Vital QPR regular toboboly reviews England Under 19’s playing their Italian counterparts in W12 last night.
A decent sized crowd of just over 6000 turned up to watch England under-20’s take on Italy’s under-20’s at Loftus Road last night.
Early exchanges saw England settling after some early Italian possesion and going on to completely dominate the first half. The defence kept a lacklustre Italian attack at bay with ease whilst an industrious midfield, containing ex-R loanee Scott Sinclair helped out the attacking partnership of Daniel Sturridge and Freddie Sears.
England managed to break the deadlock on 20 minutes after a well taken corner was headed home with ease by captain Ciaren Clark. He rose easily above his marker, who didn’t seem to realise a game of football was being played, and placed the ball beyond the dive of keeper Carlo Pinsoglio. Clark, who is contracted to Villa was very good all match. Marshalling his defence well and looking very dangerous at set plays. He only made one error all game, in the second half, and he quickly rectified the situation himself. Definitely one to watch for the future and I would like to see QPR go for him as he is, in my opinion, far better than Fitz Hall and would be a great back up.
England were having a fair amount of joy down the left and Daniel Sturridge was able to latch on to a cross from that side, controlling the ball perfectly then scoring with his second touch in a very fluid motion. Not long after Italy almost conceded an own goal which, had it gone in, would have been the goal of the match. A beautiful chip, presumably some crazy attempt at a back pass, was lifted over the bar with an almighty full body stretch from the Italian keeper. His night wasn’t to get any better either as he was beaten again by Sturridge but the effort was disallowed, fairly in my opinion, as Sturridge was half a yard offside.
With the second half almost over and the Italians looking desperate after fending off wave after wave of England attacks Ciaren Clark almost headed his second but couldn’t quite direct the ball on target.
The second half saw England use all of their available substitutes at one point or another. Italy started the brighter but new keeper Ben Amos making some decent early saves. I was impressed with Amos. He didn’t have a huge amount to do but he dealt with everything and was constantly communicating with his back four. Perhaps one to keep an eye on with our problematic keepers?
Overall the second half didn’t have the excitement of the first. England’s substitutions meant that there was less rhythm (sp) than previously. The Italians also seemed to have sturdied themselves in the break although despite a lot of nice flicks and touches in the middle of the park they were unable to capitalize on their few opportunities.
I was impressed with Chelsea left back Ryan Bertrand. Very good at getting forward, able to deliver a good cross and defensively was solid. Daniel Sturridge was a mixed bag. His eye for goal was great but ball control didn’t seem to be high on his priorities and he will need to work on it. Scott Sinclair did not impress me at all. He made a few good runs but all too frequently he was all tricks and no delivery. He also doesn’t seem to recognise tackling, or tracking back for that matter, as important, pretty much how he played for us then! As our board love central midfielders I would also like to point them in the direction of Marc Albrighton, an industrious midfielder in the Martin Rowlands mould, who is contracted to Villa. His final ball was often lacking but his energy and willingness to do the ugly parts of the game in central midfield were pivotal in England reducing the Italian attack to sporadic at best.
As for the Italians, well I wasn’t particularly impressed with any of them but Marco Augusto Romizi had great hair! He also showed some promise in an attacking midfield role. He is currently at Fiorentina, so perhaps we can get Di Carmine to convince him to come over?!
One slight problem I had was the use of the ‘Chelsea Dagger’ for the first goal and for the music at the end of the match……also I saw two kids with Chelsea tops on inside Loftus. They may be young but I reckon they should have been bundled out by security!
Many thanks to Toboboly