Wales’ spirit and commitment puts England to shame – Adrian Durham verdict

first_img2 Saturday was all about the football. I didn’t make it back to my hotel after witnessing the tear gassing scenes at the Old Port in Marseille on Friday night. Instead, I stayed at the talkSPORT studio, temporarily housed in an apartment situated near the Old Port, and a 20 minute walk from the stadium. So I was woken early on Saturday by the voice of Joey Barton in the next room, co-hosting the breakfast show with Alan Brazil, who was in Paris.So I got up, and did the walk of shame back to my hotel, around 35-40 minutes away.  Had a croissant on the way, and it was no different to what you’d get in England. Disappointing.Soon it was back to the studio to host the live coverage of the first two games of the day – Albania against Switzerland, and then Wales versus Slovakia. I must say, if you’ve not heard Danny Gabbidon on our commentaries, you’ve missed something special. It’s pure Welsh passion from the Cwmbran kid. I don’t really know Danny, but just listening to him is a joy. He nearly exploded on air when Bale’s free-kick went in.After my shift was done, I walked to the stadium among the England fans, and spirits were good, there was lots of singing – nothing offensive, not even any expletives. I saw one minor altercation when two Russians tried to get in the faces of some English fans, who reacted badly to it, but it was self-policed with other fans breaking up any problem before it even started. In the stadium I met up with my boss, Liam, and we watched the game together, sitting very close to Arsene Wenger, Gerard Houllier and a very moody looking former Villa striker, Savo Milosevic.Here’s my view of the game: first half England were excellent, playing some wonderful football. If Adam Lallana could finish he’d be the perfect player. His pressing is exemplary, his touch and technique as good as I’ve seen from any Englishman since Gazza (and don’t think I’m comparing him to Gazza, I’m not). Raheem Sterling was clean through, but no top level player should be taking three touches in that position, and to not get a shot away was rubbish from him.Russia started pressing in the second half and all of a sudden England lost control of the game, they failed to dominate as they had in the first half. And we seemed to have no answer. I wanted Jamie Vardy on to stretch the opposition, to be more dynamic. Lallana had gone quiet, Sterling had the ball but did nothing with it.Then we got a break, scoring from a free-kick, probably against the run of play, and with 20 minutes left, we should have seen the game out. What followed was amateur. Jack Wilshere coming on was a shrewd move, but why take Wayne Rooney off? He’s the captain, the leader and the players look up to him. And he’d been playing well. Adrian Durham will be bringing you the latest from France every day 2 Full-backs carried on bombing forward, leaving gaps, and tiring themselves out unnecessarily. Only two of the three subs were used which was ridiculous. And James Milner came on to do a job on the left, but defensively he was a headless chicken, over-committing when closing down, meaning a drop of the shoulder from a Russian left him with time and space on the ball.  Poor from some England players, and poor game management second half.I’ve been talking Wales up as a team this week, saying they have something England don’t have that might make up for the fact – and it is a fact – that the Welsh 23 are mostly inferior players to the England 23. That is spirit and commitment. So while Ben Davies bust every sinew to clear off the line for Wales, not one English player did that for the Russian equaliser. Instead they appealed for offside, which it wasn’t. Very disappointing.Away to my right at full time, Russian fans charged at the English, who tried to run out of the stadium, but found that more Russians were charging them from the concourse. It was disturbing to watch. A pincer movement from the Russians, and English fans couldn’t get away. Segregation was poor, stewarding was even worse, policing in the stadium was non-existent. Just a few minutes earlier on the big screen the Russians had been told to stay in the seats at full time. What a joke, so naïve.I walked back to the hotel and crashed out. Our flight back to Paris was cancelled so ‘IMO’ the producer has switched us to the train. Good man…. although I wasn’t saying that earlier in the day when he tried to jump in a cab that wasn’t ours, and managed to annoy some England fans, who weren’t best pleased.last_img

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *