England Draw 1-1 with Montenegro in a Game of Two Halves

It does seem a commonly used cliche but this really was a game of two halves.

England were going into this game high on confidence after they outplayed and outclassed a poor opposition in San Marino.

Montenegro were always going to be a tough prospect for Roy Hodgson’s men to face.

Captain Steven Gerrard and Ashley Cole were one of several changes made for this World Cup Qualifying match.

The first half seemed nothing to worry about. Wayne Rooney was proving once again influential and hit the post early on.

And minutes later Rooney put England 1-0 up with a header from a Gerrard cross.

And it stayed like that until half time. Much of the first saw England play some intelligent football. Danny Welbeck in particular proved key.

Montenegro made changes at half time and attempted to become more attacking.

As England began to fold, Montenegro did the opposite.

The inevitable happened and the equaliser eventually came.

At 1-1, with 15 minutes to go both teams tried to get the winner but this came to avail.

It was no surprise that the game ended a stalemate. A game of two halves saw the gap between England and Montenegro stay at 2 points with Montenegro still on top.

It is definitely unclear who will eventually qualify. Poland and Ukraine should also not be forgotten.

England’s campaign will continue in September. Whether they will reach the World Cup is another question.


England Thrash San Marino

Friday saw England take on the minnows San Marino in what proved to be more of a training regime that a World Cup Qualifier.

For San Marino were, as expected, poor, and England came out 8-0 winners.

The opening goal in England’s record-breaking goal scoring exploits came from a San Marino player, who comically turned the ball into his own net. The beginning of the inevitable destruction had begun.

Goal highlights include Wayne Rooney’s beautifully placed free kick and Ashley Young’s smashing drive from distance.

For a team ranked 207th in the world, San Marino never looked like creating anything. It was indeed a lesson in football and England got the job done.

This performance was never going the put Roy Hodgson and his men to the sword but England were ruthless.

Previously, a controversial squad exit from Rio Ferdinand had blighted the England camp but this did not take any hold over the game.

As a football nation, San Marino is non-existent. Their manager is a PE Teacher at a school and all of the players have a day job alongside their international pedigree. Their stadium is tiny and England came to do a job and they luckily did.

Tuesday sees England take on Montenegro in what is sure to be more of a spectacle for any fan, although there are sure to be far fewer goals.

England vs. Wales – Six Nations Crunch Time

Saturday at 5:00pm will see England take on Wales in a crunch match to decide whether the Six Nations trophy will be returning to Cardiff or, for the first time in 10 years; England. 

With 4 impressive and tenacious wins out of 4, England need a win at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff to secure the title. However, if the Welsh do win by a margin of more than 7 points, then they will take home the crown. 

Last Sunday, a passionate and somewhat dodgy performance saw England win against Italy at Twickenham. Since the beginning, they have not won any game by a comfortable margin. Instead, tough performances have given them the wins. 

A fairly youthful and inexperienced outfit, many of Stuart Lancaster’s side will not have experienced playing in Cardiff, where the Welsh atmosphere will be rousing. For this reason, the match will be a classic.

In an interview for the BBC, earlier this week, England defence coach, Andy Farrell spoke here about how experience for England will come through important matches saying that:

“Experience has to start somewhere and we have to be challenging to win our first trophy.”

Lancaster’s side is impressive. A major reshuffle after the disastrous World Cup Campaign, which saw an early exit under the guidance of Martin Johnson, led to a whole new line-up of talent.

Under captain Chris Robshaw; who has little over single figured caps, England has a great potential. Owen Farrell, as Fly Half, at just 21, has seen England through many moments of the Six Nations. He will be back on Saturday and will be looking to improve after a tough time had against France.

For me, I cannot wait. Alongside an England win, a Chris Ashton swan dive would go down a treat, much to the disgust of the watching Welsh fans. The game will have everything in it, including some crunching tackles.

 One thing that is clear is this is not one to miss.