Teams /  Bulgaria  / Bulgaria 
Bulgaria have 279 Fans
Theo Walcott shows appetite and greater appreciation of the game
David Pleat - 3 years ago

This was a predictable result against anaemic opposition in an encouraging showing by England, especially in a much improved second half. No one let the team down and Theo Walcott showed glimpses of a greater appreciation of the game.

Buoyed by Jermain Defoe's early goal, courtesy of Wayne Rooney's clever touch and Ashley Cole marauding forward from left-back, we dominated play. Walcott on the right was given licence to challenge his immediate opponent, Zhivko Milanov. As Glen Johnson sat with little attempt to force two-against-one situations, this invited the Arsenal man to show whether he has progressed. His positional ability and selection of pass were under the microscope; no one doubts his speed.

The Arsenal man indicated he's regained his appetite – he sought the ball, and is realising that he must bring variety to his game and not be known solely as a touchline "hugger".

Good wingers mix up their games to keep opponents guessing. Walcott has improved his knowledge of when to spin into space behind the full-back if tightly marked and when to race away, then check towards the ball to receive to feet. Here he moved smoothly off his touchline and played the ball infield and followed his pass. In doing so, he dragged his marker, Milanov, away from the touchline and Glen Johnson accepted the next pass into space. He is learning to make space unselfishly for colleagues.

In the early moments of the second half Walcott did not receive enough supply of the ball and switched with James Milner for the first time. Milanov followed him to the right-back area and then Walcott and Milner switched again – clever wingers.

When Walcott was replaced by Adam Johnson after 74 minutes, I felt comfortable that the young man accused of lacking a football brain is gradually picking up the nuances of wing play. He has played 13 times for his country now and at 21 he is slowly polishing his game.

Other credits were the newcomers: Michael Dawson, Phil Jagielka and Joe Hart. Cole was as good as ever.

There was nothing new in our line-up, with Milner and Walcott wide and Rooney drooping a little deeper than Defoe to help Steven Gerrard and Gareth Barry. In truth, they had to cope with a tidy but not powerful midfield.

This week Fabio Capello tried to distract his detractors by suggesting we might be playing 9-1, as opposed to 4-3-3 or 4-4-2. The most important factor, though, is that individual players must work collectively, respecting certain principles – compactness, depth, width and penetration.

This is comment. GNM does not necessarily support the views expressed.

Share your thoughts
Sign in to comment

Latest News, Blogs & Podcasts

Inside World Football - 2 weeks ago
July 10 - Bulgarian champions Ludogorets Razgrad have signed a new kit deal with Italian sports apparel firm Macron replacing German giants Adidas as main technical sponsor. The sponsorship is for three years and starts from the 2014/2015 season.
UEFA.com - 13 hours ago
"We did not start well, but this is not a big problem at the moment," he explained. "Sometimes you need more luck. We created many good chances, but these things happen in football. Of course, we should be more focused in front of goal, but I am sure ...
Soccerly - 8 hours ago
Mbohli comes to the Union from CSKA Sofia, one of the top teams in the Bulgarian A Football Group. He began his career in France with Marseille and made stops in Greece and Japan before signing on with Slavia Sofia in Bulgaria in 2009, where he ...
Assen Jordanoff, of Bulgarian descent, invented the airbag. The Bulgarian national football team finished fourth in the 1994 World Cup. Over 15,000 Thracian tombs have been discovered on the territory of Bulgaria, most of which are yet to be explored.
Goal.com - 1 day ago
Costa Rica dazzled en route to the World Cup quarterfinals, but how will it recover the momentum lost in its managerial soap opera? Editor's Note: CONCACAF hipster Jon Arnold brings Goal readers stories and opinions from around the region in a weekly ...
July 28 - Bulgarian Lev Ins AD Insurance Company is the new lead sponsor of top tier club Levski Sofia. The contract between the two parties was signed on Friday, but the curious thing is that it is for just six ... "The partnership between Lev Ins and ...
Bulgarian operator Mtel extended its partnership with the professional football club Levski Sofia. Mtel first entered into a partnership agreement with the football club in 1998. Besides PFC Levski, the operator supports the national football team, the ...
Meanwhile Belarus, which in 2013 was the per capita spam frontrunner with a spam rate ranging from four times to nearly 30 times that of the US, has ceded its dubious crown to Bulgaria. Both countries have spam rates at about twice the US figure.
- 1 week ago
PSV will begin their European campaign against the winners of the match featuring Bulgaria's PFC Botev Plovdiv and SKN St. Pölten of Austria, with the Austrians making their debut in European competition this season. The match between the two sides ...
Daily Mail - 3 days ago
The fighting stopped for one day on Christmas Day, 1914, when British and German soldiers called a truce and played football together in "No Man's Land". :: During the war, the Allied and Associated Powers mobilised more than 42 million men. :: More ...

Latest Photo Galleries

Euro 2012 qualifier: England v Bulgaria
3 years ago
We bring you all the action from Wembley as England kick off their Euro 2012 qualification campaign and hope that three points and a good performance will put the memories of their disastrous World Cup to rest
Kick4Life - changing lives through football