There's nothing we enjoy more here at the MFF than giving the English a hard time. The English are like the Lakers or the Yankees only on a cultural level and if neither of those teams had done anything worthwhile for half-a-century. Plus, as noted by Stuart Cosgrove in Hampden Babylon:
"Fact: England won the 1966 World Cup.
Myth: England is a good team."
That so many residents of Blighty (and non-residents, for that matter) are fully invested in the above mythology, the schadenfreude of when they inevitiably fall on their sword (not to mention their face) is particularly delicious.
This particular episode is not the tastiest dish, since it was a technically meaningless match. The fact that what is a gussied-up dress rehearsal could be handled so poorly is still worth a hearty mocking.
The first sign that things were not going to go well for England was the team selection favored by Steve McClaren. With up-and-comers like Micah Richards, Joey Barton, MFF fave "Ooh!" Scotty Parker and Gareth Barry available, McClaren opted to select the Nevilles at the fullback positions, as well as starting three similar central midfielders (Carrick, Gerrard and Lampard) plus one attacking right winger who can't get a game for his club team (Shawn Wright-Phillips). The cherry on the top of this laughable team sheet was Peter Crouch isolated as a lone striker while Kieron Dyer ran around in an undefinable role that mainly consisted of not getting the ball and stepping on SWP's feet, while out-and-out forward and Farrel-look-alike Jermain Defoe watched from the bench.
The game played out much as you would expect, with England unable to put together any sort of coherency or balance. The most satisfying sequence, which played out repeatedly, was Neville the Younger taking the ball marginally up the left side, realizing that there wasn't a single player besides himself on that side of the pitch, then cutting the ball back to his favored right foot before lumping it back to the center-backs. Tactical magic! (Second place went to: one of the center-backs lumps the ball upfield for an immediate change of possession. Third place: Frank Lampard does something stupid and then looks around for somebody to blame it on. Fourth place: Peter Crouch is called for a foul while trying to control an aimless lump upfield and acts like he just smelled Frank Lampard's play this season. As you can tell, the strategy was synergistic.)
In comparison, Spain was awful, only slightly less so. Their ineptitude was offset by the fact that they had a number of players who could actually control the ball in tight spaces, as well as David Villa, who was popping up all over the offensive third and basically giving the English back line a very hard time.
Iniesta's goal came from another blunted Spain attack (although Morientes should have iced his first-half chance) that suddenly delivered a judgement, a thunderbolt from the player known as the Palefaced Instigator (thank you Ray Hudson) that was an appropriate finger of doom for Steve McClaren, who was then forced to attempt to rectify his earlier mistakes by piling on younger and more position-appropriate players, who, truth must be told, didn't look very good themselves.
For all the talk of England having great players and a great history, they've looked downright awful ever since their famous demolition of Germany, a rudderless boat smashing up and down a London canal, the wheelman hopelessly smashed on Buckfast and the onlookers helpless to do anything except watch and maybe start following Scotland because their granny was from there and at least expectations start low.
And it couldn't look any sweeter.