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English blasted after weak showing
June 7th, 2010 8:15PM
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TAGS:  england, men's national team


[USA-ENGLAND COUNTDOWN] How much should you read into England's limpid performance in its 3-0 win over the vacationing Platinum Stars, one of the weakest teams in the South African Premiership? Probably too much. But it certainly drew a reaction from a livid Fabio Capello at halftime and sent alarm bells ringing across England.

Capello could be seen screaming at his players as they prepared for the second half, and star Wayne Rooney was warned that his second-half outburst that earned him a yellow card would warrant a red card in the World Cup.

The English press blasted the Three Lions' performance with such headlines as "Capello on war path" (Independent), "Raging bulls" (Daily Mail), "Not good enough" (Sun).

The play of the central midfield pair of Steve Gerrard and Frank Lampard and outside backs Glen Johnson (who conceded a penalty the Stars failed to convert) and Ashley Cole was probably the biggest concern.

Who helped his cause? Ledley King looks to start Saturday in place of the injured Rio Ferdinand alongside John Terry after putting in a solid 45 minutes, and Joe Cole on the left side of midfield figures to start against the USA after playing the entire 90 minutes.

Joe Hart appears to have the starting job in goal, and Emile Heskey should start alongside Rooney.

England (first half) -- Hart, Johnson, King, Terry, A.Cole, Wright-Phillips, Gerrard,  Lampard, Cole, Crouch, Defoe.

England (second half) -- Green, Carragher, Upson, Dawson, Warnock, Milner, Carrick, Lennon, J. Cole, Rooney, Heskey.

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