United Rant Live! England v Ukraine and Sweden v France

The “big man is back” Wayne Rooney once proclaimed on his return to the England side after a pre-World Cup 2006 injury. The tournament ended with Rooney dismissed during England’s quarter-final defeat to Portugal. Six years on, and it’s crunch time in Group D at Euro 2012, with England facing up to an early exit should Roy Hodgson’s side suffer defeat to Ukraine on Tuesday night.

However, victory over a mediocre Sweden side last week, together with Rooney’s return to the side from suspension, leaves England favourites to qualify along with France from Group D. Spain and Italy await in the knockout stages, and victory tonight will not ensure that England avoids the world champions, with France holding a slender goal difference advantage heading into the final Group D fixtures.

There’s plenty of Manchester United interest in these games, with Rooney likely to start alongside Danny Welbeck in attack for England, and Ashley Young on the wing. Meanwhile, Patrice Evra and Phil Jones are likely to be on the bench for France and England respectively.

Join United Rant for live comment, analysis and chat on England v Ukraine and Sweden v France from 7pm, with updates, team news and preamble throughout the day.

 

[liveblog]

Sharing is caring

Comments

  1. Alfonso BedoyaAlfonso Bedoya says

    It is going to be very interesting to see how Rooney responds to the way Roy has tried to motivate him.

    Some think Rooney shouldn’t start… he hasn’t played in a while, and Welbeck/Carrol was successful, so why mess with a winning formula, etc…

    And truth is… if Rooney has a poor game, Hodgson will cop dogs abuse for picking him… but if Rooney plays well, he could make the difference between a close game, and a rout.

    I think Hodgson has worked Rooney perfectly… he’s decided to play him, so he’s made a big fuss about Waynes game, and especially his work rate… even if Rooney’s touch isn’t spot on… he’ll run himself into the ground pressing… and that’s like an extra midfielder.

    I bet Rooney has been excellent in training, and he’ll be foaming at the mouth to get out there… it might take him a half hour to get to grips with match pace… but I think he’s going to be dynamite… can’t wait!

    COME ON ENGLAND!!!!!!

  2. SpudiatorSpudiator says

    All this gathering hype concerns me. At the start of the tournament all the England fans seemed to be (for once) relatively grounded, talking about not expecting much from the team, etc. Now after one half-decent performance against Sweden (though I will admit, it’s the most coherent I’ve seen an England team in a while), everyone seems to be getting a bit carried away again. People keep talking about this “low expectation” now as if it almost an expectation in itself of being proved wrong. All I can see happening is we’ll qualify from the group, get all confident just in time to get shot down in flames when we get absolutely arse fucked by either Spain or Germany!

  3. uncleknobheadffsuncleknobheadforfucksake says

    well it seems like we’ll get spain in the next round and it become pretty obvious how you beat that lot, and we’ve already done it

  4. Alfonso BedoyaAlfonso Bedoya says

    Don’t be so sure Knobby.

    France should beat Sweden, definitely… especially now that Ibrahimavic doesn’t give a shit… but if we win tonight, it’s only goal difference that separates us… and I think we could stick a few past this lot… if we turn up proper, that is…

  5. dozer says

    Rooney’s always been crap whenever he’s been bigged up, I think he’ll flop miserably. I hope he doesn’t. His recent form was shite too.

  6. Sidsidney says

    If England qualify then they’re gonna need to find some bottle and some confidence sharpish.
    They’re bollockless at the minute. You can see it when they get in front, the midfield and defence drop deep and invite pressure. I reckon that German arse raping is in the back of their minds because it’s top players bottling it like Terry, Cole, Gerrard, as well as your wankers like Lescott, Milner, the nations Scott Parker etc.

  7. says

    Bwahahaha. Jonathan Pearce is deluded. Torres, as off form as he remains, would have a field day with Terry. More to the point, the tiki-taka movement nightmare in the middle would have loltastic fun with England dropping as deep as we do, and with our midfield as plodding and lacking in any real ability to retain possession. We’d be in serious trouble against Spain in a competitive game.

