London: British newspapers were scathing
today about England`s lacklustre performance in the 0-0 World
Cup draw with Algeria, with striker Wayne Rooney`s form
causing particular concern.
Italian manager Fabio Capello was also facing some
awkward questions after the embarrassing draw, which came hot
on the heels of another draw, 1-1 with the United States.
"What a load of Roobish!" said the Daily Mirror, while
the Guardian`s verdict was: "No spark, no spirit, no hope".
"There can be no excuses, this was as bad as it gets,"
said the Sun, which had little sympathy for Rooney`s complaint
about being booed off the pitch by fans at the end of the
"Drab, dreary, depressing, disjointed, at times desperate
and, overall, dull as ditchwater. Thanks England. No wonder
you were booed off the pitch by your own fans last night," the
"Woeful England at point of no return" was the headline
in The Times.
It said that players were "haunted by the fear that they
will fail to meet" the expectations of a nation which has not
won the World Cup since 1966.
"Certainly the pressure seemed to get to Wayne Rooney,"
the paper said. "Rooney`s struggles warrant serious
It added: "There are times when playing for England must
feel like a dream for Lampard, Gerrard and the rest of them
but there are times... when it seems to be more like a
The Daily Telegraph said Capello desperately needs to
shake up his team to get the best out of players like Frank
Lampard and a "dispirited" Rooney before the final group C
game with Slovenia.
"The sooner Capello pushes Steven Gerrard up behind a
front-running Rooney, the quicker England can shake off the
shackles of anxiety," the paper said.
"Cape Clowns" was the Daily Mirror`s verdict on the match
in Cape Town.
"The reign of Fabio Capello which has promised so much
for so long came close to ending in ignominy and shame last
night," it said.
"Just when it mattered most, this England team appears to
have stopped responding to him."