MARC ILES MATCH VERDICT: Suarez stars, but there's still something lacking with England

The Bolton News: Luis Suarez celebrates the goal which put England on the brink of World Cup elimination Luis Suarez celebrates the goal which put England on the brink of World Cup elimination

LUIS Suarez bit the hand that feeds him – effectively dumping England out of the World Cup with a goal in each half in Sao Paulo.

Fit again, wouldn’t you just know it would be the Liverpool striker who pounced on his only two chances of the game to leave England needing snookers to progress to the knockout stages.

Progression is not impossible with victory over Costa Rica on Tuesday night, coupled with a win for Italy in each of their remaining games.

But you would have to say at this stage that it looks very, very unlikely.

In the cold light of day – can Roy Hodgson’s side really say they did enough to win their two games so far?

They huffed and puffed on the edge of the box, Raheem Sterling’s exciting running and the much-improved Wayne Rooney linking nicely with Daniel Sturridge.

That cutting edge was lacking when it was most needed, though, and without someone with the clinical precision of Suarez, England’s tournament was probably always doomed to fail.

Trailing to an expertly-taken Suarez header on 39 minutes, England had their excuses all lined up.

Diego Godin should definitely have been sent off in the first half, following his assault on Sturridge when already on a yellow card.

Had the former Bolton man made more of it, referee Carlos Carballo might have taken some notice.

But just as we prepared to put a brave face on another decent but pointless performance, an unlikely hero in Glen Johnson emerged.

Bustling through two challenges on the right, he crossed low for Wayne Rooney to tap in from close range to finally end his World Cup finals jinx.

A goal was all that was missing in what was definitely a better showing from the Manchester United man in a central role. Denied by the woodwork from about three yards out in the first half, Rooney was then foiled by Uruguay keeper Fernando Muslera after Leighton Baines’ low cross found him eight yards out after the restart.

A point would have been fair enough. Just as we looked towards a tense early evening game on Tuesday it was that man Suarez who showed the nous to race on to a poor header from his Anfield team-mate Gerrard and lash the ball past Joe Hart.

That is the kind of clinical edge England just don’t have.

We live to fight another day, only just, but this tournament has shown that however much spin Hodgson puts on our young guns’ performances, there is still something lacking.

Comments (3)

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11:36pm Thu 19 Jun 14

Reebok Al says...

We were told 'England can do this, England can do that, Italy aren't the team they once were, we can beat them' etc etc. And what happens? They go down with barely a whimper, two games running. They are as good as out, and it's easy to see why, they can't pass and they can't defend.
They're continually trying to play the way other teams do, and failing miserably. They might as well stick two big men up front and pump high balls into the penalty area, we'd get more success that way.
We were told 'England can do this, England can do that, Italy aren't the team they once were, we can beat them' etc etc. And what happens? They go down with barely a whimper, two games running. They are as good as out, and it's easy to see why, they can't pass and they can't defend. They're continually trying to play the way other teams do, and failing miserably. They might as well stick two big men up front and pump high balls into the penalty area, we'd get more success that way. Reebok Al
  • Score: 0

12:38am Fri 20 Jun 14

m.nealon says...

The quality of the England team is down to the fact that all English teams have too many foreign players that obviously can't be selected to play for us internationally which means the players selected are not totally familiar with playing together internationally. We need to seriously look into scouting for more talented English footballers. Having said that, it's all down to money and the fat cats getting richer. They certainly don't play good enough to warrant such ridiculous high salaries. Germany tends to concentrate on German players in their national teams which guarantees a strong team playing internationally. It's all down to making money.
The quality of the England team is down to the fact that all English teams have too many foreign players that obviously can't be selected to play for us internationally which means the players selected are not totally familiar with playing together internationally. We need to seriously look into scouting for more talented English footballers. Having said that, it's all down to money and the fat cats getting richer. They certainly don't play good enough to warrant such ridiculous high salaries. Germany tends to concentrate on German players in their national teams which guarantees a strong team playing internationally. It's all down to making money. m.nealon
  • Score: 0

1:21pm Fri 20 Jun 14

the hand says...

Any one who honestly thought England would get out of this group was sadly deluded its a team of has beens and youngsters with no experience at this level we pick players because of who they play for not their talents Johnson welbeck are not and never will be international players you can name an England team yourself just pick anyone from utd Liverpool Chelsea arsenal then pick a rough choice from Southampton and don't play him when he's in form Australia showed our boys how to play with pride and passion something we could learn from
Any one who honestly thought England would get out of this group was sadly deluded its a team of has beens and youngsters with no experience at this level we pick players because of who they play for not their talents Johnson welbeck are not and never will be international players you can name an England team yourself just pick anyone from utd Liverpool Chelsea arsenal then pick a rough choice from Southampton and don't play him when he's in form Australia showed our boys how to play with pride and passion something we could learn from the hand
  • Score: 2

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