Football: Sansom sees signs of danger

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The Independent Online
GLENN HODDLE'S spy in the stand, Kenny Sansom, will today warn the England manager of the folly of dismissing Colombia as a spent force, despite seeing Scotland's "British" style trouble the team that Alan Shearer and company meet in Lens on 26 June, writes Phil Shaw.

Sansom conceded that the South Americans had been largely unimpressive but added: "I think you'll see the real Colombia at the World Cup. They can step up a gear from this performance."

Given the way Colombia tend to play in bursts, Sansom will be stressing to Hoddle the need for England to avoid being lulled into a false sense of security. "Asprilla has his five minutes' play and then 10 minutes' rest before exploding into life again," he said. "Anyone playing them will to have to concentrate for 90 minutes.''

However, Sansom detected signs that Carlos Valderrama's powers may be waning. "The weight of his passes and his vision are still first-class, but there has to be a question mark as to whether he can do it at the highest level. Although he makes them tick in little areas, he doesn't have the force to get in and around the box like he used to."

Valderrama's reluctance or inability to open the game out - Colombia eschewed the wings and played almost everything through the middle - will also form part of Sansom's report. "I was very surprised by the way they played. Everything was played short whereas Scotland, credit to them, used the long pass well.

"I was impressed by Scotland. They played some super stuff. They had movement and pace and defended ever so well. The two goals were great finishes too and if they hadn't had to make changes, Colombia wouldn't have got back into it.''

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