Disappointing was the draw with the Americans......very. We scored early and well, good play between Emile Heskey
and Steven Gerrard for our goal in the 4th
minute, but we then didn't capitalise on the way we had opened the American defence. Instead we allowed them to show what they can do, and obviously they had their spring in their step particularly from dead-ball moments.
A few free-kicks later and we seemed to be floundering in clearing danger, one ball went over Ledley King who at 6ft plus should have made it, the danger nonetheless came to nothing. So both sides began to come at each other almost equally, at a push the USA had more possession than we did. Shouldn't be happening.
However, the error made by Rob Green, notwithstanding it was an absolute howler, was NOT the reason why we drew the game. The reason why he made the mistake was NOT because he didn't get his body behind the ball (which so many media writers are using), but because he didn't get his hands behind the ball. His body was there, his hands were not totally, the path of the ball therefore struck the outside of his right hand and spun off into the goal. It almost seemed a destined event, the way it happened with very little recovery, no chance to grab the ball back or even claw it away.
We still had five minutes after the equaliser to score, we even had a break of 15mins and then another period of 45mins+ to score another, and we failed. THAT is the reason we didn't win the game, the RG howler occurred in one minute, we still had 89mins+ to score more than one goal.
What also didn't help was the needless bookings of James Milner, Jamie Carragher and Gerrard. Milner was not well, beggars the question why he played in the first place. Carragher went through the back of I think Clint Dempsey, and Gerrard appeared to have been too outspoken about his challenge on Dempsey. Wayne Rooney as in and out of the game, Aaron Lennon hardly picked up the number of chances to tear down the right as expected, King didn't last more than one half, much less one game, Carragher seemed slightly erratic, and Heskey SHOULD have rifled the net with a blaster when put through by Lennon.
Green did block out Jozy Altidore when through at an angle, something which the so-called writers put down to outpacing Carragher with ease, despite the fact Carragher couldn't challenge at that pace with a booking hanging over his head and the positioning being in the box! Playing as a unit, we were cracking up in front of their goal. We had little stability upfront and our chances were doomed as they started. If we have the ball wide for a delivery, we're aiming for the likes of Rooney, Heskey, and another out of Lampard or Gerrard, a minimum of three in the box.
Now we face Algeria who also had a goalkeeping clanger that actually cost them their game with Slovenia. What do we do?? Drop Green for Joe Hart, if David James isn't fit? Green has been a decent keeper under pressure for club, who narrowly avoided relegation, and I would like to see a top keeper handle that pressure all season. He has made a number of good saves for club, but it would have been a very tight call between him and Blackburn's Paul Robinson. Not because of anything Sam Allardyce said but Robinson had done well last season, possibly better than Green.
Maybe Fabio Capello chose Green because he saw a keeper under big pressure all season. I would have taken Robinson myself, but as it stands, Green is there and if he is in goal, we get behind him. I think he will have learned from the error and could well be a better keeper for it. But this constant talking over it is monotonous. The so-called 'mistake' that occurred in Zagreb, October 2006 was replied over and over again, and Robinson is STILL attached to blame for it.
It was a kick on the rear to draw, so we show character, guile, strength and unity, we want the win, we NEED the win, we have players who can player very well, and we do our thing. We do what we know we can do, and we do it for 90mins+.