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GavTWTD added 01:04 - Jun 15
I was pleased with the way we set ourselves up for this one. Sterling was superb. No criticism for Roy in my opinion. The subs were sensible. Think we tired towards the end.

Makes getting out of the group very difficult but all is not lost - yet.
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muccletonjoe added 09:39 - Jun 15
The game as a whole was a fairly even affair. England went forward with pace and purpose particularly in the first half , sterling and wellbeck both causing problems to sluggish italian defence. It must be said , the italians could have drove a tractor down their right side with Baines often left with two players to deal with and no one covering the overlap. A problem which persisted and was not addressed for the entire game. The italians first goal came from a rehearsed corner on their right side and could hardly be blamed on an unsigjted joe hart. To their credit England replied with their best move of the game , a pinpoint pass from rooney ,dispatched clinically by sturriddge. After the break the italians continued to exploit the wide open spaces on the left of the english defence and it came as no surprise to me when a cross from this area lead to balotelli heading home the winning goal. The usual huff and puff followed from England with , it has to be said , very little effect. Could still qualify , provided the problem on the left is dealt with.
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Hoppersblue10 added 11:40 - Jun 15
Thought we did well going forward, clearly issues defensively down our left, that needs sorting out.!

We put in a good overall performance certainly more positive than negative thoughts for me, possibly a big ask to now get out of the group for this world cup but the signs are good for the next couple of tournaments.
Roy was good to his word and played the young lions, fair play to him for that, he would have got an 8/10 from me.!
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Mullet added 14:26 - Jun 15
Interesting and depressing to see the same lazy criticisms on here and elsewhere but also refreshing to see the many well informed types embracing the positives of this England team.

How nice was it to see us pass the ball about? Even when both sides were dog tired we moved it and worked it in the face of a solid blue wall - no humping. Yes, it was a shame we lost our way and couldn't get back into the game for a second time but how refreshing is our front line?

Only Colombia played with such joy and abandon so far this tournament, we just lacked the class and the focused deadly power that the Dutch excelled with.

I have to say while Rooney didn't cover the flanks well and Baines was exposed, the full back was also very patchy in all areas. Like a few out there he was fine when he had the space and time but struggled under pressure.

The Italian middle was sensational. We all knew about Pirlo and yet he still was given the yard he needed all too often. He just looked up and flicked it to the right flank unchecked numerous times, that was the real crux of the problem. Both he and De Rossi must have made 90% of their passes and that for me begs questions of Stevie G.

He's the main man for Liverpool in a similar role last night with club mate Henderson beside him he neither did or lead. That allowed us to be stifled in the middle and when we did get up a head of steam we really did put the Italians on the back foot at times.

If Welbeck was supposed to do that job on Pirlo from the middle then it wasn't working and I'm not sure that Roy followed Scholes' thinking there. He like Rooney and the Liverpool kids were great with their tails up but there was a disconnect between the solid CB partnership and the front line that was exploited all too readily. For all the criticism of Johnson beforehand I didn't think he did too badly in supporting us he just has a clear lack of class doesn't he?

Why was no one doubling up on the runner to cover Baines if they werent going to stop the passes at source in the midfield? Why wasn't Rooney allowed to go back into the centre and Welbeck moved to the flank if we wanted more discipline in that regard? Those were really the main questions I had from last night.

Some negatives yes, but to be honest expectations were so low before the tournament to be narrowly edged by the Italians in that fashion is neither that bad or a cause for the usual am-drams from the white vans innit. Tabloid favourite Wilshere was distinctly average in the centre too, I hope that was due to the quality in front of him making him look so lacklustre but he seems to be a player declining with each successive injury some games.

I still think we can take 6 points. I wouldn't be surprised to see the Italians stumble at least once. Wide open group where last night's opponents could finish in any position still.
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Swansea_Blue added 22:30 - Jun 15
PJ OUT!!
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Edmunds5 added 23:06 - Jun 15
I couldn't make the game, it was a long way away

I thought we started the brighter of the two sides, most of the football was played in their half the first 20 minutes with the pacey trio of Sterling, Welbeck and Sturridge looking particularly impressive. I also thought we retrieved the ball very quickly and swamped round the Italian midfield quickly, not allowing them to push up and control the game in the way they wanted.

I think Henderson also deserves a mention, I thought he was very good first half, disciplined, useful in possession and had a decent effort well saved, faded slightly second but your bound to playing against 3 talented players in difficult conditions. I thought he outshone Gerrard throughout actually, with the latter having a slightly low key game and couldn't have the inspiration he's had both in a Liverpool and England shirt previous.

Watching the game I did feel we were the underdogs somewhat, because whilst we were probably on top the opposition didn't look particularly uneasy, and almost felt like they were happy to soak up pressure knowing they had the quality to turn the game at any moment. Which they did through Marchisio's well struck opener.

Our instant reply was an example of how elusive we can be, with the pace and ability we have up front I wouldn't be surprised if we score another goal or two very similar to our equalizer in the coming games.
Second half was slightly more even with the tempo dipping, but again I still felt we looked the livelier of the two sides, but with Balotelli up front they always had an outlet and as the game went on I feel we became a little wasteful, particularly when crossing though fatigue may have played a part.

An exciting game to watch and positives going forward, particularly offensively, the full-back areas remain the most vulnerable positions in my view and with some wanting to see Rooney in a more familiar role, Roy has selection dilemmas ahead of Uruguay.
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5 SepBristol R CCH3 - 01
8 SepBristol R H1 - 22
13 SepWigan H2 - 00
16 SepFulham CCH0 - 12
19 SepBristol R A0 - 25
26 SepRochdale H2 - 02

3 OctMK Dons A1 - 16
6 OctGillingham H2 - 01
10 OctBlackpool A1 - 47
17 OctAcc. Stanley H2 - 07
20 OctDoncaster A4 - 15
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