Chapter 742: St. George’s Protection on England
Even though Twain told Capello not to worry about George Wood's fitness problem, Capello still kept Wood benched in their third game against Brazil.
He really did not have to worry about Wood's fitness. He was worried about Wood's yellow card. Wood received a yellow card for his defensive tough work against South Korea. In the match against Brazil, Capello was concerned that Wood had been shown another yellow card, leading to a suspension. That would have been a big loss for England.
Bearing this in mind, Capello's view of Wood was already completely different even though he was benched as he had always been.
Both sides tacitly sent off non-main players and eventually England lost to Brazil in second place in the group.
Unlike George Wood who had a tortuous World Cup tour, David Bentley, who was his team-mate and Twain's focus on the trip, had a much smoother trip. At the moment in this national team, he had no opponents on the right and was a player Capello relied heavily on.
The games for all three groups started. Their performance left much to be desired.
This strengthened Twain's confidence in buying him. But with Bentley doing well, Twain was ready to compete with other teams.
Twain was a side-friendly coach, and the new season's guidance was all from the midfielders, almost all of whom were offensive players. The left and right forwards needed to be added, and there had to be a strong new aid in the forward line.
Žigić and Agbonlahor are both specialised players — they were particularly outstanding in one area but not exactly impressive. Žigić's height and header, as well as Ken's good sense of passing for his team-mates, were the bridgeheads of the team's attack. Abangraho's speed was a sharp weapon in a quick counter-attack. But Twain still needed someone who specialised in shooting, just like Van Nistelrooy.
Right now, France's leading scorer, Benzema, was absolutely in line with the requirements, but Twain knew he wanted to buy a hand almost all the time. There were also the numerous big names who were contending. Satisfying the appetite of Olath's shameless greed was not something Forest can do right now.
As for Huntelaar, he had been bought by Real Madrid ...
Twain felt that deciding who to buy was a headache for him, much more than studying tactics and thinking about how to beat his opponent were.After all, this was something that could not be undone once the transaction was made. The pressure brought about by the prospect of splurging on someone only to buy back a useless player was not small.
Twain decided to continue observing.
England's team was back up against the United States, the second time the two sides had met since the 1950 World Cup where England lost 1-0 to the United States. After the first match between the two teams 60 years ago where the United States' beat England, England's editors could not believe the match. Therefore, after a very prudent review, they came up with a "perfect" solution. They believed it was the front-line reporters who got it wrong and omitted a '1' before England's score. And so, with great flourish, England trumped America 10:1. The news of the great victory over the United States was published in the newspapers, and it became a running joke in the history of the World Cup.
Sixty years on, England was still arrogant but they will not make the same mistakes as they did 60 years ago. Mistakes on live broadcasts make were almost impossible to repeat.
Wood was back on the bench and given the chance to make his debut. Capello gave him a clear mandate — to defend in midfield and cut the link between the American midfielder and the forward line.
George Wood did a good job. The whole game was under his control, and the U.S. team had to rely on long comings to attack.
England scored one goal in each half and eventually eliminated the United States 2-0 to reach the top eight.
George Wood made his debut, played 90 minutes, shoveled the ball 20 times in the game, made 16 attempts, tackled 11 times, successfully made nine, committed five fouls, was violated six times, passed 51 times, made 40, shot once but none on target, assisted a goal.
That was his technical statistics, and after the game he was second in the team in scoring, behind Gerrard, who had scored two goals.
Commentators around the world mentioned his name again and again during matches, calling him England's midfield pillar. With him, England's midfield was rock solid. England's ability to beat the United States so easily was inseparable from his play. Had Gerrard not scored two goals, the best of the game would have been given to George Wood..
In fact, the World Cup for most players, was a perfect stage to get themselves to the world. Although George Wood had long been a world-class player in England and an impeccable performer at the club, he had been considered a world-class player because of a lack of national team results. There was also this idea that Wood could only perform well at the club where there was a man who trusted him to be at the heart of the team, namely their coach, Tony. When he was on the national team, he was just a side dish; he was just not as good a player. Just like the Italian "Golden Boy" Del Piero. No matter how well the club played, he would not be recognised if he could not play well on the national team.
