Insights from the UK and beyond
from Reuters Soccer Blog:
A muted send-off and a manager wanting more perhaps told the true story of Englandâ€™s 3-1 friendly victory over Mexico at Wembley on Monday in which Fabio Capello was left with more questions than answers over his World Cup squad selection.
On the plus side, goalkeepers Joe Hart and in particular Robert Green would have given the Italian confidence in a position that poses a problem for fans with first-choice stopper David James still susceptible to a clanger.
There was also a good display from Glen Johnson and Ledley King, with both getting on the scoresheet, and King looking fit and healthy.
There were problems, however. England were outplayed and out-passed for much of the match on an albeit dodgy Wembley surface and had two-set pieces to thank for a 2-1 halftime lead.
By Rosalba O’Brien
I’ll tell the truth. When I went to preview tonight’s royal banquet at Britain’s Buckingham Palace, being held as part of the pomp accompanying the state visit of the Mexican president Felipe Calderon, I expected to be writing something on the lines of ‘Credit crunch? What credit crunch?’ – not for the global aristocracy, diplomatic corps and oil company bosses in attendance.
The truth, however, is something rather more ordinary.
Sure, the banquet room is lavish enough, with its giant bouquets, golden tableware, classical carvings and gilded ceiling. It’s certainly a bit bigger than my living room, what with the military band on the mezzanine and all.