England played a friendly game against Holland last night in Amsterdam and you have to say that the performance was much improved over the games against Croatia and Macedonia and it was disappointing to finish the game with a 1 – 1 draw. England certainly had the better of the play, and looked more threatening as the Dutch struggled to string passes together. Wayne Rooney score his first goal in a England shirt for more than a year with a clever flick off his heal from a Joe Cole cross on 37 minutes. England looked very likely to score time and time again but the finish simply wasn’t there, Stevie Gerrard was disappointing in front of goal, and he said that much himself. You have to respect Gerrard, he doesn’t make excuses, if he underperformed, he’ll say that much in post match interviews. If Gerrard took his chances and Rooney waited for the ball to fall and belting it instead of heading the ball straight at the Dutch keeper, it could have easily been 0 – 4 to the English, but alas it wasn’t to be. Rafael Van der Vaart put a damper on the England party scoring late on when England failed to clear the ball from the danger area from an Arjen Robben throw-in. It’s disappointing to lose the game after a thoroughly professional performance, but it only takes a moment of concentration lapse and Holland will put the ball in the back of the net. But one big positive for me was debutant Micah Richards who is a certain star of the future and obvious replacement for Gary Neville at right back, it was also good to have Joe Cole back in the fray, but I still feel that Gerrard needs to be moved into the middle and have Beckham back on the right wing. England are really missing those balls whipped into the danger zone from the right flank; it doesn’t matter how good the strikers are if they don’t get the service from midfield. I wish that Lampard would be dropped from the team as he obviously doesn’t have the same potency for England as he does for Chelsea. Overall I would say it was a rather dull game with the exception of some brilliant attacking moves, and the final five minute which was suddenly end to end football with both teams having chances to wrap the game up, but neither did unfortunately, but I’m sure that Maclaren will have taken a 1 – 1 draw at the start of the night, but will be obviously disappointed as England held the lead for more than half the game before conceding minutes from the end; but the England players can take some satisfaction from the game!

Finally while trawling around Myspace early I came across this rather amusing picture, one for the George Bush haters club out there, of which there are numerous members, enjoy!!!

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