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Never Mind, Ashley

England are out of Euro 2012 after losing on penalties to Italy in the quarter-finals. After Steven Gerrard and Wayne Rooney scored their penalties, Ashley Young smashed his penalty against the crossbar before Ashley Cole took a tame penalty which was an easy save for Buffon.

Young lifted his penalty, with Buffon getting nowhere near it, so it’s puzzling as to why he felt the need to hit it so hard. After all the fuss that had been made in the press this week about how much England had been practicing taking penalties and how well prepared Joe Hart was, it was disappointing for them to miss half the pens they took and Hart get nowhere near saving any of them.

Young had a miserable tournament and it’s amazing he managed to last the full 120 minutes yesterday without being subbed. He constantly lost the ball and his crossing was generally pretty poor.

It’s a shame for Young, given how well he has done for England this year. He scored the only goal of the game in England’s win over Wales and he scored the opening goal in their 2-2 draw with Montenegro. He also scored in friendlies against Holland and Norway.

Only Swizerland’s Xherdan Shaqiri scored more goals in the group than Young in qualifying and of England’s six games, he started four of them, came on as a sub against Bulgaria and was injured for the Switzerland game.

Danny Welbeck and Wayne Rooney can be pleased enough with their contribution to the tournament, with both of them scoring winning goals in the group stages. Welbeck was well received by the fans too, with chants of “let’s all do the Welbeck” coming from the stands, which should be good for his confidence. It was surprising to see him withdrawn so early on in the quarter-final but I’m sure he’s taken a lot from the tournament. Rooney failed to meet the expectations put on his shoulders though and struggled to make any impact against Italy.

Let’s hope the boos and whistles Young will receive next season inspire him to be better, as it did with David Beckham and Cristiano Ronaldo.

Choose losing on penalties. Choose scapegoats. Choose England.


About Scott

Scott is the editor of Red Matters - 50 Years of Supporting Manchester United and an author of Play Like Fergie's Boys and Not Nineteen Forever. He writes for ESPN, The Metro and Bleacher Report. Follow @R_o_M on Twitter.

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163 Comments

  1. denton davey says:

    The revisionism is now blowing full-speed.

    Ingerland did NOT lose to Italy over 120 minutes – yet all the online papers can yak about is how dominant Andrea Pirlo was for the Italians. True that – BUT for all his possession and midfield domination, his team didn’t score over 120 minutes of open play.

    This kind of after-the-fact, know-it-all journalism is reminiscent of the cum-fest after Shitty “won” the EPL – not because they had more points after 38 matches but because they “won” the tie-breaker. Yet, reading the post-season reviews makes it seem like UTD were the equal of, say, CSKALondon or LiverPoo – twenty or thirty points adrift.

  2. ahjs says:

    “Yeah hodgson has proved himself alright, failing at all big clubs he’s managed ”

    Hogwash. He’s managed at just two big clubs and he’s not considered a failure at Inter and we all know at Liverpool just wasn’t a good fit.

    And Hodgson had good international experience, which helped. I agree there’s not much of a choice of good English managers but listen to the ex-pro’s of England talk about football. For every Gary Neville there’s 50 Shearer’s. The way foreign player’s talk about the game is completely different to the way our players do.

  3. Costas says:

    Yeah but that Boro game was one of 2 times we conceded more than 3 goals in the five seasons CQ was around. Something that’s happened twice in 11-12 and 4 times in total since he left.

  4. WillieRedNut says:

    CQ’s time has passed. People are forgetting he walked out on United twice? I wouldn’t mind a shake up in that department, but there’s more than CQ out there who could do the job.

  5. Costas says:

    Not saying it has to be CQ willie. But imo there’s no denying the facts that a) We were more solid defensively when he was around and b) We need someone with fresh ideas next to Fergie again.

