England v Scotland, Wembley Stadium, London

England 3 – 2 Scotland
Scotland twice led in what was quite a noisy Wembley Stadium. Tonight was by far the best atmosphere I’ve ever had for an England game with the Scots national anthem being totally drowned out by boos, a totally different experience to when either the Irish or Welsh played us.

Goal Scorers

  • England Walcott 29′ Welbeck 53′ Lambert 70′
  • Scotland: Morrison 11′ Miller 49′

Report: BBC

England v The Netherlands, Wembley Stadium, London

England 2-3 Netherlands

The rearranged match following the cancellation last summer during the London riots in August, 2011. The match was managed by Stuart Peace following the resignation of Fabio Capello a week or so ago.

Goal scorers:

  • England: Gary Cahill (85), Ashley Young (91)
  • The Netherlands: Arjen Robben (57, 92), Klaas-Jan Huntelaar (58)

Match Report: BBC, Goal.com

England v Sweden, Wembley Stadium, London

England 1-0 Sweden
Yeah shouldn’t have gone, once again England were frustrating to watch, if only the passion of the premier league could be taken into international matches. The goal half the stadium myself included missed as there was a Mexican wave going round which was now in it’s 5th or 6th minute… The goal was apparently England’s 2,000th in all competitions and was awarded to Garath Barry to start with only to be later stripped after the replays showed otherwise.

Goal Scorer:

  • England: Majstorovic [22 og]

England v Spain, Wembley Stadium, London

England 1 = 0 Spain
After England’s last game against the Welsh I asked myself Why bother? I then made a decision that I wouldn’t go to any more England games while Capello was in charge unless they played certain teams*… Italy, Germany, The Netherlands, Scotland, Brazil and Argentina. There was one other team on this list and that was Spain so I find myself back at Wembley watching the national team, well not quite I was here to watch Spain.

Before the match I expected England to be turned over by the current World & European champions. The Spanish featured 8 of the Barcelona players who I saw destroy Mallorca just a couple of weeks ago and their first half possession showed how good this Spanish side is. However all that great play and amazing passing by Alonso wasn’t enough as the English defense it has to be said was awesome all night. Both Lescott and Jagielka have clearly made a bold statement that they should be England’s center backs going forward. Scott Parker was also awesome throwing himself into every challenge he could as if his life depended on it. (Why does Parker run like a player from the 1950’s?)

England started the second half like a totally different team and soon scored through Fat Frank. United’s Danny Welbeck should have scored a second but shot his load in front of Pepe Reina before striking the ball itself. Spain didn’t have any real threat on goal until their players with premiership experience were all on the park and ironically it was Torres (booed from the moment he come on) who looked by far the most dangerous. David Villa hit the post and former Gooner Fabregas should have scored late on but fluffed his lines.

This wasn’t a great all round performance but it did show that we can hold the best at bay with some outstanding defending. Despite the win the game also showed the quality in class that Spain have over England. Their passing was a totally different level to ours. Watching Xabi Alonso pinging balls left right and center with pin point accuracy was a pleasure to watch again, how we miss him at Liverpool, I really hope Rafa was watching and can see how much better he is to Garath Barry. Spain never gave up, everyone wanted the ball and on every attack ran forward with the play, when England attacked it was often only the front 3 getting up with the play.

England would have felt lucky to get a draw, and this would have simply been down to some excellent defending throughout the game. To win it must have made the Spanish boys wonder if they were in a nightmare. England’s goal was lucky but at the end of the day football is about scoring and Spain failed to do so.

Goal Scorer

  • Frank Lampard (49)

Match report: BBC

* Even though I say this I will be at Wembley on Tuesday for Sweden as well now due to Rijkels going to some gig at Wembley Arena (which I really don’t fancy going to) and therefore I’ll be over that way for most of the afternoon so it made sense.

The Netherlands v England, Amsterdam Arena, Amsterdam, Holland

Great atmosphere in the ground with the Dutch and English fans mixing which included some good banter with the fans heading to the ground on the metro. So good was the banter that I was pretty shocked a year later when I found out via BBC news that there was a massive fight in Amsterdam during the day between the two sets of fans.

Jermain Defoe scored a couple for England and on each time it was pronounced “Dufoo” by the stadium announcer, the only Dutchman who doesn’t watch Premier League football.