England's performance: The view from abroad

'Their game is too mechanical and lacks attacking ambition' - How the overseas press viewed England's performance
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The Independent Online

* LA GAZZETTA DELLO SPORT (Italy)

David Beckham's remote control free-kick gave a disappointing England side their passage to the next round of the World Cup. Perhaps it was good fortune for the "spice boy" who has endured bad luck in past knock-out competitions. Sven Goran Eriksson changed his formation because it has not been working and brought in Michael Carrick. However, Frank Lampard had another bad day and Wayne Rooney appeared isolated in attack. This was not an easy win for England. They were on the ropes, their defence showed leaks and too often they resorted to the long ball.

* EL COMERCIO(Ecuador)

A free-kick skilfully executed by David Beckham ended the argument. Nevertheless amongst the rows of compatriots there is tranquillity at the fulfilled campaign. Being eliminated in the first knock-out round by a team considered to be a favourite for the title is not an embarrassment. Ecuadorians were dreaming of a quarter-final because they did not see where an England goal would come from, but a Beckham special saved his country.

* FOCUS (Germany)

Only skill from the realm of David Beckham has taken England into the quarter-final. In a disappointing game the captain struck to see off Ecuador. Before the game the streets were full of England supporters who were acting with confidence, as if they were in the quarter-final already, and the stadium was nearly completely English.

* EL MUNDO DEPORTIVO (Spain)

England are through without convincing. Their next opponents will be Portugal and they must surely demand a better performance in order to progress. They have potential but they must reinforce it. Sven Goran Eriksson played a new formation, but Steven Gerrard still only functional in the centre of midfield. In spite of a lack of fitness and being short on form, Wayne Rooney showed flashes of his skill. However, the new formation did not manage to gell and their play lacked penetration and David Beckham was clearly fatigued by his defensive responsibilities.

* CORREIO DA MANHA (Portugal)

The injury of Michael Owen and the confidence of Sven Goran Eriksson in Wayne Rooney's fitness means England tried a new formation against Ecuador. Playing against Portugal England will benefit from a protected defence. However, the idea is to free Frank Lampard, but this results in Steven Gerrard being called to cover for Joe Cole who is, by the way, the only England player to carry the attack with the ball at his feet. Their game is too mechanical and lacks attacking ambition.

* MARCA (Spain)

Real Madrid player David Beckham put England into the last eight of the World Cup with a skifully struck free-kick. But England returned to their bad style of play against a serious and well-ordered Ecuador side. John Terry was inexplicably chosen as man of the match by Fifa, over Carlos Tenorio who had the better of the Englishman all game.

* AS (Spain)

England have reached the quarter-finals but there is so much that needs improving and time is needed to achieve this. The team does not have a clear idea of how it wants to play and is full of defensive errors. Sven Goran Eriksson failed in his selection. Five in midfield only works if the players are aware of what they are to do.

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