my opinion, this tournament is all about FITNESS. Not results, or team selection, but FITNESS. The players had a deserved rest after their long season - they'll be fit, ready, and raring to go against France, that I promise you.
hahahaha, this is way off topic but....
i heard the the all whites lost to vanuatu!!
hahaha now thats f***en pathetic!!
also, Aussie drew 2-2 with the soloman islands?
i think FIFA have to do some serious work with oceania.
if football could get a REAL foothold in aussie and nz they could really stamp out what little fight rugby union is giving them at the moment.

on the topic of the Japan game, i think england didnt go too bad. you have to remember that japan are a great side. and they have a team capable of knocking of most sides on there day.
england will be better for the game in my opninon. well, they must have been because i heard they thrashed iceland.
They did. Australia put up a 2nd/3rd string side against the Soloman Islands.. we drew so New Zealand misses out on qualifying. That's why they're so mad.

Soccer tips for this week:
France or England (or draw)
Russia or Spain (or draw)

If somebody could help me out?
I think England have a good chance of beating France, while Spain will continue to underachieve and open with a draw against the Russians, having said that my track record of tips isn't the best.
Thanks guys. I feel ashamed at myself but does anyone know who will win the Fiji/Samoa clash (rugby). I'm not to sure on the sides and Fiji only just beat Tonga by a point so I'm a but uneasy on that.

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