So, England trots out against the mighty and shining Platinum Stars and comes away with a relatively lacklustre 3-0 victory just five days before their World Cup starts against the Stars and Bars crew in which we see both the good side and bad side of Wayne Rooney, who US defender Jay DeMerit already thinks he can goad into trouble on Saturday. What, with Watford is better than Man. Utd. taunts? Maybe they can just have a pleasant chat about American tycoon Malcolm Glazer’s balance sheets.
There’s still no clear answer on Fabio Capello’s plans for goal, with David James rested today and Joe Hart starting behind what looks like the first choice back four in Glen Johnson, Ledley King, John Terry and Ashley Cole.
The old midfield problem children Frank Lampard and Steven Gerrard shared the middle of park without much success after the first two minutes, when Gerrard set up Jermain Defoe, paired with Tottenham partner Peter Crouch in the dreary first 45. Joe Cole played all 90 on the left, the only man to play the full match, proving he’s ready for a start on Saturday.
On the other side, it seems Don Fabio and El Tel think Shaun Wright-Phillips provides better defensive abilities than Aaron Lennon, who came on as one of the 10 halftime substitutes.
The 10 switcheroos, the gents Capello spent his halftime chatting with on the pitch, included Robert Green in goal, Stephen Carragher, Michael Dawson, Matthew Upson and Stephen Warnock at the back, Lennon, Michael Carrick and James Milner in the middle and Emile Heskey and Rooney up front, with Rooney setting up Cole and firing home the third with a cannoned volley after Milner pulled it back to him. Rooney is sure to start Saturday, and Heskey, it seems, may be alongside to begin. Still no idea how Gareth Barry fits into this team, if it all, against the American. I’m guessing he’ll be on the subs bench.
Rooney’s solitary performance in creative flair depth in attack might be less of a concern if Don Fabio had thought about giving Mr. Scholes a ring a bit sooner, thus allowing him more time to decide that yes, he did want to take the squad position of someone who had helped the team throughout qualifying. And since when does the Oldham Evening Chronicle get a Paul Scholes exclusive? Can’t believe I let my subscription lapse.