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Crouch rescues England

LONDON, March 4 – Fabio Capello has never given the impression that he regards Peter Crouch as anything more than an impact substitute but the Italian appears to be warming to Tottenham's beanpole striker.
Crouch’s second-half double was instrumental in England coming from behind to beat African champions Egypt 3-1 at Wembley on Wednesday evening and the 6′ 7" (2.0m) forward may just have put himself in pole position to be Wayne Rooney’s partner in attack when Capello’s men start their World Cup campaign against the United States, in Rustenburg on June 12. Related article: Crouch shows good form

Capello has, in the past, often appeared dismissive of Crouch’s prolific scoring record for his country – Wednesday’s sharply-taken brace made it 20 goals in 37 appearances.

But there was nothing equivocal about his praise this time.

"Crouch is a big option for me because sometimes you can play long ball," the Italian said. "Today we didn’t, and he played very well with one touch, two touches. In the second half he made the difference."

England were noticeably sharper once Crouch had replaced his Tottenham club mate Jermain Defoe, although Capello said he was happy enough with a first-half display which allowed Egypt to take the lead through Borussia Dortmund striker Mohamed Zidan.

"Peter Crouch is in a good moment of form and he played very well but it was not only him, all the team played a good game."

Capello said he had wanted to see how effectively Rooney and Defoe could be as a pair and the evidence presented is unlikely to have changed his view that Rooney does better alongside a target man like Crouch, Emile Heskey or Carlton Cole.

It was also a good night for another substitute, Shaun Wright-Phillips, who scored England’s second goal, outshone Theo Walcott and had his contribution described as "really important" by Capello.

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The slip by Matthew Upson that allowed Zidan to score Egypt’s opener will have underlined concerns about England’s defensive fragility, particularly if Rio Ferdinand does not recover from the back problems that prevented him captaining the side here.

But overall it was a highly positive night for England after a month dominated by lurid headlines about the private life of the injured Ashley Cole and John Terry, who had to endure some early boos in his first match for his country since being stripped of the captaincy. Related article: Terry gets mixed reception

The crowd generally got behind the players however and Capello admitted his relief.

"They supported the team and John Terry. This was a most important game for him after what happened outside the pitch. He played a fantastic game like I know he can do at this level. When I chose him as captain I knew the value of him as a player," said Capello.

Steven Gerrard, who took over as captain in the absence of Ferdinand, said England’s comeback augured well for the side as the finals in South Africa approach.

"You’ve got to give credit to Egypt, they played very well in the first half. We never converted chances we had. So I think we were unfortunate to come in 1-0 down.

"But we showed good character and togetherness to get back in it and go on to win it."

Egyptian coach Hassan Shehata admitted his side had tired badly after the interval, understandably given the effort involved in winning the recent African Cup of Nations.

"It was more like a competitive match than a friendly," said Shehata, who has guided the Egyptians to three successive African titles.

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"We were in front for almost an hour but we made some mistakes and let England back into it. England had chances in the first half but did not take them, after the break they did. That was the difference.

"It was our first game after winning the African Cup of Nations and we were a bit tired in the second half. We are also preparing a new system and a new style."

17 Comments

17 Comments

  1. VINCENT O.O. OUMA

    June 12, 2014 at 7:11 am

    This re-invention is purely based on our tribal and fratricidal way of conducting national politics.

  2. DOUGLAS MBURA

    June 12, 2014 at 7:50 am

    Thanks for speaking your mind Wambugu. I am sure your article will be accepted as work of genius in Gatundu South or wherever you come from, because it echoes the feelings of most of your kinsmen. For most parts of central and Rift valley, this is the true gospel.

    But allow me to point out just two things.

    First, let me correct you that Raila has never really lost an election. Perhaps, only when he was still a light weight politician in a hugely divided opposition in 1997.

    Two, Raila is so popular, and will continue to be, not because of his “ability to effectively manage post-loss narratives” but rather because he has and stands by ideologies that most kenyans identify. For example, how do you talk of counties being ” the best platform for all stake-holders to be represented” and yet forget that the same devolution (majimbo) you are talking about was spearheaded by the same man who you feel should be contained ..(am laughing at this)… by of all people Moses Kuria… (my libs are hurting).

