We have a penalty spot, need we have crosshairs too?
Well, the job had to be done and it was. 2-0 on Wednesday and I feel as if we were cheated, as if the England team gave little than they know they can. Harsh. It seemed they made effort to score but their misses would be on par with a Sunday pub team. Gerrard's and Beckham's goals were decent, particularly Lampard's ball to Beckham and Beckham's position, timing and finish. Rooney played more than a goalgetter, he fought and linked and created, got himself about often and without temperament. Had Azerbaijan scored through Gurbanov in the first half, what would have been England's playability then? So watertight our defence, yet the Azeris' were thought to contain little until Nabiyev broke through on goal to be thwarted by Robinson, somewhat comfortably.
Owen and Rooney were carrying yellow cards into the game, and it was Owen who was booked for handballing a chance in front of goal that he clearly should have touched with his head instead. Why he did it, only he knows, as a result he misses England's next game.
Where could Alberto Carlos have comprehended Owen's supposed pre-match comments about scoring several in the game? Does he not know Owen? Doesn't he think it better to hear from Eriksson before passing comments in return? Isn't he of the old school where the feet do the talking, coaches do the walking, instead of retorting to that which may not have been said in the first place? Owen has never blown his own trumpet to that degree, ever. He scored a hat-trick against Germany, that's as far as it has gotten. The Brazilian should have had a cool drink of water before entering the post-match conference, his words were smacking of hurt right through. Once again, Owen is faced with comments regarding his position in the Real team, but he is immune to that, he knows he has to knuckle down, take it on the chin, and work through.
Briefly. Moan-rinho is banned from the touchline for the QF Champs League fixture, both legs, and fined by UEFA. Chelsea will appeal unless they go through comfortably, in which case they can still turn around to UEFA and be rude. I don't think his ban will make a difference, but Steve Clarke and one other were reprimanded. UEFA made an example of Moan-rinho, not Chelsea. The Portuguese coach can take that.
Jermaine Pennant released after 31 days, on a electronic tag I believe for 15 days and then he will be on licence for the next 90 days. It seemed a waste of time to have imprisoned him if he were to be released so early. Should have served 90 days and then released, served his punishment, that is currently the legal rule, but at the least he has tasted prison and should be deterred from doing anything to warrant being put back in. Signing for Birmingham is a good starter to return to porridge. Scoring against Liverpool in future is an absolute no-no.