The ADL Index – World Cup 2010 England player ratings – England 3-1 Mexico

England continued to prepare well for the World Cup with a convincing 3-1 win over Mexico. Surprise starter Ledley King opened the scoring on the 17th minute by heading in Peter Crouch’s flick-on, with Crouch then bundling in a second 18 minutes later. But an energetic looking Mexico continued to press on and were rewarded on the stroke of half-time in the form of Guillermo Franco’s tap-in following some poor marking. England came back out rejuvenated, Glen Johnson overlapping on the right-hand side, beating three defenders on his way to curling in a spectacular left-footed finish. A comfortable victory.

Starting line-up

         
         
   

Substitutions
46:Hart on for Green
Carragher on for Ferdinand
Defoe on for Crouch
61: Huddlestone on for Carrick
77: Lennon on for Walcott
85: Adam Johnson on for Milner

1 Robert Green
Position: Goalkeeper
Minutes played: 45
Rating: 8
Only called upon a few times in his first-half cameo, but has more or less sealed his place as No 1. Was forced to make a quality reaction save from a one-on-one with Carlos Vela as a result of sloppy marking, getting down well to deflect the shot away. Showed presence in the box and was not afraid of voicing his concerns to the back-line following a sluggish start. Spilt a shot which could have gone a lot worse, but thankfully, it did not.

2 Glen Johnson
Position: Right-back
Minutes played: 90
Rating: 7.5
Had to make up for a shaky first-half with a moment of brilliance in the form of a left-footed wonder-goal. Drifted into the centre to cover for the early threats posed by dos Santos, but could have done with staying in position as a better winger would have looked to capitalise on the gaps left. Came much out brighter in the second-half, overlapping with Theo Walcott well which led to the goal, as well as averting any danger posed on the right-hand side. An unusual selection for Man of the Match, but should be one of the first names on the teamsheet come June.

5 Rio Ferdinand
Position: Centre-back
Minutes played: 45
Rating: 6
Slow out of the blocks and struggled to contain the pace of dos Santos and in particular Vela, continuing to react late to his runs allowing him to duel with Green. Soon sharpened up but could be to blame for Franco’s free header along with King. With Dawson on the bench and Carragher performing only fairly well it is not like Capello can take his captain out of the starting line-up. But there’s plenty of room for improvement.

6 Ledley King
Position: Centre-back
Minutes played: 90
Rating: 7
First goal in six years was the highlight of a fairly solid performance. Leapt well to meet Crouch’s flick, something that might be used as a weapon in the near future. Could be accused of losing Franco for the goal along with Ferdinand, but after coming away 3-1 winners, nobody will look to be shifting the blame. Along with Ferdinand, could be accused of slow reactions in the first-half, but again it would be hard to criticise an overall well-rounded performance. It was clear Capello wanted to see 90 minutes of action without limps, and that is exactly what he got.

3 Leighton Baines
Position: Left-back
Minutes played: 90
Rating: 7
Had little to do all game with most of the action on the right side, but deserves credit for keeping his left side quiet. Was far more hesitant to attack than expected by staying very much put for the whole of the game with Steven Gerrard covering most of the running. Will be forced to step aside when Ashley Cole arrives at camp, but provides more than adequate cover at left-back.

7 Theo Walcott
Position: Right-midfield
Minutes played: 76
Rating: 7.5
First 30 minutes more or less booked his place on the plane. Ran at left-back Salcido all of the first-half and created problems when given space. Crossing still does not look perfect as all three strikers had a quiet evening feeding on scraps. Predictably ran out of gas around the 60-minute mark, which has to be highlighted if Capello decides to start him. Nonetheless, lived up to his billing as England’s main wing-based attacking threat, but a role as an impact player at 2010 beckons.

11 James Milner
Position: Centre-midfield
Minutes played: 84
Rating: 8
Had little to do along with Tom Huddlestone and Michael Carrick, but showed versatility with a strong defensive performance. Expected to push forward whilst Carrick dropped back, drifted from box to box whilst putting in some impressive tackles. As well as setting the tempo, his passing was also of a high standard, keeping things simple to provide Walcott and Gerrard with opportunities to run. Although almost certain to make the cut, position will depend on Gareth Barry’s fitness as well as Capello’s assessment of the right-hand side.

8 Michael Carrick
Position: Centre-midfield
Minutes played: 61
Rating: 6
Dropped back deep to play passes out of the back four, problem was that opportunity was rarely granted due to Milner’s ability to dribble the ball out himself. Played very much in the shadow of his midfield partner for the day, but did not make any clear mistakes. Another set to take a seat when the Chelsea four clock in, but a long-standing record of previous England call-ups gives him a decent enough chance to make the cut.

4 Steven Gerrard
Position: Left-midfield
Minutes played: 90
Rating: 7.5
Not even a bandaged head could stop him from flying into tackles, jumping up for headers and generally covering every square metre of pitch on offer. Showed pace throughout as well as producing a better cross than Walcott to reach the strikers. Still not sure if a role on the left is best for the team. With Gareth Barry still sidelined and Adam Johnson continuing to raise the bar, a fully fit Gerrard would probably operate better playing alongside Frank Lampard given his current form. Nothing overly special, but maybe the left side needs something special.

9 Peter Crouch
Position: Forward
Minutes played: 45
Rating: 7
Contributed an assist in King’s opener, but struggled to get involved as the ball stayed mainly on the ground. Added to his ever-impressive goal-tally by creating a nuisance for himself before nodding in on the line, but his role in 2010 could depend on the style of play Capello decides to invoke. With Emile Heskey breathing down necks for a start along with Jermain Defoe’s ability to link up well with Rooney, questions still rise as to what Capello intends to do with his strike-force.

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