    • Jane TO

      June 13, 2014 at 9:44 am

      Douglas Mbura, in full agreement with you. I am one of the few ones in RV who go against the central and RV gospel.

  3. Njoroge

    June 12, 2014 at 12:24 pm

    Wambugu your idea is all about MOSES KURIA TO WIN THE ELECTION NOT RAILA,The hidden agenda is awesome but cheap.

  4. Uptown General®

    June 12, 2014 at 1:53 pm

    The piece is below par… no more comment thank you!

  5. abunuas

    June 12, 2014 at 3:06 pm

    It’s unfortunate that education can give us knowledge but not wisdom. Its unbelievable that a mediocre article with ethnic undertones by a disgraceful university professor can be quoted on the basis of ethnic jingoism. Kenya is the only country in the world where views and perceptions shift depending on ethnic orientation.

    • Jane TO

      June 13, 2014 at 9:41 am

      Very right Abunuas. Very unfortunate for such a professor!

    • tiat

      June 16, 2014 at 12:00 am

      Give us a break! If you have limited your reading to Kenya only, then you are right in your view. How many other countries did you compare with Kenya? You are as ethnically oriented as anyone you suspect.

      • abunuas

        June 16, 2014 at 6:55 am

        I have no apologies to make to Jubilee and their arrogates like you who thrive on ethnic domination, exclusion and deprivation of Kenyans who lack ethnic numbers to enjoy equality and inclusive participation in their affairs. You better learn that you can dominate a people but you can not kill their resolve to gain total freedom, economic and political emancipation.

  6. Qwani

    June 13, 2014 at 8:40 am

    He is the type of person who loses an election and then turns to his followers and screams WE can’t be satisfied because I’M not satisfied. It is very difficult and painful for an older politician to accept defeat especially when they have been beaten fair and square by younger politicians. Oh yes! It is a very bitter pill to swallow!!

  7. Njoroge Njeri

    June 13, 2014 at 12:52 pm

    Whatever Raila and his team never did while in Government is what is
    ailing Kenya. Kanjwang was a Minister, Orengo was a lands Minister,
    Nyongo was a Minister, Kalonzo was the VP, Raila was a Prime Minister
    and 50% president. Their quest for power and “bado mapambano” song has
    led to the deaths of many Kenyans since the 1982 coup. Time is up for
    empty noise and theatrics. Failure to respect the institutions set up
    under the constitution has led to the shedding of innocent blood… Raila’s blood is that of complaining 24/7. We agree that there are issues that need to be addressed and that is why Governments all over give time for elections after every 4 or 5 years. The CORD Manifesto should be sold to the public after 5 years and if they agree, they will get 5 year term to implement it. In the USA, Romney lost the elections in a margin, he left politics and got back to his business since the people had decided. It does not matter the margin even if it is that one vote. We cannot allow Governments of National Unity just to accommodate the pride of one man. If that is the case, then lets us go back to the one party system. Raila’s father died while singing “not yet Uhuru” His son is following the footsteps by sing crisis crisis everyday…. The crisis we are in can only be dealt with slowly and by the end of the 5 year period, Kenyans will sit down and give marks. Not after one year only. Can someone tell us how many motions Raila, Orengo, Kanjwang, Namwamba and their team have tabled in Parliament successfully.

