BBC Sport
Skip to main contentAccess keys helpA-Z index

[an error occurred while processing this directive]
| Help

---------------
---------------
CHOOSE A SPORT
 
RELATED BBC SITES
Last Updated: Friday, 18 June, 2004, 10:20 GMT 11:20 UK
Swiss result was everything

By Terry Butcher
BBC Radio Five Live expert

Michael Owen's route to goal is blocked against Switzerland
I certainly wouldn't contemplate leaving Owen out - his luck will turn
England will have returned to their Lisbon base from Coimbra much happier with life after a comprehensive win against Switzerland.

It was not the best England performance in terms of producing top class, but it was very effective and any 3-0 win at international level is acceptable.

Wayne Rooney was the star of the show and deserves all the credit he has got.

He scored two goals, which will do wonders for his confidence, and he has delivered two big performances in Euro 2004.

I didn't want to tempt fate, but I did say before the tournament that he could be star of it, not just for England but the whole of Euro 2004.

Rooney makes things happen and he has the ability to turn games for England, along with Michael Owen.

And I thought Steven Gerrard thoroughly deserved his goal because he was excellent, improving as the game went on and helping England to dominate.

I think England are still not clicking into top gear, but that will come.

This applies in particular to Owen, but I don't think we should be over-critical of him.

The diamond means there are several players playing out of position and the flat four definitely does help
He created the first goal for Rooney, and I felt he was a little bit unlucky with the bounce of the ball on occasions.

I certainly wouldn't contemplate leaving him out and his luck will turn, you can be sure of that.

Rooney is the type of player who is flamboyant and plays off the cuff. Hopefully Owen can feed off some of his scraps.

I know it's the reverse that should be true, but Owen has not been firing.

When he does then look out, because England could be on their way.

A lot has been made of the players apparently asking Sven-Goran Eriksson to scrap the midfield diamond.

Not the same as 1990

People are saying it is very similar to 1990 when the players went to Bobby Robson, but we never did that.

It was more a case of Bobby and coach Don Howe looking at the players and moulding a team.

The diamond means there are several players playing out of position and the flat four definitely does help.

Four-four-two suits England very much. It was a system which Sven-Goran Eriksson introduced when he first came into the England set-up.

I left the stadium a much happier man on Thursday

It settles it down and it can and should deal with any other system that is thrown at it. Let's hope it works on Monday.

Another positive was the clean sheet, which was immensely important as Switzerland started very well.

John Terry got 90 minutes under his belt which will do him the world of good, and it was good that the players came through some early nerves to end strongly.

They were under pressure because they knew they would be out if they lost, but they won and ended well.

Switzerland did well until Rooney put them two behind and they have got some good players, but as David James said afterwards, sometimes it is about the result rather than the performance.

England have not fired on all cylinders yet, but no-one will complain if they keep making progress.

Germany reached the final of the 2002 World Cup almost without playing a decent game.

And this is why I left the stadium a much happier man on Thursday.

I feel there is a real strong character in this squad, now we must make sure we do not blow it by shooting ourselves in the foot against Croatia.





Links to more England stories


 

ALSO IN THIS SECTION

E-mail services | Sport on mobiles/PDAs

MMIX

Back to top

Sport Homepage | Football | Cricket | Rugby Union | Rugby League | Tennis | Golf | Motorsport | Boxing | Athletics | Snooker | Horse Racing | Cycling | Disability Sport | US Sport | Other Sport | Olympics 2004

Scores & Fixtures | Have Your Say | Photo Galleries | TV/Radio Listings

Fun and Games | Question of Sport | BBC Sport Plus

Northern Ireland | Scotland | Wales

BBC Sport Academy >> | BBC News >> | BBC Weather >>
About the BBC | News sources | Privacy & Cookies Policy | Contact us
banner watch listen bbc sport