England 0-0 Algeria – Three Lions continue to whimper

In a sentence

Precious few chances for either side as confident Algeria hold England.

Heskey is effective but the front-line isn’t working

Emile Heskey has been as good as any England player in this tournament. Many fans will never love him but he has held the ball up well and hassled defenders. Yet England’s hopes rest on getting the best out of Rooney and the pairing, though successful in the past, is not working in South Africa. Does Capello change or keep the faith?

Credit to Algeria for not just parking the bus

Algeria could have come to defend but, unlike a lot of teams in this tournament, they came to play. The positive approach generated some very decent moments in the first half. With a good striker, they could well have won this.

2 hours and 55 minutes on, how will England score their next goal?

The number of hopeful long shots was indicative of England’s lack of penetration. Nothing was working. The wingers weren’t getting crosses in, the midfielders weren’t finding the killer ball and even the set-pieces were harmless. The answer is mental rather than strategic: rediscover the swagger from qualification. Good luck Fabio.

The moment – Rooney’s exit

“Nice to see your home fans booing you” declared Rooney as he left the pitch. So it’s come to this already: England’s talisman berating his own fans.

What next?

A nation will draw a deep sigh of relief as England beat Slovenia and progress. A great night for Algeria but the US will make the last 16.

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