England’s defeat to Ukraine was discussed, Paul Hayward (Daily Mirror) immediately dismissing the result as “this game and this result means nothing at all… It was a predictable defeat in a game that England didn’t need to win,” before remarking on Rio Ferdinand’s performance that “he’s a defender who chooses which game to concentrate in.” John Dillon (Daily Express) went one further, reeling off the cliches of saying “it’s a blessing in disguise” and “it’ll stand them in good stead in the long run.” Less dismissive though was Patrick Barclay (The Times), who called Ferdinand’s performance “worrying” before also commenting that “to get that level of 10 versus 11 experience is invaluable.”
David James’ ownership on the number one position in the England team was the next subject tabled. Patrick Barclay supported the underlying assertion quipping “David James must be wondering what more he has to do apart from being the best goalie in the country” before proclaiming “you don’t need a great goalkeeper to win the World Cup. He just needs to have a good month.” The segment ended with a comparison between David James’ current conditioning compared to Peter Shilton in the 1990 World Cup.
Lastly, the panel chewed over Sir Alex’s apology to referee Alan Wiley over his comments over the official’s fitness. John Dillon argued that “Ferguson is smart enough to know that he can’t win every battle,” while it was left to Paul Hayward to charge the referees as “over-reacting” in their upset over Fergie’s comments claiming it is based in the “vanity of referees.”