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International Round-Up

Still time to sign with us, Clint.
Still time to sign with us, Clint.

Football never stops, neither should we.

-First, England v. Switzerland. Well, it was a cracking game, wasn't it? I really can't get enough of the hysteria surrounding England games. While obviously not the desired result, reading some of the reaction you'd think The Three Lions' chances of qualifying for Polkraine had run off with Andy Dufresne into the Maine night. England still sit top of their group, and only need to beat an awful Wales at home and a pretty run of the mill Bulgaria away, while managing a draw with Montenegro (assume the latter don't really beef up the goal-difference in the intervening matches). It's not that hard of a task. Maybe it's the fact that England don't look gangbusters and thus no one has any confidence that they'll actually do anything when the tournament rolls around. But England have put up impressive qualifying campaigns in the recent past and then still chucked it when the games really started to matter. I guess England fans will never be happy.

A rightful complaint was Ashely Young being on the bench. Why did anyone think that was a good idea from the start? Frank Lampard is finished at the international level, and that was probably true before he "equalized" against Germany (you could make an argument that Lampard isn't too far from staring into the great abyss at club-level too, at least at a Champions League level). Young is just about the only creative impulse England have that can play ahead of the midfield, especially with Rooney and his bleeding scalp suspended. I don't think Capello will make that mistake again.

-Theo Walcott is an absurdist representation of a total spazz.

-And James Milner isn't much better.

-I also don't understand the need to throw Joe Hart under the bus. The Swiss' first goal was one of those tricky far-post corners that should have been cleared before bouncing, though it was well taken. Hart can't react until it clears the pack as he's expecting someone to get a touch, and by then it's too late. The second, far too many people ran to the shelter of "a keeper should never be beaten at the near post", but Hart shouldn't have to be dealing with a near post because there's supposed to be a wall there. Instead, he got Milner running off to argue with the fairies of the night and leaving him far too much ground to cover. England finally have a goalkeeper, and no one wants to accept that.

-As for the USA, probably less said the better. They were always in for a hiding, especially considering throbbing-genius-brain Bob Bradley thought he could get away with playing two central midfielders, and one of those being Jermaine Jones. Oguchi Onweyu looks like a sloth, and his career may be unsalvageable.

-Juan Agudelo need look no farther than his striking partner to see the perils of leaving New York for Europe too soon.

-Every time Sasha Klesjtan takes the field, I die inside. Judging from how many chance he has gotten and will get, SB Nation may need a new Liverpool blogger by August because I'm not going to make it.

-Thankfully, Canada is not Spain.