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greek football failure

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greek football failure

Postby laptanige » Thu Aug 17, 2006 8:37 am

Just in case you did not see the game here is the match report


England (4) 4 Greece (0) 0

Steve McClaren had England supporters singing in the rain at Old Trafford last night, giving them belief in the future after the damp squib of the World Cup campaign. Owen Hargreaves was voted man of the match, but this was all about the manager of the match and McClaren left to a standing ovation.


Roaring success: John Terry and Steve McClaren enjoyed their roles
More substantial tests lie in wait, and the Greek defence certainly came bearing gifts, but at least McClaren's England have raced out of the blocks with speed and style, particularly the midfielders who seemed liberated by the new regime. McClaren's desire for the team to raise their tempo was wonderfully in evidence, with a hunger and pace rarely witnessed in England friendlies in recent years.

How Old Trafford loved it. How those thousands of England fans who stayed at home must have regretted not seeing at first hand how England treated possession so well. The European champions were put to the sword in the first half, with McClaren's England wielding both the rapier of Stewart Downing's deft running and the broadsword of Steven Gerrard's all-action, all-adrenalin surges.

Both were outstanding, as were Hargreaves, Rio Ferdinand and the captain, John Terry, who began the scoring spree. Frank Lampard scored the second, so ending any doubts about his importance to the cause of St George, before Peter Crouch added two.

Four goals to the good by the break, England could easily have been refuelling at half-time with 7-Up. Here were England playing with speed of mind and body, moving the ball quickly between receptive feet. Hargreaves was terrific, anchoring with energy and a wonderful relish for the well-timed tackle, so granting the Manchester United supporters present a glimpse of what might be if Sir Alex Ferguson can prise him from Bayern Munich.

With Hargreaves giving England such comprehensive insurance, Gerrard raided irrepressibly forward. Nominally stationed on the right, the Liverpool dynamo appeared to have a licence to roam and create havoc, at one point cropping up to good effect on the left.

That flank was primarily patrolled by the excellent Downing, who constantly stretched Greece, creating space. Of equal encouragement for England was the sight of Lampard looking far more like his confident old self, parading his terrific touch time after time, releasing colleagues and looking for chances to show the thunder in his boots.

The belief flowing through English veins was also reflected in Ferdinand's contribution. A technically adept centre-half was encouraged to step into midfield; once was interesting, twice was eyebrow-raising but when Ferdinand joined midfield for the third time, a new tactical theme was clearly under way.
An encouraging new epoch was certainly waxing. The banner bearing the plea 'Bring Becks Back' was beginning to hang a little limply, and not simply because of the downpour. Life without Goldenballs' dead-balls remains an issue, yet Downing and Lampard lifted in some impressive corners. Without Beckham, though, England have lost a weapon at free-kicks.

Yet England seem intent on playing in a higher gear now. The McClaren-Terry reign certainly got off to the perfect start, England snatching the lead after 14 minutes through Beckham's successor as captain. The goal embodied England's up-tempo feel.

When Lampard lifted in a quick free-kick, the towering Crouch headed back across goal, where Antonios Nikopolidis made a nervy, punched clearance. Again England were sharpest to the ball, the busy Downing heading back in. The Greeks were caught out badly, failing to react to the escalating danger.

One man read the unfolding situation best. As Downing's ball flew back in, Terry leapt above Angelos Charisteas to head in before being engulfed by celebrating team-mates. A popular choice as captain, Terry confirmed his place in the affections of colleagues and supporters with his second international goal.

England were in the mood, Crouch almost triggering a Mexican wave with a couple of step-overs. Lampard was thoroughly enjoying himself, erasing the memory of a profligate World Cup on the half-hour. Brilliantly anticipating a pass from Charisteas, he traded passes with Jermain Defoe and raced into the box. Meeting the ball with his left foot, Lampard sent in a shot that caught Papaskevas Antzas and ballooned over Nikopolidis
England were now in overdrive, moving forward with the swagger of a boxer who knows his opponent is on the ropes, putting together combinations that had Greece reeling. Gerrard crossed from the right, seemingly over-hit until Loukas Vyntra gifted the ball to Defoe. The ball was immediately transferred to Downing, whose cross was met first time by Lampard. Although Nikopolidis saved, Crouch tapped England further ahead.

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The game was won, but the scoring continued, Crouch netting a second just before the break. Again Gerrard was involved, breaking down the left before sweeping the ball across, via Defoe, to Gary Neville. The full-back clipped in a wonderful cross that Crouch, bizarrely, stooped underneath, although it was the weather for ducks. No matter. Downing simply crossed back in for Crouch to head his eighth goal in 12 internationals.

England were never going to be able to maintain that sort of electric momentum after the break, although the sight of Chris Kirkland making his debut certainly had his watching father, Eddie, smiling. Kirkland senior, and some friends, had placed a £100 bet on Chris when he was 12 to represent England, and so scooped £10,000 last night. For McClaren, victory, and the performance, were priceless.
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Postby perecles » Thu Aug 17, 2006 9:11 am

Well we havent got much to gloat about after our dismal performance in the world cup....but..................get in there my son!!! :lol:
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Postby Sotos » Thu Aug 17, 2006 11:07 am

At least they can win some friendlies since they can not win anything important e.g. the Euro ;)
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Re: greek football failure

Postby alexISS » Thu Aug 17, 2006 11:58 am

laptanige wrote:Just in case you did not see the game here is the match report

Ah yes, terrible game :cry:

Three European Championships are quite comforting though, as is outclassing Turkey (which is 7 times bigger than Greece) in the Olympics
:wink:
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Postby EUropean666 » Thu Aug 17, 2006 12:25 pm

Football is the game played from poor. Look at the greatest footies..they are coming from poor background or from third world. Zidane would be shot dead in a gang fight btw algerian scums if he did not play football. Brazilian stars are coming from favelas. Greece must be proud of its athletics and other sports.
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Postby perecles » Thu Aug 17, 2006 12:31 pm

Bloody hell does everything have to end in political one-upmanship.

It's football for christsake!!!
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Postby alexISS » Thu Aug 17, 2006 12:31 pm

EUropean666 wrote:Football is the game played from poor. Look at the greatest footies..they are coming from poor background or from third world. Zidane would be shot dead in a gang fight btw algerian scums if he did not play football. Brazilian stars are coming from favelas. Greece must be proud of its athletics and other sports.


We should all follow archery and fencing then, right? :lol:
Just kidding, although I do consider basketball to be too "american" for europe...
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Postby alexISS » Thu Aug 17, 2006 12:35 pm

perecles wrote:Bloody hell does everything have to end in political one-upmanship.

It's football for christsake!!!


In a sports forum, a political thread would end up being about sports. That's how it works in political forums as well, only in reverse.
Besides, a thread titled "greek football failure" that refers to a friendly game is, I think, not quite un-political :lol:
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Postby EUropean666 » Thu Aug 17, 2006 2:01 pm

Greece vs Qatar on saturday. greece's group is hot!!!
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Postby Sotos » Fri Aug 18, 2006 11:50 am

Football is the game played from poor.


All top class football players are millionaires!
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