  6. Panderi says:

    I see a few posts saying Fergie may not be as good tactically as he is at other things. I think a lot of people are getting our performances in Europe last season get to them. While not discounting Queiroz’s role in winning us the champions league the fact is we have reached 2 finals since he left. Along the way we beat Mourinho’s Inter and Ancelotti’s Chelsea. We lost to van Gaal’s Bayern on goal difference and would have got past them if not for Rafael’s red card. There’s 3 managers you’d probably consider tactically better than Fergie. We battered Milan 7-2. Park man marking Pirlo in that game was a tactical mastercalss. We thumped Arsenal 4-1 in the 2009 semis. In Barca though we ran into a different beast. I think we could have tried something different in 2009 final but last year they were at the peak of their abilities and we had absolutely no chance. Fletch was injured, Ando had just returned to action in the second leg of the semis after a lengthy injury layoff and Scholes was having a bad season. Which left us with just Giggs and Carrick to rely on in midfield. Last season’s failure in Europe was due to a combination crippling injuries, complacency and our inability to combat the high tempo pressing game of the likes of Bilbao and Ajax. I fully expect Fergie to address these issues and expect us to do well in the champions league this season. If Fergie is not the best tactically, he’s definitely not far off the best.

  7. WillieRedNut says:

    Costas – I’d say we need a bloody midfielder first! The likes of Vidic and Rio are older now. It’s a different team from the 08 side. As I say though, maybe Fergie does need fresh ideas on the coaching front. What we don’t need, is scapegoats. Phelan seems easy to bash. Not saying you’ve done that btw lol. I’m looking for a more compact United this season. More organized obviously. No good having all this attacking talent, if the midfield and defense are all over the place.

  8. TheCANTONA says:

    But we still conceded 34 goals that season, wasn’t really good record (at least if u compare with 33 goals this season)
    I’d also remember CQ’s reign in R.Madrid in 2003/04, his team conceded 54 goals, was not good record for a supposed brilliant defensive coach IMHO…

  9. Costas says:

    @TheCANTONA

    Yeah, but it’s a better record compared to the 37 goals we conceded last season. ;) With Vidic fit I might add. Plus, our best season in terms of defence in the Premiership was 07-08 with 22 goals. If you look back at the total amount of goals conceded in CQ’s 5 seasons and the 5 seasons without him (including 03-04), the numbers are in his favor.

    As for his Real tenure, I could chalk that down to a number of reasons (first season at such a high profile job, the loss of Makelele, the demand for the Galacticos to play attacking football), but the truth is, CQ just wasn’t good enough as manager. I am a firm believer of that. But he did click very well with Fergie. Mainly because his ideas were going through a filter, but also because he was someone that would challenge Fergie on some of his choices. Something that I seriously doubt happens today.

    @willie

    Actually feel free to call me a Phelan basher, lol. I’ve done it directly and indirectly. I admire his loyalty, but like I said above, I doubt he ever has a word with the boss about a weird selection. I hope you are right about next season. We need to go back to basics and remember to defend as a team. We can’t keep sacrificing just to make up for weaknesses elsewhere. Like we did when Young was playing instead of Nani in order for Evra to get cover or like we did when Berba was on the bench because we had to play 3 CMs for protection.

  10. Kings says:

    Welcome home lads. At last you’re all away from those fucking cunts and you can all now concentrate on more pressing matters. Hilarious listening to all the pricks saying the alky cunt should have started instead of Rooney last night. Ignorant cunts seem to overlook the fact that Danny and Rooney bagged the winners against Sweden and Ukraine respectively that won the group. Had it not been for those winners, Sweden would have won the group ahead of France based on the head to head and Ingerlund would have been eliminated in the group stages with 3 points from 3 games. These morons also seem to forget that the gypo cunt almost contrived to fuck things up against Sweden as his foul lead to their equaliser. The only impact that cunt made last night was a coming together with most of their players. Thug. Thank fuck that’s all over now and we (that’s the royal we) can relieve ourselves from the excitable cunts tooting their car horns sporting cheap Ingerlung flags and wing mirror covers. United > Ingerlund

  11. Mishersmith says:

    Rooney was sh*t

  12. WillieRedNut says:

    Costas – You did give Phelan a hard time? We’ll keep that a secret…… ;)

  13. EricCantonaToldMeToTweet says:

    Listen, even if England won the cup, they’re still going to boo him anyway. In the same manner whether he’s a scapegoat or not. Nothing less.

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