free hit counter
An unofficial blog from the creators of

Why did England look a different team against Israel?

As always during international weeks, there comes a point when there is nothing left to say on the club football front.

The only option, however tired and repetitive it may begin to sound, is to join the perpetual debate surrounding the Three Lions.

So here’s my brief take on Steve McLaren’s England:

After years of watching uninspiring yet effective football under the Sven Goran Eriksson regime, former Manchester United number two Steve McClaren landed the job.

During his tenure, contrary to popular belief, I’ve actually been impressed with some of his decisions. Like trying a change of formation in Croatia, despite the defeat. The loss had far more to do with inept Paul Robinson goalkeeping than anything else in my opinion.

But the one thing even McClaren could not deny was that England have not look like a team in recent months/years.

And by that, I mean you’d struggle to find many passages of play where the midfield and forward line combined with any real conviction and ground-level passing moves where about as rare as Tottenham Hotspur league titles.

But Saturday against Israel was different. Yes it was ‘only’ Israel and yes they were less ambitious in attack than many would have predicted but in my mind, they were probably a little perplexed as to the manner in which England played. Like the rest of us I suspect.

Not a bombardment of long balls as we have become accustomed to. Instead, we played short, sharp passes, allowed the wingers to play with more freedom, encouraged the full-backs to overlap and brought back a striker who for all his alleged limitations, still brings the best out of Michael Owen – Emile Heskey.

But the most notable inclusion on Saturday has to have been Gareth Barry. As far as I’m concerned, Barry – more than any other player, dictated the style and speed of our play, alongside an obviously unfit Gerrard more than any other individual.

And what was so great about the Aston Villa midfielder’s performance? The fact that he passed the ball along the floor. As simple as that.

He didn’t try raking ball after raking ball a la Frank Lampard. He provided balance to an otherwise right-footed midfield and probed the Israeli back line with intelligent and well-executed through balls. But most importantly, he looked like he and Gerrard had played together for years.

But what were YOUR thoughts on England’s best performance in recent memory? Let us know what you made of the win over Israel and your predictions for tonight’s tussle with Russia in the comments section below…

Came straight to this page? Visit for all the latest news.

If you’ve enjoyed feasting on Arsenal Pies then you’ll love, the best source of football news, views and gossip in the blogosphere!

Posted by Mo Khan on September 12, 2007 in | Permalink


TrackBack URL for this entry:

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Why did England look a different team against Israel?:


Post a comment

Shiny Latest

Shiny Tech Shiny Fashion Shiny Lifestyle Shiny Sport Shiny Games
Subscribe to my feed, Tech Digest Tech Digest
  1. Shiny Video Review: Dell XPS 1330 notebook laptop
  2. Sony's Slim and Lite PSP out now
  3. Chrome chastity belt to keep 'things' in check
  4. The Toaster Teapot - for the single man
Subscribe to my feed, Catwalk Queen  Catwalk Queen
  1. CQ Live in Manchester
  2. London Fashion Week officially kicks off with Topshop Unique
  3. UK retailers sweat over poor wages in new report
  4. Oli's Floral Baby Doll dress gets my heart fluttering
Subscribe to my feed, Hippyshopper  Hippyshopper
  1. World's Worst Polluted Places 2007 revealed
  2. All You Can Eat vegan Thai buffet restaurants in London
  3. Oxfam online: Charity shopping from your PC
  4. Review: Definitive guide to organic gardening
Subscribe to my feed, Who Ate All The Pies Who ate all the Pies
  1. Join Pies In The Community and win an iPod Nano
  2. Pete Doherty playing football...
  3. The 10 ways "in form" Michael Owen will probably get injured before he can play for Newcastle...
  4. Fiendish Friday Quiz
Subscribe to my feed, PSPSPS  PSPSPS
  1. Heavenly Sword dev says no to DLC, thinks reviews are a bit harsh
  2. What's on PSN this week
  3. TGS 2007: Metal Gear Solid 4 playable
  4. Fifa 08 demo met with hostile response
Subscribe to my feed, Shiny Shiny Shiny Shiny
  1. Pacman and his mates can join you on your couch in Plush Pillow form
  2. You say 'potato'. I say 'but they're really difficult to peel'
  3. Samsung Armani phone on its way as the SGH-P520
  4. Shiny Poll: Career change
Subscribe to my feed, Shoewawa  Shoewawa
  1. Satisfy your sweet tooth and your shoe obsession with these Chocolate Nikes.
  2. The Louboutin Manicure - beauty for shoe lovers
  3. Celebrity Shoe Crimes: Jennifer Connelly on the red carpet
  4. Play the Shoe Stylist - Dune's Victorian style 'Gettle' brogues
Subscribe to my feed, Corrie Blog  Corrie Blog
  1. Have a drink with Wendi Peters
  2. Corrie A-Z: S is for Sealions in the Bath
  3. Corrie YouTube - Liz and Jim argue
  4. A good turn from Julia Haworth
Subscribe to my feed, Chelsea Pies  Chelsea Pies
  1. Is Sparky the next Chelsea manager in waiting?
  2. Will the Bentley boos ring around Chelsea tomorrow?
  3. Ref watch: "Oh dear tits no, it's Howard Webb"

