The Half-Time Whistle

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The Big Match – Second Half

Welcome back, and so we go to the action and what a start for this young England side.
Within the opening 60 seconds, Lampard game England the lead.

AS: oh yes it was excellent. Matthews got down to the bye-line and crossed a dangerous looking ball, which the keeper flapped at. Lampard picked up the loose ball and hit a fierce shot past the keeper.

IW: Cracking start for England. Really pleased for Frank, he was first to that ball and finished brilliantly. But what a run from Matthews. The boy done good tonight, really pleased for him.

If that was impressive enough, within the first 15 minutes, England were 2 up! Bobby Moore getting a goal on his debut.

AS: Oh yes this was excellent. Don’t know what the Dutch defence was doing here, but they were caught asleep. Young’s corner and Moore was first there, great first touch and it was an easy finish.

IW: Yeah, Al’s right. Beautiful first touch and they just seemed to stand there, the defence, and Mooro just couldn’t miss. Cracking start and these geezers are the real deal, these Dutch, yet we was making them look 2nd rate. I mean, what was the bloke doing on the post? Just watched it go in

Yes and it wasn’t until just after the 15th minute that the Dutch mounted their first attack. Joe Hart flapped at a shot, but eventually claimed it. But the Dutch rarely threatened, which was surprising really.

AW: It was, but Gareth Barry was immense in the middle of the park. He bossed that game and he just gets better and better, for me.

IW: Matthews was a wizard on the wing too. I mean he’s only young but you wouldn’t know this was his debut, he ran them ragged.

Then to round off the first half, Barry got on the scoresheet.

AS: He was immense, for me, I mean he just bossed that first half. Really deserved his goal. But once again, you have to question the Dutch defence. Left him all alone.

IW: Al’s right, it was as if they had concrete boots and Barry just drifted to the back post and headed in. Triffic first half for England, but Holland just had a mare.

So England went in at half-time, 3-0 up and a dream start for the new manager.

For the Second half, it was all change for England.

Clough reverted to a 3-2-2-1-2 formation and brought on Billy Wright for Glen Johnson, Scott Parker for Rio Ferdinand, Jimmy Greaves for Wayne Rooney and Gary Linker for Frank Lampard.

This had Lineker and Greaves up front with Bobby Charlton just behind them.

AS: Yeah, England eased off a bit in the second half, for me. I mean they played well and were well in control but I think the formation they were playing needs some more work. I reckon Clough wanted to get 2 strikers in there, but had to change the way of playing to fit everyone in.

IW: Al’s right. It did tail off a bit, but come on, we’ve just beaten Holland 3-0. I mean, Holland? Dear, oh dear, we should be shouting this from the rooftops.

Midway through the half he brought on Richards for Bobby Moore and Phil Jones for Ashley Young. Jones winning his first cap, and Clough gave all the new boys their first appearance. How do think they did?

AS: Very well. I thought Matthews was brilliant. Charlton worked well in midfield, although he faded a bit towards the end.

IW: Greaves and Lineker were lively when they came on, and Jones seemed comfortable. Yeah, they all did really good. Things look promising after that.

Enlarge this image Click to see fullsize

Ok, thanks, well we can hear from the England manager who’s won his first game.

Brian, you must be very pleased with that start, did it all go according to plan?

BC: Let me tell you, young man, that you’ve witnessed the start of an important period for English football. Those boys out there, were men against boys. You’ll go a long way before you see much better than that.

So, overall you’re pretty pleased. You made quite….

BC:…pretty pleased? Let me tell you, young man, you tell me who would’ve done a better job then?

Erm…

BC: …go on, tell me

Well, of course few could, but were you concerned with the 2nd half performance, not adding to the lead?

BC: Listen. We’ve just played one of the best sides in world football and made them look like the sort of side Don Revie used to put out. They’re a good side, but they were made to look very poor indeed.

You had Rooney up on his own to begin with, but changed to 2 strikers for the 2nd half. Which formation do you prefer

BC: I prefer any formation that works, young man, and you just worry about what you’re going to write about in the morning and let us worry about that out there. Listen, we play like that every week, we’ll top of the league. 2 European Cups I won, d’ya hear that?

Ok, Brian, well done on your win and see you next month.

So, England go to Bulgaria next month for another crucial Euro qualifier. If they play half as well as they did tonight, 3pts are in the bag.

Al, what are the positives tonight?

AS: well, where do you start? Everyone, right from the keeper, played their part. I mean, this is the no.1 ranked side in the world, and we’ve played them off the park. Excellent

IW: 10 out of 10, for me. Really impressed with all of them, they all did good. Can’t wait for next month

Ok. Thanks for watching and see you next month.

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