The club and the national team were the two legs of a professional footballer. Without either, a player would be crippled.
At this World Cup, although the team was on the bench, but in the knockout stages, he became Capello's most reliable player.
After the game against the United States, Capello publicly praised George Wood at a press conference,: " He reassured me that he knew what to do. Having him in our midfield is very orderly."
Many pundits said after the game that although the star-studded England midfielder, George Wood, was a "bright" midfielder, Wood looked the least humble, but he was definitely the last one to replace. Whether it was Gerrard, Lampard, Bentley, Joe Cole, or anyone else, they could all be replaced. In terms of both character and role, George Wood was irreplaceable..
If England wanted to go further in this World Cup, such a diligent midfield tie is definitely the key to the manager's tactical intent.
To win the title during the big cup want to win the title, it was clear they had to rely on defense. George Wood was the make-or-break when it came to England's midfield defence. Capello was not a fool; he knew as much. George Wood was the very definition of "defense".
Despite England's next match against European champions Spain, Downey boldly predicted in his column that England could reach at least the top four. They might even get to the finals for the second time since 1966 for all they knew. His confidence came from Capello's reuse of George Wood, and that he was a defensive coach. .
Before the game against England, Fàbregas, a longtime Premier League midfielder who knew English football best, was interviewed by reporters. They asked, "Who is the most dangerous man in England?" He replied with no hesitation, "George Wood. "
Till this day, the Arsenal captain and the Spanish national team's midfield core still could not forget the youth FA Cup he played in England. George Wood seemed to kill the spirit of this young genius. Until now, Fàbregas has struggled to face Wood in the English Premier League.
Spain's coach Jose Bosque agreed with his men. He said, "Unless we're going to play England's traditional long pass, we're not going to get around George Wood.
Yes, Spanish football was very much about midfield control. Look at Spain's starting midfielders in the group stage — Fàbregas, Xavi, Xabi Alonso and David Silva. They were all technically skilled, good at attacking as well as intercepting the ball and controlling the tempo of the game. This set of midfield line-up in the group stage, Spain's three-match winning line-out from the group, scored 11 goals, fully demonstrating their attacking prowess. All 11 goals were launched by the midfield; the four midfield starters directly assisted seven of the goals.
After just two rounds, Spain's midfield combination garnered a lot of attention. Almost everyone wearing "art football" hats over their heads. The Spanish team played a football that was pleasing to the eye, one that was very ornamental with a smooth and natural attack. Fans love to watch them keep the football under their feet, play between their hands by passing back and forth and running around before unknowingly seeing the goal, which was really an art.
So with these three group games, Spain became the top candidate for the title. The media's assessment of the power of the European champions was still there: an opponent that no team dared to look down on.
But for England coach Fabio Capello, he saw a chance to win. Spain scored 13 goals in four games so far, second only to Argentina who had Messi, Aguero and Tevez. But they lost seven balls. Casillas's ability was indisputable, and the reason for losing so many balls was simply that they did not value defense, or that their own level of defense was limited.
For a team so focused on the midfield control layer, with frequent assists from the wing-backs and a very good level of attack, what could be worse than going up against an aggressive middlefield striker?
Against Spain, Capello put on a defensive display, replacing Bentley with defensive midfielder Hargreaves, and in midfield he put on a jaw-dropping three-back line: George Wood in the center flanked by Gareth Barry and Hargreaves. Gerrard was left on attack in the centre.
"Obviously, I'm going to defend," Capello explained his squad in his pre-match press conference. "Against Spain, trying not to lose the ball first is the key to winning the game."
Twain agreed, "I want to do the same! Defense is the basis for winning, and the side that loses the ball first in such an important game can easily lose focus and give the opponent a chance. I don't need 7:6 to win the race, I just need 1:0!"
The Spanish media regarded Capello's decision as a gesture of mercy and weakness, and they proudly declared, "The Spanish team's attack is not even good, the gold medal coach Capello is rather afraid."
"Three backs can't stop us from scoring goals!
The arrangement of the three backs was simply outrageous! This was the regression of football, the detox of utilitarian football! This World Cup was destined to belong to Spain and aesthetic football!
