Svengland 3 Spain 0 !

By Myles Palmer

England 3 Spain 0.


Really, really pleased for Sven.

A gracious geezer who has accepted a horrible job.

First goal, anticipation. Second and third, power.

Barmby is bright movement. His run made the first goal. Seeing it so early made the chance and obliged Owen to lob that ball through.

After that Barmby was always going to score or get hurt. Having run that far he was not going to bottle it.He was hoping Casillas would bottle it,which he did.

The same 50-50 against Luis Enrique on Saturday night?Casillas will get there. Don’t worry about that !

Barmby is a brainy little player, as is Scholes. Those two held England together while they sorted themselves out.

Lampard corner, Ehiogu header, Heskey volleys in, 2-0

Lampard corner, Ehiogu header, unmarked, bang ! 3-0.

Moreno brushes Ehiogu in the box, falls over, harsh penalty, Nigel Martyn saves it, still 3-0.

Finland will do something Spain didn’t do. Turn up.

But England were a solid team playing within their limitations. Like Sweden, really. Sweden play English football better than us because their coaching is more intelligent than ours.

So we saw no brilliance, but some good habits, growing confidence,livelier movement, as the “game” went on.

Pleased for Ehiogu. Always rated him, always thought Arsenal should have brought him back to London. A Hackney boy. My mates Mark Draper and Gary Charles have told me quite a bit about him.

Met Ehiogu on one occasion.

One day at Bisham, seems years ago, when Robbie Fowler was scoring hat-tricks against Schmeichel in Premiership games, I was chatting to Ugo.He has played against all the top British strikers.

So I asked him : What makes this fella Fowler so special?

He immediately said, “His sharpness.”

Bottom line on Villa Park?

I’m thrilled for Sven. Really thrilled for him. He can build on this.

The best part is Chris Powell and Gavin McCann.Overnight Sven has broadened his resource-base.

By picking Powell and McCann he has de-glamourised Englerand,demystified it, opened it up, made it more democratic, more accessible.

England is not full of Verons, Rivaldos and Zidanes. But it is full of lads who can play Swenglish football : solid, tight, fairly tidy, do a job, keep it compact, don’t be a star, do simply things quickly.

If Rio Ferdinand and Frank Lampard are on then field it makes it much easier to bring Joe Cole on.

Saturday, Sven might be at Highbury to see Joe Cole.

Well done David Dein, helping young Adam to hire a good coach!

We ain’t seen nothing yet. Because Sven doesn’t know his players yet.I’m gonna give him five games to get to know his players. Then I’m looking for lift-off !

Would two No.9s, Andy Cole and Michael Owen work in a real match?

Never has in the last 15 years !

Next match : Svengland v Finland , Anfield, March 24th.

March 1st, 2001.


Teams :

SVENGLAND (4-4-2) :

James (Aston Villa); P Neville (Manchester United), Ferdinand (Leeds United),Campbell (Tottenham), Powell (Charlton); Beckham (Manchester United), Butt(Manchester United), Scholes (Manchester United), Barmby (Liverpool); Owen(Liverpool), Cole (Manchester United).

SUBSTITUTES: Ball (Everton) for Powell,45;Ehiogu (Middlesbrough) for Ferdinand, 45; Heskey (Liverpool) for Beckham, 45; Lampard (West Ham) for Butt, 45; Martyn (Leeds) for James, 45; McCann (Sunderland) for Scholes,45; G. Neville(Manchester United) for P. Neville, 78.

SPAIN (4-4-1-1):

Casillas (Real Madrid); Manuel Pablo (Deportivo La Coruña), Abelardo (Barcelona),Unai (Villareal), Romero (Deportivo La Coruña); Mendieta (Valencia), Guardiola(Barcelona),Helguera (Real Madrid), Luis Enrique (Barcelona); Raul (Real Madrid);Urzaiz (Athletic Bilbao). Substitutes: Moreno (Alaves) for Urzaiz,45; Paco (Real Zaragoza) for Abelardo, 45; Cañizares (Valencia) for Casillas, 63; Victor (Deportivo

La Coruña) for Mendieta, 63; Sergi (Barcelona) for Luis Enrique, 63; Etxeberria (Athletic Bilbao) for Raul, 81; Baraja (Valencia) for Guardiola, 81.

Referee: K Vassaras (Greece).