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All Things Footie | Tuesday, October 9 | Jordan

"What a great finale.."

"yeah, especially towards the end.."

- alan hansen and mark lawrenson

To start with, I'm not going to jump on the backs of everyone but Beckham. There's no laying off the midfield though (except old Golden Balls himself of course).

Steven Gerrard's passing was abysmal, having an off day? fair enough. But there is no excuse for trying 60 yard balls for an hour of the game when every time they failed to get anywhere near their intended target (if there was one). What he needed to do was show a bit of maturity and learn from his mistakes... 'the long ball's aren't working today, better just keep it simple until I get my rhythm going.' Paul Scholes at least did a lot of running, again his distribution was poor and he got too frustrated with himself - at least he got his head down and tried though - definately not a performance he'll wish to remember. I'm not 100% sure why Nick Barmby turned up - no desire, a serious lack of ability and completely ignoring his placing on the left side of the pitch were his main downfalls. If he stayed where he was told he may have helped out with the serious problem on the left - even Emile Heskey managed to help Ashley Cole out with handling the excellent Christos Patsatzoglou.

I'm going to be controversial and say that I thought the defence didn't do too badly. There's no ignoring Ashley Cole's culpability for the first goal, however it must be said that it was a superb bit of football by the Greeks and a stunning finish (which I though Nigel Martyn should have at least got a glove to). The second goal was a shambles but off a set piece the designated defenders aren't the only people responsible for keeping the ball out of the net. Given the lack of cover from midfield - balls slipped through them stones through a wet paper bag - and a superb man of the match performance by Giorgos Karagounis - I thought the defence did well to keep the goals down to two. Nigel Martyn did well in the second half after some shaky 'keeping in the first 45 minutes, a couple of spilled stops and some dodgy positional play. Rio Ferdinand made a superb saving challenge in the second half, although he hardly covered himself in glory, and Martin Keown didn't do all that badly - he worked hard and covered the ground he needed to cover. It's unfair to heap too much blame on Ashley Cole for the first goal, and the complete absence of anyone to cover him (Nick Barmby spent half the match wandering around the centre circle) when Greece mounted a prolonged 3 man attack down the wing was inexcuseable on Barmby's behalf (unless Sven told him to go inside - in which case its a tactical error).

Robbie Fowler joined Barmby on the 'should've stayed at home' list, no invention, desire or fitness. Emile Heskey was better in the second half, when all he had to do was get in the way but Sven surely has to realise soon that Heskey is not of international pedigree. Too many time his touch, imagination and reading of the game let him down - and anything he did well could have been done by a first division player.

More than enough has been said about David Beckham - one of the all time greats and no exaggeration.

All Things Footie man of the match - Giorgos Karagounis sorry Becks, but you've got to remember that Greece were expected to lose (some though quite heavily) and they didn't. In fact they were unlucky to only get a point and outplayed their opponents away from home. My only choice was to give it to Karagounis or goalkeeper Antonis Nikopolidis. Well done Greece.

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