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Andorra 0-3 England (match videos), and a good thing we’re off till June



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So yes, England beat Andorra by 3 goals (should we be ashamed?), and now we can watch the rest of the Premiership season in peace without fretting over bad England performances.

Match Stats

Group E: Andorra 0-3 England
Date: Wednesday 28 March
Venue: Olympic Stadium, Barcelona

The goals were scored by Gerrard (2) and Nugent, all in the second half.

Match Verdict

Here’s what I know:

  • England were expected to blow Andorra away 10-0, and anything less is considered a failure. I think that’s unfair.
  • Andorrans fell back to hard challenges and trying to get under the skins of our players, and were successful in that regard.
  • Lampard’s absence meant nothing. England’s 3 match-winners – Beckham, Joe Cole, Owen – are out injured and with Rooney off the boil there’s only Gerrard who can win games for England. It doesn’t really matter if Lamps there or not if England keep playing the way the played yesterday

And that’s that. Here’s a link to a proper match report (BBC Sport). England’s next two Euro 2008 qualification matches are away games to Andorra (2nd June) and Estonia (6th June). Should be fun…

Match Videos

The Goals

Andorra 0 – 1 England – Gerrard Goal
Uploaded by FootballHeaven

Andorra 0 – 2 England – Gerrard Goal
Uploaded by FootballHeaven

Andorra 0 – 3 England – Nugent Goal
Uploaded by FootballHeaven

All updates before the game

Latest England News

Frank Lampard broke his wrist in training (a Wayne Rooney shot that hit his hand) and is out of the starting XI. His absence means that plenty of England fans will finally get a chance to see England play a balanced team – the best team – instead of an imbalanced best XI.

England will win, but the manner of their victory will be key.

You can catch the minute-by-minute play for England vs Andorra on Guardian, where Rob Smyth is covering the game.

Expected England Starting Lineup

Ashley Cole should be back for this game. England will be have Micah Richards is fit as well, so this means that we finally 2 proper fullbacks playing instead of a hodge-podge defence like we had in the Israel game.

With Lampard out Gerrard should move to central midfield, allowing Lennon to shift to the right and Downing to start on the left.

Paul Robinson
Micah Richards, Rio Ferdinand, John Terry, Ashley Cole
Aaron Lennon, Steven Gerrard, Owen Hargreaves, Stewart Downing
Wayne Rooney, Andy Johnson

Earlier News

Richard Williams – proof that even good authors can make stupid mistakes – claims that the people’s choice last season (Sam Allardyce) would be a better fit as England manager.

There’s nothing wrong with that idea, except that the ‘people’ had unanimously ridiculed Big Sam’s methods of self-pimping even before he had been called for an interview. Personally I think that Sam Allardyce might do a better job than Macca (‘might’ being the operative word), but to call him the people’s choice? Surely you mean Hiddink or Scolari or even O’Neill, Richard.

If you read the news on Tuesday morning, you’d have thought that Steve McClaren was about to be crucified regardless of whether England beat Andorra tomorrow or not.

Terry Venables doesn’t have his back. The FA are going to string McClaren up and bring him in for questioning – apparently they are regretting not having chosen Sam Allardyce (HAH!) in the first place.

However, all of this is idle speculation. That’s not to say that it’s not possible, but there are so many assumptions, so much reliance on fabricated stories pushed as facts, that my gut instinct is to say that it’s bullshit.

Alan Hansen for gets it right AND wrong in his inimitable way, pointing out astutely that the players are the ones to blame but then inexplicably absolving McClaren of any responsibility for picking that damned team in the first place.

McClaren / England Tactics

Andorra are not pushovers (not for England’s style of play, at least), and McClaren will have to be careful on how he approaches the game. There’s a danger though, that England will completely outplay Andorra but not apply the killer touch early enough, making the qualifier more ‘worrying’ than it should be.

Will England improve under McClaren? You could argue that they have no where to go but up. I disagree though – sideways as always a good bet where England is concerned, and I expect England to make a meal out of this fixture as well.

Andorra vs England Prediction

England should win this – they must win this!