  8. says

    Oh, and I seem to remember watching that friendly – Spain looked like they’d rocked up with a bunch of mates to have a kickabout. I am fairly certain they’d look a lot more interested in a competitive game.

  9. Sidsidney says

    He didn’t come up against Terry or Lescott, he drifted all over the front line. There was nobody playing him in behind. He popped up out wide more than up front, and was totally useless. But then France were content with a draw.

    Ibra did come up against them though, and he killed ‘em at times, as did Sweden’s other physical players (Mellberg). Ibra beat Terry for pace, then threw him off the ball and sent him sprawling across the pitch. A nation’s masculinity dented.

    England are nervy when they’re ahead because they can’t keep the ball. They’ve done alright keeping it early on in games, but when they get ahead, they start giving it away. A defender like Rio who is comfortable on the ball, passing it to a player like Carrick who is unhurried, to a player like Scholes who can play one touch, and England would have more swagger and cool about their play. But no.

  10. Sidsidney says

    Hehe, Rooney looks like the player we dropped during the run in, only a mega fat bastard version

    Terry is having a great game. He’s saving Lescott’s arse all the time. He’s aving it.

  11. says

    At least his woeful first touch hasnt deserted him.

    Hes hungry sure but hes so out of condition. Andy Carrol surely soon. That would be funny Porky Wayne being subbed for Carrol.

  12. vlad says

    Nah, Welbz will be subbed.
    He is probably even more out-of-form tonight, and if Welbz is our best new hope next season – we are in real trouble.

  13. Sidsidney says

    Ukraine robbed, that was over the line

    Great from Terry, but still

    Ukraine should have scored before then with a header from 5 yards

    England looking weak at the back again

  14. Alfonso BedoyaAlfonso Bedoya says

    danniitronix said:
    Lucky bastards! That was a foot over the line.

    So much for putting an official on the line to solve the questionable calls.

    Get the fuckin video tech involved Blatter, you useless cock head!

  15. Alfonso BedoyaAlfonso Bedoya says

    Yeah… get him off… the 85 minutes will have done him good though… but he’s got to play better.

  16. bman says

    Another entertaining win. Rooney should have had a hat trick, but a bit of rust is to be expected. I think England deserved to win the group, but I’m alarmed by the fact that Hodgson doesn’t seem inclined to address the revolving door midfield problem, which lets opposing teams just waltz through and can’t hold onto the ball at all. I’m worried that a team with a good midfield like Italy might deliver a real thrashing, with England unable to get the ball up to the forwards and constantly giving the ball back to the Italian midfielders. Rooney and Welbeck might not see the ball at all in the next game.

  17. vlad says

    Ukraine was one of the best teams on Euro tbh – would be great to have a couple of their players at United..

  18. sheesh says

    England won’t win the competition but at least it will be an entertaining ride however far they get.

    Gerrard was MOM tonight by a country mile. He had a great game vs Sweden as well.

    If the Italians get distracted by Mario and Luigi doing warm-ups, we might have a chance. They have no Chiellini so we must attack them. Italian teams are usually shit when English teams attack the hell out of them.

  19. Sidsidney says

    This England team isn’t going to attack the hell out of anyone let alone a top team like Italy. Their midfield, Pirlo, Motta, De Rossi, will dominate the ball, and England will look to hit them on the counter.

  20. sheesh says

    We might have some joy out wide, if not in the middle of the park. Wishful thinking, maybe, but that’s where I think we may be able to cause problems. We’ve looked dangerous on the right hand side in this tournament and Young must be due a good game, surely.

  21. shauno says

    England have done little more than ride their luck. I’ve never witnessed a back four drop so readily into the 18 yard box. That’s not defending deep that’s inviting on a disaster. The line isn’t even flat across or within the 18 yard box. They are stood on Hart’s toes. It could result in an embarrassing score line at some point. Neither Cole or Johnson are acting as a an outlet to relieve pressure nor are they linking with wide players. Hence Gerrard and Parker looked ruined after 60 min’s.

