Alan Pardew: John Terry never plays for Chelsea the way he did against Sweden

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The Independent Football

Let's not get too despondent about England's performance. We are through to the knock-out stages as group winners and the cut and thrust may get us going. It might suit us better. The next game, against Ecuador, is also a good one for us. There are certainly trickier opponents left in the competition. Win it and we are in the last eight.

But there are problems. Someone said to me that the sum of our parts is not quite what it should be while, for the Swedes, it is more. And that's true. We certainly should be putting a team like Sweden to bed because, individually, we have what should be a very good side. But there's a cloud over us. We still have not had that complete performance that we have seen from some other countries. You want all the parts to come together and they haven't, yet, for us.

I was in the stadium on Tuesday and we looked disjointed, not quite comfortable in ourselves. Sometimes you look at individual players and it tells its own story. I can't remember John Terry, when he plays for Chelsea, putting in a performance like he did in the second half. He is a great player but just didn't look his confident, calm, composed self. At half-time there was no indication he was going to put in what was probably his worst 45 minutes of the season.

Sometimes it's difficult to place your finger on why it happens and I certainly feel you can't put all of it at the coach's door. But although the spirit doesn't appear quite right it can be improved with one good performance. Hopefully that will come against Ecuador.

A lot of attention will focus on the goals England conceded but I'm not too concerned. Germany made similar mistakes in their first game and the delivery by the Swedes was top-drawer. What worries me is what we did or didn't do with the ball rather than how we defended without it.

We had a problem with our distribution from the back with the two full-backs. It's not Jamie Carragher's natural position although he's now had two games in there and it will get better although Gary Neville is still a loss. Carragher could have found David Beckham a bit quicker at times while Ashley Cole simply does not look like he's played enough games.

Owen Hargreaves did well in the sitting role. There were a couple of moments where he could have created a bit more, one incident when he had the chance to put Joe Cole away springs to mind, but he broke things and was quick in the tackle. He proved he could be an option when we are ahead and need to seal things up. But I'd still like to see Michael Carrick given a chance, especially if we are behind.

The loss of Michael Owen is a huge blow. It means we haven't got anyone who can get in behind, especially if we do play 4-5-1. I don't really see Wayne Rooney doing that.

The injury also means that, unfortunately, Rooney has become all the more important. I say unfortunately because he's young and still recovering from injury himself. It's even more pressure on our special player and I also hope he doesn't get too much criticism for that little bit of petulance when he was substituted. How we need him now. Not taking Jermain Defoe has really become a massive decision.

Maybe, psychologically, we have evolved a problem. After all it wasn't the first time we've played well in the first half and disappointingly in the second. Maybe there's more pressure and tension and when you concede a quick goal you start thinking about it but I'd prefer to look at it like a team who have gone 20 games without an away victory. When they finally win one they've broken it and tend to go on and win another and another.

For England it could be the same. One big performance and it could all alter. Ecuador gives us that opportunity but what is abundantly clear is that we really need to pick it up a level. And do it now. Everyone is aware of it. The England fans leaving after the game certainly were. We need to be the sum of our parts.

Alan Pardew will be writing for The Independent throughout the World Cup. The fee for his column is being donated to Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children

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