England 2 Sweden 2
It doesn't look good for England.
Sure, they earned the tie to win the group, and sure, their second round match with Ecuador looks very winnable on paper, but it doesn't look good. And that only has a little to do with Michael Owen being mysteriously carried off on a stretcher and out of this World Cup for good in only the first minute.
England just doesn't look good. Period.
How does a team that only needs a tie to win the group hold the lead twice and give it up both times? And Sweden is a team that failed to score against Trinidad & Tobago. That's awful. Even worse, goalkeeper Paul Robinson looked positively lost at times and was lucky not to give up more than he did, one Swedish shot hitting the crossbar and two more being cleared off the line by defenders.
In the good news department for the Brits, Wayne Rooney started and then threw a near temper tantrum when being replaced in the second half, meaning the hotheaded youngster seems to be back to normal.
But overall, I'm quickly losing faith in this English team. Perhaps Sven Goran Erickson should have been fired before the tourney. For a team with stars at nearly every poition, they play with little flair, little creativity, and worst of all, little heart. There is no sense of urgency, and really, no sense that they'll be able to turn it on when it matters. I'm looking directly at the coach.
Maybe Erickson can send the WAGS home and hit his team with a celibacy rule. Would that help? This team semms way too satisfied. No hunger in their bellies.