Defoe Rounds Off England Win

By Jim Bonner
Last updated : 12 October 2008
Pompey's Jermain Defoe scored in stoppage time at Wembley to put the icing on a flattering 5-1 win for England.

The majority of England fans will agree that the result was harsh on a Kazakhstan side who worked hard but were ultimately undone by their own poor defending.

However, the bottom line is that we are top of our qualifying group having taken nine points from nine, scoring eleven goals and only conceding two in the process.

Once again the national side struggled to find any rythmn under the watchful eyes of the expectant home crowd but credit should be given to the opposition for making it difficult like any side that are heavy underdogs should.

The main talking point will be the outrageous jeering of Ashley Cole after his backpass let in Zhambyl Kukeyev to slot past David James who was left stranded by the mistake of his teammate.

Now, I'll be the first to admit that I'm not one of Ashley Cole's biggest fans due to his greediness and his audacity to cheat on his wife who happens to be one of the best looking women in the country. But for England fans to be booing of one of our own players is absolutely pathetic.

You could make arguements as to why the booing began but Ashley is not a robot and having his own fans turn against him is only going to damage his confidence and therefore damage England's chances of a result.

He'll now go into a tough game away at Belarus on Wednesday knowing that he'll be in the spotlight and any little mistake he makes will be magnified by the press and the idiotic section of England's so-called supporters. You could argue that this goes for every England player anyway but the pressure is now greater on England's left back.

Moving on and it is clear that 4-5-1 doesn't work for England at home after an unproductive first half yesterday. I can see what Capello was trying to do with Gerrard and Lampard in midfield with Barry as the holding player but it didn't really work, but the biggest problem was that Rooney was completely ineffective on the left wing which brings me to my next question.

Why hasn't Ashley Young been given a chance?

I think he's a cracking player. He's quick, can cross and can take a good set-piece and yet can't even find his way into the national side despite our problems on the left wing.

Capello is supposedly selecting players based on performances for their club so why can't the player of the month for September get in the team yet Wayne "happy-to-do-nothing-and-collect-my-salary" Bridge finds himself in the setup? It must be frustrating for him and no doubt he'll take his frustration out on Pompey by scoring against us next week.

Overall, I'm happy with England's situation despite the booing of our own players and strange tactical selections. It was good to see Defoe on the scoresheet but Glen Johnson and Peter Crouch will have to work very hard to get Wes Brown and Emile Heskey out of the side respectively.

I do think Capello will get it right when it matters as shown by the result in Croatia but now it is up to him to find the best way for England to play at home.

Moving on to other countries now and it looks like that Croatia may be missing Niko Kranjcar after they drew in Ukraine, making England the only team with a 100% record in Group 6.

Ben Sahar made a late cameo appearance in a 3-1 win for Israel at Luxembourg but the World Cup dream already looks faint for Hermann Hriedarsson as Iceland were beaten 2-0 by Holland.

Things are looking better for our African players as Nigeria ended the first round of the CAF section qualifying with a 100% record after beating Sierra Leone 4-1, although Kanu was an unused substitute and John Utaka never even made the squad.

Algeria will join Nigeria in the second group phase despite a 0-0 draw with Liberia as Pompey's Nadir Belhadj played the full match. However, Senegal are out.

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