    Young has no option he is more often than not receiving balls in front of a midfield player or full back rarely turning the back 4. This is because the full back hasn’t got anything to think about nobody overlapping. Milner is diabolical. He is neither acting as a wide threat, an outlet to relieve pressure or a defensive winger. He is serving no purpose. Young has been poor but at least he seems to be pinging dangerous balls into the box.

    I can’t bring myself to praise the last ditch tackles of Johnson and Terry because they created the problems. It’s like thanking someone for putting out your burning house after they set the thing on fire. You can defend deep as a tactic, that’s fine but the edge of the 18 yard box is a no go area you keep dropping into that you’re going to implode. Johnson and Cole are only doing half the job you would expect at this level. As a neutral I’d say England could scrap a result against Italy if Italy are wasteful of the many chances they will get. But I think Italy will just starve England of possession and the only threat they have which is trying to put balls into the box from around the edge of the 18 yard box.

  22. Alfonso BedoyaAlfonso Bedoya says

    I always love it when arm chair know-it-alls, stick their detailed tuppence in.

    It’s not just enough to say, England looked weak at the back, or Rooney had a poor game… no… some have to give us the full, critical, expert analysis of someone who’s obviously wasted at home, when they really should be in charge of the team.

    Someone call the FA… Hodgson doesn’t know what he’s doing… let’s put shauno in charge… it’s about time we had a proper manager running things.

    • shauno says

      Awww what’s up Alf wrong side of the bed? Not getting any? It’s a football blog/forum Alf and whilst you may think discussion on tactics or the game is sacrosanct and should be left to top flight pro’s I don’t. I don’t think I’ve said anything outrageous. I’d hardly call three short paragraphs a full critical expert analysis either. Anyhow Alf I do know a bit about football, still playing, run a team and sit on the committee of a club. Also looking to do my coaching qualifications which is I think a better approach and contribution to the sport than being a little angry man generally f-ing and jeff-ing at people that he doesn’t agree with on an internet forum. To be honest Alf I’m not really one for getting into arguments over the internet, but I have to say that in between your expletives and punctuated pauses, you don’t really have a great deal to say of any worth.

    • says

      knob –

      Strikes me the whole offside thing is a convenient excuse (not by you per se, but the wider media) to make everyone feel better.

      The goalscorer was not offside at any point in the move though. The first player to touch the ball over the top was first phase offside, but second phase onside. I’m not even sure the ball over the top is directed at the first guy who touches it (first phase and sorry forgotten his name), and even if it was not sure how anybody could blame the lino. He’s a few centimetres off at most and the ball’s hit 50 yards. After that it’s all about bad defending, poor goalkeeping, and even worse officiating.

  23. Sidsidney says

    Psh, that was the quaters, shit happens, the Hurst goal was the crucial third goal in extra time in the final against Germany at Wembley that basically won England the trophy
    It’s never going to ‘even itself out’ because regardless of what happens to England now – Hand of God, Sol Campbell’s header, Ronaldo’s wink – there is still a star on their shirts

  24. Alfonso BedoyaAlfonso Bedoya says

    Commenter said:
    Awww what’s up Alf wrong side of the bed? Not getting any? It’s a football blog/forum Alf and whilst you may think discussion on tactics or the game is sacrosanct and should be left to top flight pro’s I don’t. I don’t think I’ve said anything outrageous. I’d hardly call three short paragraphs a full critical expert analysis either. Anyhow Alf I do know a bit about football, still playing, run a team and sit on the committee of a club. Also looking to do my coaching qualifications which is I think a better approach and contribution to the sport than being a little angry man generally f-ing and jeff-ing at people that he doesn’t agree with on an internet forum. To be honest Alf I’m not really one for getting into arguments over the internet, but I have to say that in between your expletives and punctuated pauses, you don’t really have a great deal to say of any worth.

    You see… that’s what I mean… know-it-all… with “f-ing and jeff-ing, of any worth to say”…

  25. Alfonso BedoyaAlfonso Bedoya says

    uncleknobheadforfucksake said:
    ahem, hand of god…

    Aye… but that was Maradona… blasphemy to point out what a cunt he is.

Leave a Reply

Login with your Social ID

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *