Germany 0 England 2

I notice that one of the sites with the kindness and patience to link here refers to MTMG as a contrarian blog. What follows might be why.

Sven Goran Erickson must be quietly enjoying some parts of England’s immediate post-him fate. First, the success of Hargreaves and Crouch – then the failure to solve the Lampard/Gerrard problem (actually, I very much doubt he’d take pleasure from a negative of that kind) – then Lennon’s continuing in the full squad.

He has another reason to be pleased tonight:

Substitute Theo Walcott’s superb double guided England Under-21s to the European Championship finals.

England had been outplayed for most of the game before Walcott twice broke clear to score with exemplary calm.

Walcott showed no such inhibitions after coming on as a second-half substitute in the 74th minute.

For each goal his speed allowed him to go clear of the German defence, before he finished with incisive shots, his calmness in front of goal reminiscent of Michael Owen.

This is really good to see and hear. I listened to much of the game on Radio 5, and although Germany put up a great fight, spending most of the game with ten men, England deserved their win.

I’m off to pour a drink in honour of England, Peter Taylor and – most of all – the latest of Erickson’s promoted talents to live up to the billing he gave them. It doesn’t have to matter, of course, that Erickson connection – this is just good all on its own.

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