But they all forget that a very important reason why Spain won the Euro 2008 was that there was a full-time defensive midfielder in good form, Senna. It was his tireless running and interceptions at the back that allowed Xavi and Iniesta and Fàbregas to attack as they wanted to.
At this World Cup, Senna did not even make the final list because of the fact that he was getting older and slipped so fast. Bosque didn't even bring a defensive midfielder to South Africa. No, it's just the nature of the Spanish nation, who worships aggression and art from the heart, and they despise defence and utility from the heart.
The match was held in Johannesburg, South Africa.
The direct collision of art football and utilitarian football, the strong dialogue between the title favourites Spain and England attracted the attention of the world. any reporters gathered on the scene and hundreds of television media around the world broadcast live; the seats were full, and the grandstand had long been crowded. Everyone was looking forward to this quarter-final between Mars and Earth.
"Who are you rooting for, Tony?" Newcastle coach Alan Shearer who was also invited as a guest of honour prior to the game asked his colleagues. At this time both men temporarily set aside their obligations as head coaches and formed an easy alliance.
"England." If Capello was to play Spain in the group stage, I would bet on Spain."
"Three backs. I really didn't think of that. "Alan Shearer once played as a striker and even as a coach he was known for his attacking approach.
Twain was very happy, and now he saw Capello as a fellow."I heard the Spaniards' reaction before the game, and I bet that after half a game the arrogant Spaniards would have broken their glasses. Three backs, Harvey they don't want to have anymore to play. Ha ha!" He's looking forward to the game for a while now.
After the game officially began, everything was as Dunn said. With less than half a game to play, the Spaniard was already looking very anxious.
George Wood, Hargreaves, Gareth. Three of Barry's midfielders piled up in front of the line-up, leaving the passing of Xavi, Iniesta and Fàbregas. Later, possession of the ball would become a luxury, let alone actually managing a pass.
Capello's task for the three backs was simple and clear — no matter the method, do not let the Spanish midfielder comfortably get the ball to organize the attack. As such, the Spanish players suffered a lot with the many fouls, small movements, reasonable use of the body of the collision. At the group stage, the elegant artists in the face of England's tough rush looked miserable.
Xavi and Iniesta were largely submerged in England's muscular forest, only for Fàbregas, who had been in the Premier League for a long time, to be slightly better off physically. By then, the Spanish team had essentially given the ball to Fàbregas, who had been placed on the right, and slowly moved himself to the centre, resulting in Harvey's power, in the middle and old rival George Wood spun around.
The ensuing game was deadlocked. England's whole-hearted defence was powerless to fight back, while Spain's attack was goalless.
The first half was a 1:1 battle between the two sides.
In the second half Bosque made adjustments, replacing with Diego Capel, moving Fàbregas to the centre, and Xavi forming the centre-forward, the side hand silva and Cazorla to break through, with the intention of opening the gap from the side .
This change brought about some effect, but Capello adjusted quickly enough]. Let the defensive area of the three backs increase. The middle road was mainly left to George Wood, leaving Gerrard to help cope with Cesc Fàbregas and Xavi's shock.
Capello had no intention of fighting back at all.
The game was so dull that viewers around the world waited in front of the television. Spain's most proud and popular offensive football, art football was thrown out of rhythm because of the opponent's three-back midfield configuration. England drew back as well, as if they lost the desire to attack. What was the point of watching such a game?
But Twain looked so fond of watching Spanish attack blocked by the three-back configuration. Each time he saw George Wood defend again he cheered silently.
The score was 0:0 until the end of the ninety minutes. The two sides went into overtime after a short break. This was the first extra-time game of the World Cup.
Commentators had been critical of Capello's conservatism, but Capello could not hear the criticism, and even if he heard it, he would continue to do what he did. There was no point in pleasing the audience instead of winning the game.
In the first half of extra-time England suddenly made a big difference on the attack, narrowly breaking Casillas' goal in three successive attacks, making the Spanish fans sweat. Tony Twain's solution was that it must have been Capello's own instructions, because if the game was dragged into a penalty shoot-out, it would be no good for England.
