⚽ Euro 2024: Serbia 0-1 England - 🎶 Hey Jude... 🎶

in WOX Sportslast month (edited)

I can't remember the last time that I watched England play... it was probably the World Cup Quarter Final, roughly 18 months ago. The reason? It's painful. Boringly painful. Rule number 1: Don't lose. Rule Number 2: See Rule Number 1.

It doesn't matter if you possess some of the best attacking talent in the world including Real Madrid, Bayern Munich and Arsenal's star players and top goalscorers. 114 goals combined in the 2023/24 season from these 3 players + Manchester City's Phil Foden - by far the most out of Europe's elite nations' front 4 entering the tournament.

Plenty of reason to be optimistic with the likes of Cole Palmer, Jarrod Bowen, Eberechi Eze, Anthony Gordon, Ollie Watkins and Ivan Toney to call upon if a change is needed.

We've even got one of the world's best holding midfielders in Declan Rice, paired alongside one of the world's best passers in Trent Alexander-Arnold. There are goals everywhere.

At the back, confidence isn't as high but Jordan Pickford is the first England Goalkeeper to avoid a tournament-ending mistake since David Seaman (although that goal by Ronaldinho was a bit of a shocker). He's got it in him, but it hasn't happened yet. John Stones and Kyle Walker are consistent winners - a combined 35 major trophies between them and to complete the starting XI, free-kick specialist Kieran Trippier and the promising Marc Guehi.

Such an array of talent. That is without doubt the most frustrating team in the world to watch - typified by last night's narrow victory against Serbia.


A Great Start

England are great to watch at the beginning of most matches and last night was no different. For the first 15 minutes, we were totally dominant. We passed the ball quickly and everybody wanted it. Possession being quickly regained once lost with Bukayo Saka and Jude Bellingham particularly threatening. Serbia had absolutely nothing in response. Preferring to give away foul after foul to try and stop the onslaught.

Saka up against Pavlovic was an especially one-sided battle and even the Serb's efforts to kick the shit out him failed, getting beaten over and over again. So it was little surprise that this is where the early breakthrough came from. Saka skinned Pavlovic and popped it up (via a deflection) for the late run of Jude Bellingham to head home.

We looked absolutely brilliant and the mind wandered to thoughts of what might be. I should've known better.


Complacency Sets In

We continued to look good immediately after the goal but then the Southgate England that I've grown to loathe set in. Instead of the players getting their heads up for a forward pass, they started to look sideways... and backwards... Trent playing a poor pass to give Mitrovic his first sight of goal - flashing his shot wide.

This wasn't enough to wake the boys up and by the 30 minute mark, England had become the unnecessarily negative team. Horrible, slow tempo. Declan Rice now taking 10 touches instead of the 1 and 2 touch of the first 15 minutes. Sideways... backwards... slowly, slowly. Giving it away far too easily. Eventually saved by the half time whistle and the opportunity for Southgate to congratulate his players and demand more of the same, pedestrian shit in the 2nd half.

Despite being on top for the majority of the 1st half, star man Harry Kane had been dominated by Nikola Milenkovic - the pundits described Kane's performance as "selfless" - moving the Serbian defence around rather than being actively involved. Curiosity took over and looking up Kane's Touch Map, I discovered that he'd touched the ball twice and you'd be forgiven for having missed them.


2nd Half

If Saka made Pavlovic look stupid in the 1st Half, the 2nd was the complete opposite as Pavlovic managed to become a World Class full back and the England team became pub players unable to string 2 passes together.

England were happy to give up possession and it was anything but comfortable viewing. Vlahovic perhaps having their best effort which was a fairly routine save for Pickford.

Despite the defensive nature, England should've gone 2-0 up, Jarrod Bowen (who came on for Saka) showing that Pavlovic was still beatable crossing for Kane to come in and head home... only for Rajkovic to make a good save in the Serbian goal.



It was the kind of performance Southgate loves. Start well, go ahead and then defend. We did it in Russia, throwing away a goal lead to Croatia in the semis and at the last Euros, giving away the lead to lose the final to Italy. This time though, we did enough to hold on.

I said I’m glad we suffered a bit without the ball [because it will stand England in good stead down the line]. I think is really good for us. I think to defend the box the way we did was really good for us. I was really pleased with a lot of the play. Second half we didn’t keep it as well as I would have liked but to get the win is very important. Gareth Southgate

"I was really pleased with a lot of the play"...

