England face Italy in the quarter-finals of Euro 2012 and expectations are rising. A disallowed Ukranian goal, Wayne Rooney’s return and Steven Gerrard’s form are all under the microscope. Paddy Power’s columnist Robbie Fowler has his say…
As an England fan I’m not complaining – but the fifth official that didn’t award the Ukraine a goal last night shouldn’t be in a job. How he has not seen it I do not know. He should not be working again in that job because he’s not very good at it. Things happen quickly in football, I know, but that was bad.
I could clearly see that Marko Devic had scored from my position in a TV booth but he was only five yards away from it and didn’t give it. The ball was clearly over the line. I knew straight away it had crossed the line. FIFA have got to get control of these situations.
Everybody wants goal-line technology because football is such big business. These situations cost clubs, countries and supporters. Having said that, England deserved to win against Ukraine and they were very professional. They were quite comfortable in the end, without looking brilliant.
It was good to see Wayne Rooney back. You’ve got to give him credit because of the pressure he was under to perform on his return.
But for me, Steven Gerrard is England’s best player. He’s controlled games. He’s worked hard and he’s had a hand in the goal but his all-round game is top-class.
The manager Roy Hodgson deserves credit too. Whatever he’s doing is working and England can look forward to the Italy game on Sunday with confidence.
I’m quietly confident. England have surprised people.
And if we get through against Italy, everyone will look forward to meeting the Germans and beating them. But we’ll take it one game at a time.