Welcome to the World of Beckham blog, we aim to keep you up to date with developments in the career of David Beckham a footballer from the UK who has played for some of the top teams in the world.

Thursday, 13 August 2009

Holland 2 England 2

This was to be the most testing opposition that England had faced for some time, Holland being ranked 3rd in current world rankings. Beckham would be under the spotlight as would Green in the England goal and Rooney up front.
The presence of Holland's front men had England struggling as Robben proved to have the pace to out-run just about anybody on the pitch. Robben's fellow front men Dirk Kuyt and Van Persie looked likely to be a threat to anyone's unbeaten record and a shaky England succumbed twice in the first half through school-boy errors from the normally solid Ferdinand and Barry. England had their chances but must have been gutted at half-time to go into the tunnel trailing a good side almost entirely through their own fault. Beckham had a good half and was able to distribute from centre midfield as well as adding his weight to the defence when required, he did not return for the second half, but Capello must have been pleased with what he saw from his most capped player.
Both teams took the opportunity to experiment and England must have been somewhat relieved to see Robben substituted for the second half. Cappello took the chance to bring on Defoe, Shaun Wright-Phillips and Michael Carrick for Emile Heskey, Beckham and Barry. It took four minutes for Defoe to get his name on the score sheet as Lampard sent a hopeful long ball up the field leaving Defoe one-on-one with the keeper. Under pressure from fast-retreating defenders, Defoe expertly curled the ball around the keeper with his left foot to drag the score back to 2-1. In the same half Capello brought on Milner (for Ashley Young) and Carlton Cole (for Rooney). Cole had a number of opportunities and looked like a likely prospect for the future showing good control and ability to hold the ball as well as strength and shooting ability. As England established a hold over the game, it was Defoe again who scored to level the score at 2-2. Milner bravely headed the ball off the foot of Heitinga giving himself acres of space in which to cross from the left. He sent the ball scudding along the goal line for Defoe to slide onto for a tap-in, closely followed by Wright-Phillips who would certainly have converted if Defoe weren't there.
The remaining 13 minutes were tense especially when Holland had a free kick right outside the box in the closing minutes, but the game ended honours even and England should really be kicking themselves that they didn't stay a little tighter at the back and end up with an impressive victory.
The game taught us that the tendency for England to make silly mistakes at the back has not gone away, that Robert Green is a good keeper, that Beckham is still worth his weight and England still have strikers that could have an impact on the World Cup stage next year.

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