England finally gave their fans something to shout about after almost four years of either under-performing or not even making major tournaments. Although a 3-2 win over a side that was never going to trouble the trophy engravers can hardly be classed as ‘a triumph’ it’s still a victory. Goals from Andy Carroll, Theo Walcott and Danny Welbeck, were enough to give England the win despite a Glen Johnson OG and an Olof Mellberg goal, the question is how did the 13 ‘Three Lions’ who figured do? Here’s our player ratings for the England side.
1. Joe Hart- Would be pretty harsh to blame him for either goal, although he did give away a needless corner and perhaps could’ve commanded his area a little better, it was an okay, rather than impressive performance. 6.
2. Glen Johnson- One of the worst players on the pitch by a country mile, Johnson looked a liability for large parts of the game and if it wasn’t for his pace, England could’ve been on the end of a hammering. Played three Sweden players onside before scoring an own goal and was caught out of position on more than one occasion. 4.
3. Ashley Cole. Not the best performance the Chelsea man has ever given in an England shirt, especially in possession but he was far from poor and did make some positive runs forward. 6.
4. John Terry. Whatever happened to ‘Mr Lionheart’? Judging on this performance Terry was more like a tortoise than a lion, slow and failed to truly organise his defence. Made a couple of decent challenges and had a header saved but was mediocre at best. 5.
5. Joleon Lescott- Forgive me for saying this, but I’m beginning to warm more and more to the City defender in an England shirt, easily our best defender and looks far more composed on the ball than he used to. Marshalled the swedish attack well. 7.
6. James Milner. Put ‘a shift in’ but the difference to the game came when he was replaced by Theo Walcott. on the plus side, it was a better hour than the game he had against France. Just. 6.
7. Steven Gerrard. Quiet for large parts of the game, the skipper failed to truly stamp his authority on the game, although it was one of his better performances for England at a major tournament. Despite his faults, it was a wonderful cross for Carroll’s opener and almost scored late on but for a fantastic save from Isaksson. 7.
8. Scott Parker. Seemed to get bashed from pillar to post by the Swedish midfield, yet never shirked his responsibilities and could have opened the scoring with a great early effort. Kept his high energy performance going all game and was never shy of sticking a much-needed foot in. 7.
9. Ashley Young. Ash? What’s going on son? Before the tournament, Young was on fire for England and tipped to shine in the Euros but he’s been well off the pace in both games. Tonight, the United man failed to really get to grips with the match and wasted a good chance with a wide near post shot. May be playing his way out of the side if he’s not careful. 5.
10. Andy Carroll. Amazingly and I use that word as I’d pretty much declared him useless before the game, Carroll was actually superb for most of the game tonight. Took his goal well and put himself about, the Liverpool hit-man proved his doubters- including me- wrong. Faded slightly towards the end, but more than understandable considering the shift he put in. 8.
11. Danny Welbeck. What can I say, yet again Welbeck delivers for England after his fine performance against France. Not only did the United striker score a sublime winner, he also had the confidence to run at the Swedish defence, at times single-handedly and linked up well with Walcott for the last half hour, so well he’s got to keep his place against the Ukraine. 9.
Subs: Theo Walcott. Regained his ‘Super Theo’ status with a blistering cameo that turned the game on its head. Took his goal well, despite Isaksson having a bit of a mare, ran the Swedish defence ragged and set up Welebck for the winner, it could have been more as the Arsenal man gave the sort of substitute appearance managers dream of. 9.
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain. Only had a few minutes on the pitch but nearly grabbed a goal, had Gerrard not got in his way, decent little outing although too brief to give a mark for. N/A