Rodwell preparing for European Under-21 Final

28 06 2009

rodwellforfinalMonday will see Jack Rodwell and England’s Under-21 team face off against Germany in the Final of the European Under-21 Championships, after the Three Lions won a dramatic Semi Final against Sweden on penalties.

England got there in the end, but for a while they were very much sweating in an absolute classic of a Semi Final on Friday against the hosts. A 3-0 half time lead saw goals from defenders Martin Cranie and Nedum Onuoha added to by an own goal by Mattias Bjärsmyr, and for all the world it looked set for an England stroll. But a second half meltdown saw Marcus Berg score twice and Ola Toivonen add a free kick to force extra time. Fraizer Campbell was sent off for England and the game went to penalties. It looked bleak for England when James Milner slipped on the first penalty and sent his attempt into orbit, but Joe Hart levelled the score with a save from Berg, and the shootout went on to sudden death. Guillermo Molins was the unfortunate misser and England went through.

Rodwell came off the bench on 70 minutes to attempt to secure England a win but wasn’t able to help stop the Swedish tide, with much of their good play coming against England’s left side. He had a decent extra time but the pace of the game was slowed and he didn’t get to take a penalty, with Joe Hart somewhat upsetting the order by taking second.

Nonetheless, he stands a chance of playing in the Final if England have to reshuffle because of a lack of options in attack. Campbell is suspended because of the red card, whilst Gabriel Agbonlahor will also miss out because of suspension. It leaves coach Stuart Pearce with just Theo Walcott in attacking options, which may see a change of midfield shape and Rodwell added into the mix. Whatever the decision, you can see the match on Monday evening.

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