The impact of Germany's World Cup penalty elimination by Portugal must have sustained until now, not to mention in the goalkeeper's ring, Joe Hart missed Casillas by more than one grade.
So Capello was hoping to take advantage of the Spanish player's physical decline in extra-time to let England, who had endured a 90-minute strike, take the game. They came close to succeeding --if not for "St. Igor" to show spirit again.
In the second half of extra-time, England's attack faded and Spain regained the initiative, seizing the last time they were hoping to decide the outcome of the regular season, even if the man standing behind them was Casillas, and no one wanted a penalty shootout. Bosque, on the other hand, was already thinking about the order of the players in the penalty shootout.
The singing in the stands faded. The Spanish fans were so worried that they would not expect the highly-anticipated team to play so badly, and England's fans were worried because Capello's three backs gave them no hope of winning.
The game went to 118 minutes with two minutes left in overtime.
In the backfield after breaking Fàbregas' pace, George chose to take the ball forward instead handing it to Gerrard, Barry or anyone else as usual.
His sudden movement caught the Spanish midfielder off guard and everyone but Fàbregas was always with him, who forgot to defend the England No.13 with the ball.
Fàbregas knew nothing more about what the boy was going to do. When Nottingham Forest was in trouble, Tony occasionally let George Wood step in at the last minute to organize the attack, which often ended curiously.
"Go, George, go!" Twain said on the live broadcast.
" George Wood himself took the ball forward and the Spanish midfielder had no interceptions at all. ...No, Fàbregas followed him, But he was not fast enough! Mortensen raised his fist and shouted.
This was England's last attack ...
Capello rose from his seat, pursed his lips and looked motionlessly at the pitch, as if he were a statue.
"Gerrard is picking him up ...Puyol's up! Passing the ball? No! Force a break! Well done, George!! "
Wood relied on Puyol's combination of body and speed to force a pass past the Barcelona captain.
"Into the 30-meter area! "
Twain seemed to have forgotten that he was now a commentator, not the Nottingham Forest manager. He got up from his seat and raised his fist and yelled at the field, "Shoot! George! Shoot! "
"But the shot's a little ..." Shearer disagrees. He thought the pass was better.
Before he could finish speaking, Wood abruptly got up about thirty metres from the goal, and even Fàbregas didn't expect him to be so decisive.
The football rose from the sky, did not spin, flew straight to the goal, with a gust of wind.
It was too late for Casillas to adjust the position, and he had to rise up, stretching his arms and trying to pounce on the corner. At this moment, "Saint-Igor" is the only Spaniard the Spaniard can rely on, all defenders can do nothing about Wood's foot.
With Motson's long whistling, Casillas fell from the air and he did not touch the ball. The football pierced the "St. Igor" defense boundary and turned into a meteor crash into the net!
The deadlock of nearly a hundred and twenty minutes was broken ...
"A shocking move!" Mortensen, who had been repressed for a hundred and twenty minutes, also broke out, and he stood up and waved his arm and shouted, "GOAL! GOOAL! GOOOOAL!! A kill right before the end! There's no better killing than this! Casillas lost to George Wood! George..St. George. St. George defeated St.Igor! He is the patron saint of England! Four we go, goodbye Spain!" St George, who scored the kill, was pushed to the bottom by his frantic teammates, and the escaped Capello and his colleagues hugged each other tightly, swearing in Italian and venting their feelings of being repressed for 120 minutes. The England FA's goal for Capello before the World Cup was to finish in the top four, and now he has done it.
The Spanish side was dead, and no one could believe that England's goalkeeper, George W. Bush, could not score. Wood kicked the ball out of the world and kicked them back home in Spain at the last minute.
"Yes! He's bad at shooting! But it's not the first time in his career that he's hit such a wonderful world wave! Manchester United and Chelsea have both lost to his footy.The Spaniards should have learned their lesson! You have St Igor and we have St George! "
"Four hundred and twenty-two years ago, the British Navy hung the flag of St. George in the Red Triangle in the Atlantic Ocean, fought to the end, and never backed down, defeating Spain's invincible fleet! Now we see the flag full of glory, it is flying over Johannesburg, South Africa! Once again, we have defeated Spain's Invincible Fleet ! "
"St. George for England!"