DREAD­FUL

The Peterborough Evening Telegraph - - Classifieds -

There was no happy birth­day for Fabio Capello in Cape Town as eng­land were booed by their own sup­port­ers fol­low­ing a dread­ful per­for­mance against Al­ge­ria that leaves their World Cup hopes hang­ing by a thread.

Al­though they ex­erted some late pres­sure, if Capello’s men had de­nied Al­ge­ria a point it would have been a mas­sive in­jus­tice on a night when Franz Beck­en­bauer’s as­sess­ment of Eng­land be­ing a “kick and rush” team was proved to be false. They weren’t as good as that.

The maths are now quite sim- ple. Beat Slove­nia - when they will be with­out the sus­pended Jamie Car­ragher - in Port El­iz­a­beth on Wed­nes­day and Eng­land have scram­bled their way into the last 16. Fail and in all prob­a­bil­ity they will go home.

And, af­ter the ev­i­dence of their 180 min­utes so far since their ar­rival in South Africa, that is ex­actly what they will de­serve.

Capello said yes­ter­day he has not made any mis­takes.

Af­ter watch­ing his team hardly threaten the Al­ge­rian goal, if he still feels that way, his bunch of play­ers truly are woe­ful.

Be­cause all the al­ti­tude train­ing, and all the prepa­ra­tions at their Rusten­burg hide­away have de­liv­ered a paucity of per­for­mance that is al­most too bad to be be­lieved.

Against a side ranked 30th in the world, and from a con­ti­nent that has never beaten Eng­land, in front of Prince Wil­liam, the Three Lions were sup­posed to de­liver a per­for­mance fit for a king.

How wrong that as­sump­tion was. Eng­land were clue­less.

Ev­ery time they got hold of the ball, it seemed they were in a rush to get rid of it, or at least try to force some­thing to hap­pen, which ul­ti­mately amounted to the same thing.

For the first hour Al­ge­ria were the more in­ven­tive side. They were quicker, slicker, pos­sessed greater imag­i­na­tion and in­ci­sive move­ment. In short, they were su­pe­rior in all the tech­ni­cal as­pects of the game.

Eng­land lacked guile. We were em­bar­rass­ing at times.

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