England v Finland - 11/10/00
Not Pretty or Effective
It wasn't pretty and it was hard for the players. One manager out and a new one in off the back of a bad result on Saturday.
To top that there were key players missing, morale was low, the team was in disarray, confidence was low on a bad pitch, in a strong wind and it was away from home.
There were a lot of people baying for blood and it was always going to be difficult. But the fact is they didn't perform.
People can talk about systems and tactics all night long. I think tactics are important. You can be organised with the ball and without it and that helps a lot. But you've got to be able to pass the ball from A to B, control and move, and they just didn't do that.
The passing was poor, the final ball in was poor and all in all it was a poor performance.
The closest England did come was through Ray Parlour. I've seen the shot on replays on numerous times and I still can't tell you whether it was in.
He picked the ball up and made a tremendous run - it looked in to me but I think it was a close call.
The Finnish goalkeeper should have been off just six minutes into the match.
A bad pass back let Sheringham in and as he went round the keeper, Niemi clips his leg stopping a certain goal and I can't understand why the referee only booked him
Teddy himself should have been off as well in the first half as he caught one of the Finns with a right hook. If the referee had seen it he was off.
It was an attacking formation that Howard Wilkinson went in with, with a lot of attacking players but certainly the keeper didn't have one save to make.
England played 4-3-3 and Paul Scholes' big asset is getting into the box but there were too many players in there and he virtually didn't have a kick and you expect a bit more from one of England's best players.
One of the brightest things to come out of the game for England was the performance of Wes Brown. A couple of years back he looked like he could be a regular and having come back from injury I think he's going to be awesome.
But for me that star of the show was in the Finland side. When you talk about technical ability Jari Litmanen was absolutely brilliant all night.