Euro Watch Day 8-Theo Walcott, England Saviour
England play Sweden in a crucial clash that could see the Swedes go out of the tournament as Walcott makes the substitution appearance of his life.
Well I’ll get the first game out of the way quickly because none of us really care too much about it, the French won 2-0.
Now to the big game of the night, England up against the very well supported bogey side, Sweden. As widely predicted Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain was left out to our disappointment. Credit to Hodgson when his pick, big centre forward, Andy ponytail Carroll smashed in a powerful header from a beautifully struck ball from the captain Gerrard.
Going to form England managed to sit back and the game pondered into half time. The second half started much the same with England getting pushed further back by the Swedes. A blocked free kick from Ibrahimovic was struck back into the dangerous 6 yard area where unlikely lad Olof Melberg scuffed towards a floundering Hart and Johnson.
With the game level the reaction seemed non-existent from England, and a set piece thrown long from Sweden saw England swallow their own medicine as that unlikely lad popped up again, this time completely unmarked. Questions have to be asked about how he managed to find so much space and why England found themselves so deep.
Then came the rise of the England Saviour, Theo Walcott replaced, the ineffective and lacklustre, James Milner, to try and change the game for England. How does 10 touches, 1 goal and 1 assist sound? Yes that good. Walcott absolutely changed the game, within minutes of coming on, his powerful long strike, caught the keeper unaware, Theo looked as surprised as anyone! He created buzz, had the Swedes running scared, got the team playing rather remarkably. Then a touch of class from Walcott as he started off a passing move that saw him played through in the box, he kicked into top gear and breezed past the back-line pulling back a perfectly timed cross for a finish that Bergkamp would have been proud of.
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain had a late cameo and could have made a real impact when Walcott broke through laying the ball on a plate only for Steven Gerrard to nick it from his foot as he blazed wide.
England saw the game out comfortably in the end gaining a crucial 3 points and sealing Sweden’s fate. Bogey team no more.
Here is an interesting fact courtesy of
@th14Renato that puts into perspective just how good a sub performance that was.
“Walcott is the 1st substitute English player ever to score and assist in a single match at European Championship.”
Walcott was interviewed straight after the game and was rightfully buzzing about his excellent performance and a very important win for England.
Walcott: “It means a lot to the fans that have come out here. It means so much to me. Hopefully there will be more to come.”