Well, some of it was decent. Certainly not a lot but maybe 20 minutes but that doesn't matter. We won.

And I hate that I'll be watching again on Thursday afternoon.


My Player Ratings

Pickford 7 - Did what he needed to.
Trippier 6 - Didn't really get in the game. Playing out of position (LB) and wasn't too stretched.
Stones 7 - Did a job.
Guehi 7 - Kept the ball well (mostly) and defended well.
Walker 7 - Fairly solid and looked dangerous when roaming forward.
Rice 8 - Despite slowing the tempo down too much, he protected the defence well and made some important tackles.
Alexander-Arnold 5 - Didn't really create anything and nearly made a costly error in the 1st Half.
Foden 5 - Never looked dangerous.
Saka 7 - Excellent in the 1st Half and got the assist but faded away.
Bellingham 8 - A MOTM performance both in and out of possession. Nice to see him give Kostic a bit of attitude.
Kane 5 - Probably a generous rating. Barely in the game. Failed to hold the ball up and should've scored.


Match Highlights




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I had him in my Famtasy Euros team. I didn’t watch it today but there was some hype about him and another youngster - Yilmaz before the tournament.

Technically very sound this boy Arda. Don't know much about Yilmaz

How do you copy up with Southgate? Genuinely worried for English fans

I've never liked him. I'm even more worried now that there aren't any managerial vacancies in the Premier League because it'll probably mean he won't leave... especially if we scrape through to the semis again.

He got heavily criticised post-match for the horrendous tactics - I daren't look at his post-match comments. He probably said "we're top of the group. There are no easy games in tournament football. It was a difficult night but I'm happy with the result. Blah blah blah." Struggling to beat Serbia and a draw against Denmark - a team that includes average PL players who aren't first choice for their clubs. Whereas England have some of the top players in World football. We probably have the best attack in the tournament... so we play negative, shitty, defensive football. I hate watching England.

Soccer has always been a go to for me and I have recently been thinking of looking into betting on it. 😁👏🏾 People actually winning numbers..

I think you need to know your maths if you want to make money from betting. You also need a bookie that won’t ban you when you win. I’ve been banned from a few which makes it doubly hard to win in the long run.

Yes this is true especially for when you're to be going for the long run. Hopefully things change soon because eventually we won't have anyone to trust anymore..

Wow… You should really be a football commentator. Despite not watching the match due to work reasons, after reading your write up, it was as if I was watching the match live.

You were so detailed to the point, I had to rush to your profile to check if I will see any football analyst somewhere!!😊😊

But my worry with England is that, they have the best of the best players, yet when you expect them to deliver, they break your heart. I still haven’t forgiven them for making loose my bet in the World Cup against France. As for kane who loosed that penalty……. I will sue him if I’m opportune to ever travel to England someday!!😭😭

Ha ha. Imagine a pundit screaming “what the fuck was that, you fucking donkey shit” in live commentary. It’d bring a new dimension to the BBC that’s for sure.

Or at half time “well, that was shit. As usual”.

We should’ve beaten France. At least we didn’t try to defend in that one and went out thinking “fair enough”. It’s so much worse when we go ahead, try to defend a lose.

I’d love football content to return. There was lots when I joined but it’s slowly disappeared ☹️

Hahaha… you will be a unique commentator and people will definitely watch out for you because some of these players can be so annoying and they deserve such description most times…

The early period I joined steemit, before steemit was sold, a sport community existed before. Then @eurogee was one guy I use to get sports update from… but along the line, it disappeared after steemit was sold out and a lot of people left the platform

I joined after the split when World of Football was fairly active. Steem Sports too until they abused their Booming power and support was removed. A lot of the content was plagiarised though which pissed me off. Eventually they all just left - to Hive I think.

Yeah.. during the split a lot of old steemians moved to hive. I left Steemit before the split because of this whale wars back then.. I didn’t want to be in the cross fire.

But speaking about plagiarism, there use to be a plagiarism bot then that detects plagiarized content…

Bellingham is honestly a different breed when he plays for England. He was so shite in the latter half of the season for Madrid. Did you watch the CL final? A match to forget for him.

I agree with England being boring. England 🤝 Spain.


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Madam, today I could not work for 10 days, because my ID is not verified, I am in trouble, Madam, give me the opportunity to work. I said I can't bring back this new post. There is no one to help me except you, Madam! 😂😂

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