Subscribe to my feed, XBoxer  XBoxer
  1. EA’s John Ricitiello argues TV as violent as games, ITV boss hits back
  2. EA's Dead Space revealed
  3. Pro Evolution Soccer 2008 gets European release date
  4. Halo 3 to make $200 million on launch, says analyst
Subscribe to my feed, Techscape  Techscape
  1. ShoZu to support geotagging for Flickr, YouTube and others
  2. 3GSM 2007: Clicmobile on why mobile social networking is going niche
  3. 3 finally brings social networking into X-Series
  4. Nokia to enter mobile advertising market with Nokia Ad Service
Subscribe to my feed, Kiss and Makeup  Kiss and Makeup
  1. Shiny Video Review: Dell XPS 1330 notebook laptop
  2. Sony's Slim and Lite PSP out now
  3. Chrome chastity belt to keep 'things' in check
  4. The Toaster Teapot - for the single man
Subscribe to my feed, Available For Panto  Available for Panto
  1. Today's links: Shipwrecked, Jordan and Quizzes
  2. I'm a celebrity star Dec sprains ankle
  3. Cowell offers Britney a slot on X Factor
  4. Marco kicking Lee Ryan out
Subscribe to my feed, ManunitedPies  Man United Pies
  1. The way we were - Everton 2 United 4
  2. Time for a favour Hughesey
  3. Ronaldo nearly quit because of bullies
  4. Guess who's back? - Rooney fit to face Everton
Subscribe to my feed, Wii Wii  Wii Wii
  1. test
  2. Why Nintendo should buy Twitter to integrate with Wii
  3. On the Virtual Console today:
  4. WiiWare: Original downloadable games on Wii
Subscribe to my feed, HDTV UK  HDTV UK
  1. Sun runs Java Powered Blu-ray Disc Developer Forums at IFA
  2. Maxell to produce Blu-ray 8cm discs for camcorders
  3. Denon launches AVR-4308DAB AV Wi-Fi receiver with HD capabilities
  4. Philips and Canalsat partner to accelerate Euro HDTV adoption
Subscribe to my feed, The Bag Lady  The Bag Lady
  1. Are ipod hoodies allowed in Bluewater Shopping centre?
  2. Shiny Fashion TV: What's in your bag LFW Special
  3. Coin purse key fob from Coach
  4. Barratts' 'Octopus' bag - a huge, slouchy shoulderbag for £20
Subscribe to my feed, Crafty Crafty  Crafty Crafty
  1. At home Photography Studio
  2. Food craft: Pirate cakes
  3. Inspiration: creatures from Planet Sock
  4. Food craft: Rubik's cube cake
Subscribe to my feed, Liverpool Pies  Liverpool Pies
  1. Is Daniel Agger starting his own Hell's Kitchens?
  2. Portsmouth v Liverpool: The betting
  3. Caption me: Pepe Reina and David James share a joke
  4. Lawro thinks it'll be 1-1 tomorrow. What do you think?
Subscribe to my feed, Games Digest  Game Digest
  1. Shiny Video Review: Dell XPS 1330 notebook laptop
  2. Sony's Slim and Lite PSP out now
  3. Chrome chastity belt to keep 'things' in check
  4. The Toaster Teapot - for the single man
Subscribe to my feed, iPhonic  iPhonic
  1. Glide Mobile offers iPhone users Microsoft Word editing capabilities
  2. Telefónica said to be negotiating Spanish iPhone deal
  3. Samsung touts F700 "mobile hybrid" as iPhone killer in Europe
  4. iLuv launching range of iPhone accessories: cases, armbands, battery boosters, FM transmitter
Subscribe to my feed, Bridalwave  Bridalwave
  1. Cute and quirky bridesmaid gifts from Simply Dazzling
  2. The Wedding Time Tin lets you keep your memories in one place
  3. Vera Wang Maids collection on sale at Selfridges this month
  4. Frock Horror #80
Subscribe to my feed, LostWeekend  Lost Weekend
  1. Ryanair Moving to Milan and Taking Planes With Them
  2. Sharia Law Hotel in Bangalore Bans Everything
  3. Virgin Airlines Just Keep Giving With New Wi-Fi Access
  4. Taybeh Beer Festival – Pound a Pint in Palestine
Subscribe to my feed, SpursPies  Spurs Pies
  1. Got a burning question for the Tottenham gaffer? Well, here's your chance to ask it!
  2. Caption Comp: Another chance to put words in Arsene Wenger's mouth
  3. Do the board want us to lose tomorrow against Arsenal?
  4. Video: The Hot Spur chats ‘Spurs v Arsenal’
UK Resistence
  1. Shiny Video Review: Dell XPS 1330 notebook laptop
  2. Sony's Slim and Lite PSP out now
  3. Chrome chastity belt to keep 'things' in check
  4. The Toaster Teapot - for the single man