    • Kwessi Pratt

      June 17, 2014 at 9:01 am

      You are letting us down! These guys were only ministers on paper. Power rested with another lot that would casually say Nairobi stock exchange was not a fish market. And thats without realizing that was a communal slur! You can not therefore pretend these guys failed to perform simply because they couldnt. Power mafias were busy sabotaging them, if not diverting funds for these guys’ pep projects! Remember for instance, Kibaki’s government largely succeeded by wholesomely tapping on Kalonzo’s ideas. Once admission of failure surfaces, question of waiting becomes irrelevant. Thats why I was shocked beyond core when president Uhuru agreed to auction his mandate! I can guarantee you that if he doesnt go along with his initial pronouncements and carefully manage the talks, he will be in for a huge shock. In politics you dont anyhow change positions on critical issues. His case has no reverse given the way it was communicated. Stories that bring back bitter memories of betrayals can’t help this country either. You need to understand Raila’s father gave way to Mzee Kenyatta to lead this country. Had he been consumed by raw toxic tribalism thats so perversive today, Mzee Kenyatta probably would have rotted in prison! Imbued with that knowledge, you should weigh your words carefully and in the process, avoid making a bad situation worse.

  8. kamau Njoroge

    June 14, 2014 at 4:48 am

    By the way who is feeling the heat of cost of leaving. I am alone in this. Politics wont give us food

  9. barin

    June 15, 2014 at 2:59 pm

    Ngunjiri,

    I could not agree more with you on your observations. And the answer to your query on if Jubilee understands is: NO! And neither do the millions of Kenyans. Raila is fixated with the idea of being president, and nothing but being president; the president! “HIS EXCELLENCY, COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF OF THE KENYAN ARMED FORCES, THE PRESIDENT, OF THE SOCIAL DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF KENYA, RAILA AMOLLO ODINGA, Esquire, ETC, ETC, ETC. With due respect, at around 70 years of age, 2017 is not acceptable to him, the sooner the better- and that is his ambition.
    From a social psychological perspective, I will be wasting my time in trying to persuade anyone that Raila cares for nothing and no one but himself. He has not very successfully used similar techniques used by some churches/ and so-called evangelists to get followers. By exploiting and maintaining imaginary tribal animosities/differences, he uses invisible hypnotic techniques. Ever paid attention to his hands during speeches? Hand gestures speak and command. They are not spontaneous and are meant to influence the masses. I sympathize with the DP and others who laugh and scoff at Raila when he non-expertly launches into his “vitendawili” ploys. They are not rubbish. They are pure Ericksonian hypnotic ploys to divert attention, and implant suggestions on to the masses. Ever really wondered why he appears popular??? What about the ploy of appearing mysteriously at Uhuru park when arriving from US??? What is that trick intended to trigger off, subconsciously, especially if you attended Sunday school?? Someone once said; “Let me be President, even for ONE DAY!!”.

    So guys, it is not the hullabaloo about poverty, terror and what-have-you: It is about keeping a sacred promise, to someone loved, before it is too late, and: AT WHATEVER COST!! So Kenyans, watch and be part of the show, without your knowledge. It will never end until Raila gets his way; at the mercy of the unsuspecting Kenyan citizenry pawns.

    Barin

  10. Dabo Digit Mpakalini

    June 16, 2014 at 3:27 pm

    Hehehehe. I love the comedy.

  11. Kwessi Pratt

    June 17, 2014 at 8:29 am

    While the assessment is nearly right, Raila has no laid down plan to do anything, let alone the capacity to run any effective government. I guess, thats why he has failed time and again! He practically flopped in every sphere when he was the prime minister. He was short of ideas! But completely superb in manufacturing lies. He specializes in character assassinations. However, beyond that, he is as clueless as anyone can imagine. Anyhow, he is currently enjoying the run-arounds that he is giving to jubilee. We have noticed instead of responding rationally to matters raised by Raila, jubilee is simply coiling and recoiling around unbelievable items. If Raila says they have failed in ensuring security for Kenyans, jubilee coalition should be able to respond to that in the best way possible. Turning personal only makes the population believe even more Raila is right. When Raila truly says cost of living has become unbearably high, jubilee should not talk of incitement to violence! It should tell Kenyans what it is doing to alliviate the situation. On tribalism, jubilee has not only miserably failed to address the matter, but also failed to be pro-active. Jubilee should be able to respond to all issues raised by CORD without rushing to to press the panicky button!!!!

  12. Lex

    June 17, 2014 at 1:23 pm

    Nani ako na charger ya pin ndogo ?

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