The Algerian football team, nicknamed ‘Les Fennecs’ (The Desert Foxes) certainly outfoxed England last night on the football field. This comes hard on the heels of a disappointing draw against the USA.
Their team reportedly made up of more French born players than the home grown variety ground out a draw against a less than inspiring England. For the English side1966 now looks much further away than its mere 44 years.
The Algerian fans were left in a definite carnival mood whilst Wayne Rooney took a swipe at the fans for booing his side on their performance.
The England Captain, Steven Gerrard, was very honest in his assessment though and basically said that his side just did not cut the mustard on the night. Something every pundit in the land will agree with him on.
Even the Algerian coach Rabah Saadane was moved to say that England had played woefully below par. "I was expecting better, I don't know what happened. The England team was not up to its level. They played better against the USA.” He said. That should send a shiver down the spine of the England manager Fabio Capello who now obviously has a string of headaches to cure.
Fabio Capello did show resolve when he made the very late call for James to replace Green in goal. He will have to show more of the same to turn England quickly into the world beating team we all want them to be.
The really worrying thing is that the players were obviously giving their all. There was industry and commitment. But what seemed to be lacking was ideas. Apart from two or three flurries of well connected play most of it looked laboured.
The team’s next opponents are Slovenia. The Englishmen need to find something to bolster their performance and fast if they are to get through to the next round.
Well at least, win or lose, there’s always the entertainment of a ‘bloodbath budget’ to look forward to next week.