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Monday, October 13, 2008

Belarus vs England 2008: Steven Gerrard Receives Criticism Positively

You might be surprised to see the title of the article. England defeated Kazakhstan 5-1 convincingly in their recent world cup qualifying match at Wembley stadium. So, you might think that what is the point to criticize then? Well, the thing is that England was not impressive in the first half and they needed 52 minutes to get their first goal against 131-ranked team Kazakhstan. Moreover, England suffered a goal thanks to the mistake of defender Ashley Cole and that goal made the score 2-1. English fans booed the England team at the half time when the score was goalless. Naturally, not many players will accept criticism after such a big margin victory, but Steven Gerrard is not one of them.

England midfielder Steven Gerrard thinks that as a player it is very naturally to live with criticism. You may not find any justification of such criticism, but Gerrard does. He feels that people have big expectation on the England team. So, criticism is also very natural here.

IHT reported:

You've got to live with that as a player," Gerrard told reporters on Monday, two days before the team goes to Belarus aiming to make it four wins in four. "There are big expectations on this team. We are England. We expect to be successful and to have a good team that's playing well so, when it doesn't always click, you expect it (criticism).

"But, in the end, we got there on Saturday, a 5-1 win, and when you look at the bigger picture we are top of the group with three wins and confident that we can get the fourth on Wednesday."

England is now going to face Belarus in Minsk on Wednesday. With nine points, England is leading their group with Ukraine and Croatia taking the second and third place respectively. England will definitely look to win the match at Belarus too, even though manager Fabio Capello considers Belarus as a tricky opponent.

However, I do not think fans should overly criticize the England team, because it is a game and you can not expect a team to play with similar dominance every match. For example, in their opening match of world cup qualifying, England got a laborious 2-0 victory over Andorra, but they dominated over Croatia in the next match. So, I think, England has been in good form so far in world cup qualifying campaign and most importantly there are youngsters like Theo Walcott who can be the future of England football. So, fans should not criticize the team in what it might affect the progress of the young players like Walcott.

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