Boring, Boring, Arsenal

If the Vuvuzelas could have been silenced, you could have heard me shouting this from any corner of the globe. Yes, I do realize that it was not my beloved Gooners parading down the pitch, but good lord – could there have been two sides seemingly more complacent with a draw? I think not.

In ninety minutes of play, England was only able to place five shots on frame – none of these coming before the half-hour mark. Simply put – this was not World Cup quality football, and certainly not the quality expected of a team who’s in the talk of winning the whole thing. Setting aside the draw against the U.S. last week, this was England’s opportunity to right themselves and push forward with a clean slate. Today, Fabio Capello opted for the veteran services of David James over Robert Green. Unfortunately, the decision to put the tested man in between the sticks only saw one shot on goal – and that’s not to say it was in part to well played defense by the English back four.

For the Algerians, they themselves may have been the toughest opponent on the field. While not alone, constant miscommunication and ill executed, simplistic passes eliminated any hope of taking three points from the Three Lions. Continuing on, seemingly happily, with the a theme of this World Cup: terrible final balls. While England was able to force ten corners out of the Algerians, the Desert Foxes only successfully took three. Needless to say, attacking zealous left when Rommel did.

More frustrating than being an American who’s counting on his fingers to arrive at the possible outcomes to exit the group stage and advance, is this overall theme of completely obscure and prosaic matches being played. Endlessly we listen to the jokes and ridicule of America as they question why we devote so much to this game, why we have such a passion for it. Suffice to say, the matches we’ve seen this year have not helped our cause, and have only strengthened their rhetoric.

One can only hope – almost insanely so, as was done for the opening of second round matches – that the final matches of the group stage will produce some fantastic football that the world can enjoy.


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