Jermaine Jenas: I've been in touch, and the squad's mood is still positive
View From The Poolside
Tuesday 15 June 2010
Once you've been involved in the England set-up, it's always hard watching the World Cup from the outside. I'm sure everyone from Gary Neville to Rio Ferdinand feels the same, but I can perhaps beat everyone in a contest for the most agonising environment in which to watch England's game with the US.
I'm currently in Las Vegas, with my Spurs team-mate Alan Hutton and Scottish goalkeeper Allan McGregor of Rangers (no surprises who the Scots were supporting) and Newcastle's Danish striker Peter Lovenkrands. So I was surrounded by Americans – and in the company of two Scotland internationals.
It was interesting to see how much coverage the match got over here, in a week driven by the NBA finals and the NHL Stanley Cup final, there was no shortage of football on ESPN and ABC. There was even a Kobe Bryant ad for the "USA-England soccer showdown".
There was definitely a sense of occasion around the whole resort, with people packed into bars and spread around the cabanas. So, a draw – and a good day to be an American.
Still, I've been in regular contact with the England camp, including my team-mates from Tottenham, enough to know that morale is buoyant, despite the obvious setbacks. The squad have faith in Fabio Capello, and belief in each other. I know this from the inside. I've been involved in Capello's England set-up ( indeed I scored the first goal of the Italian's era, in a friendly against Switzerland back in February 2008). Everyone's together. Hence Rio Ferdinand will be glad to be back down there soon – he told me how much he wanted to be there, despite his injury. The point is the squad is very much together.
Which brings me to Rob Green. There are no excuses for that mistake, and Rob knows it, and he's said it, and apologised. Fronting up to the media and talking about it will have won the genuine admiration and backing of his team-mates.
I know Rob a bit and he'll get over it. He worked so hard to earn his place in the squad and in the team. He's a strong guy, he'll tough it out.
But will he pay for the mistake with his place? That's perhaps what you would expect, and Capello will make an unsentimental decision. Beyond that, we can't second guess. Nobody in the camp knows anything yet.
As for England's overall performance, I thought it was OK. It was disappointing not to get the win, but it wasn't a bad performance by any means and there were some chances. Glen Johnson was our best player.
Jermaine Jenas appears courtesy of New Era Global Sports, and the sport and media team at law firm Thomas Eggar
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