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England, Brazil bundled out

I didn't think both England and Brazil were going to bow out in the manner they did but the fact of the matter is England and Brazil were bundled out of the 2006 FIFA World Cup in Germany this morning.

I think England put on their best performance in the tournament but once again came short in the exciting penalty shoot-out. But I think there were always questions about England the moment Sven-Goran Eriksson decided to take inexperienced Theo Walcott at the expense of Bent and Defoe. Before being sent off Wayne Rooney didn't have the best of games but it wasn't because he is not good, it was just because he was performing an unfamiliar role of lone striker and also very few balls were coming his way and hence the frustration.

Had say Defoe been in the team, Sven might have used two strikers instead of one with Rooney playing behind Defoe. I think one striker was used because the combination of Crouch and Rooney doesn't seem to work. So the question is: Why did Walcott go the World Cup in the first place?

Talking about Brazil, there was a marked difference between the Brazil that played in the 2005 Confederation Cup and the Brazil that was in Germany this time. Were they overconfident going into the tournament? Whatever the answer to that France picked up from where they left against Spain and the Brazilians could not find their rhythm and for France the next stop is Portugal.

With Deco and Costinha back for Portugal it looks like it will be an exciting and evenly poised encounter but I will go for Portugal.

Sven didn't know that Owen would be injured the way he did and so he probably thought it was good to take Theo. He also thought Theo could get a kick about in the 'easy' games against Paraguay and T and T and probably create some bit of history but in the end these were not easy games. So the story goes...

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