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Last Updated: Tuesday, 20 June 2006, 23:31 GMT 00:31 UK
BBC pundits on England
England qualified for the second stage of the World Cup as group winners after their 2-2 draw with Sweden.

Sven-Goran Eriksson's men are safely through - but Tuesday night's game was not without its troubles.

Michael Owen picked up an injury and England's defence showed some worrying frailties during a poor second-half display.

Eriksson may need to reshuffle his side for the match against Ecuador.

BBC pundits Graham Taylor, Alan Hansen and Alan Shearer give their views on Tuesday night's performance.


By Graham Taylor
Former England manager

I'm getting quite tired of all these debates about formation.

We should know them now, we should know what we are doing. It is a criticism I have.

We are all getting hung up on what formations we should be playing - and we are going in to the knockout stage of the World Cup for goodness' sake.

I think that Sven and, I have to say, some of the Premiership managers, have helped bring down friendly games.

That's when you, as an England manager, should be saying we're going to play 3-4-3, 3-5-2 or whatever.

In terms of individuals, for the first 20 minutes, I wondered whether David Beckham was on the pitch.

Then, all of a sudden he struck a great ball for Rooney, who brought it down and it was blocked out.

But if you look at the full 90 minutes, he's been anonymous.

Paul Robinson's got to be much more decisive and he's got to get better communication with his back four.

Owen Hargreaves did fine, I thought, in terms of coming into the side.

But he pushed back, when England went into a 4-1-4-1 formation and Sweden were threatening. I didn't see as much of him then as I thought I would.


By Alan Hansen
BBC Sport pundit

With England there is no in-between. There is a chasm and you're on either side. It is either euphoria or despair.

In the first half they played well, the balance was better, the passing was better.

Joe Cole was great, England got the goal and you thought at half-time, well, just keep going like that and the confidence levels will be sky-high for the game against Ecuador.

Then they come out again in the second half and were totally flat.

We've seen this time and time again - and the last 20 minutes from an England point of view were totally horrific.

It's absolutely tragic for Michael Owen, after fighting his way back from injury.

He was just getting fit and then this happens and we all feel for him.

But there were positives too. Joe Cole has been brilliant for the past 18 months.

He's got stronger mentally and physically. No-one ever talks about England's problem position on the left hand side of midfield and that's a tribute to Joe Cole.

And Wayne Rooney made a difference.

As a defender or as a defensive midfield player, when you pick up the ball you're looking for options and alternatives.

Against Trinidad and Tobago England didn't have any of that.

Against Sweden, Rooney made that difference because of his appreciation of the space, how to use it and his absolute strength and pace.


By Alan Shearer
Former England striker

I hope I'm wrong about this but it looks like a bad injury for Michael Owen.

When you go down and there is no-one around you, often they are the worst injuries.

I had a text from him, he said he is in a lot of pain and he hopes it's not bad. But obviously, he's like the rest of us I think and fearing the worst.

He won't get a minute's sleep on Tuesday night. I think that incident will just running through his head time and time again.

Obviously he will be in a lot of pain and he'll just be keeping everything crossed for the scan results.

But deep down, he'll probably know what's the matter with him now.



SEE ALSO
Sweden 2-2 England
20 Jun 06 |  World Cup 2006
World Cup over for injured Owen
21 Jun 06 |  England
Defensive slips concern Eriksson
20 Jun 06 |  England
World Cup 2006 group scenarios
20 Jun 06 |  World Cup 2006
England run out of steam again
20 Jun 06 |  England
Sweden v England photos
20 Jun 06 |  World Cup 2006
Sweden v England player ratings
20 Jun 06 |  World Cup 2006


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