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All Things Footie | Wednesday, April 2 | Jordan

Pressure to perform

‘F*ckin’ brilliant mate you were f*ckin’ brilliant.’
— David Beckham to Wayne Rooney (lip-read)

And I have to say I agree with him. There’s not a lot to say really; Rooney, Campbell, Butt were all superb. Wayne Bridge and Steven Gerarrd were great in the second half but hugely wasteful in the first; Beckham was atrocious all night, his passing, finishing, crossing and free kicks were all way off the mark. Good penalty mind, and he did run himself silly. Could have got sent off, it’ll be interesting to see how the team do without him in Slovakia.

Talking of Beckham, he looked pretty wound up for long periods in the first half, I wonder if one of the Turkish players said something particularly offensive to him to wind him up so much. Whatever it was, he could learn a great deal from players like Emile Heskey, Patrick Vieira and Sol Campbell who have faced some horrendous racial abuse and countered it without kicking people up in the air and losing their cool.

‘If Turkey don’t hammer us on Wednesday it will only be because we bore them to death.’
— all things footie, 30 March 2003

Yes I was very wrong. I failed to take one thing into consideration though, the Heskey factor. The equation is simple Sven, no Heskey and England play well; include the cumbersome oaf and the whole team suffers. I’m not sure Owen helps either, and if his diving got as much press as Francis Jeffers’ then Arsenal fans would be less paranoid. Like Beckham, Owen looked pretty wound up for most of his time on the pitch, snatching at chances and miscontrolling simple balls (no change there then). I wonder if he’s pissed off at no longer being the golden boy of English football. The reception Wayne Rooney got from the fans was awesome, and his standing ovation more than deserved.

Just touching on the subject of the crowd, great noise everyone; the pitch invasions after each goal were worrying — have you ever seen so many Burberry caps in one place? The idiots trying to stop Turkish fans entering the ground should never be allowed to watch football again, wake up you morons, what are you so scared of? Did you honestly think you’d achieve anything other than looking stupid?

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