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'England showed some positives despite a disappointing campaign but the fine margins matter.' - CCFC World Cup Review

25 June 2014

CCFC performance analyst Paul Travis believes there are positives to come from England's World Cup campaign...

England rounded off their disappointing World Cup campaign with a 0-0 stalemate against surprise group winners Costa Rica. 

Coventry City performance analyst Paul Travis gave his verdict:

Well it just didn’t really happen for England in this tournament. That said, I don’t think a lot went wrong. There are really fine margins at the highest level, but the one disappointing thing is that we didn’t take the game to anybody or excel in any game and before we knew it we were out. It all happened so quickly, and we just didn’t get going in any game.

We’ve seen some positives in the young players and last night there were some more positive performances despite a disappointing campaign. I think Ross Barkley, while erratic which is expected at his age, is always eager to make something happen which is refreshing. Luke Shaw and Jack Wilshere also had good games for me, and at the other end of the pitch Ben Foster dealt with everything really well.

Hopefully they have learnt from this experience – the fine margins are what matter.

We dominated the ball and restricted Costa Rica to few chances. We created the better opportunities and it was a decent performance, but we can’t take too much from the game as we were out and we don’t know how Costa Rica would have played if anything was riding on it for them. Again, we kept the ball well and dominated possession, we just couldn’t find that killer instinct.

Fair play to Costa Rica too. They do have some weaknesses that are yet to be exploited, but they’ve gone out positively and made things happen, which is the opposite of us really. They’ve got the feeling of the unknown and that’s something really going for them. Considering they were expected to finish bottom, they’ve been great, and look dangerous. 

Performance rating: England 6/Costa Rica 5

Man of the match: Luke Shaw. Even at the age of 18, Shaw looked extremely comfortable. In the searing heat, he was a menace up and down the left-hand side and gave a solid performance which suggests a long career at international level.

Prospects: While England face a long flight home, Costa Rica move on to a last 16 clash with Greece. The South American side have a great chance of reaching the quarter-finals for the first time in their history and deserve to be there after remaining unbeaten despite being dubbed by so many as the whipping boys of the group.


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