It's time for Gerrard to dominate

11:30am Monday 16th June 2014

FROM the setting of a Las Vegas bar I got ready to watch England’s opener against Italy amongst 100 or so other fans.

I was excited with the news of our line-up, but would have preferred to see Adam Lalana play instead of Jordan Henderson.

With Italy missing legendary goalkeeper Buffon, it gave me even more confidence of victory.

My pre-game prediction was an England 2-1 success and, being in the gambling city of the world, it would have been rude not to bet on it.

Sitting in the middle of the ‘Chelsea In America’ supporters group, we sang the National Anthem and football songs.

I jumped for joy and screamed like a girl when I thought Raheem Sterling had scored after only five minutes, only to be brought crashing down to earth as a replay showed it hit the side-netting.

England were playing well which was good to see – and my prediction seemed a formality.

But when Italy took the lead, it killed our momentum.

I thought Leighton Baines was exposed down the left and didn’t look like the man everyone says is good enough to replace England’s most capped full-back Ashley Cole.

With Baines having to deal with a two-on-one overload for most of the game, Italy’s winning goal came from a cross from his channel.

In order for us to progress, I want to see our top man – and captain – Steven Gerrard dominate the next two games in the manner he does when in the red shirt of Liverpool.

It’s not all doom and gloom though.

The way we played in general was good, and Spain lost their opening game on their way to winning the World Cup in 2010 . . .

Abingdon Town 1 Oxford United 10

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Oxford United boss sets deadline for new signings

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HEAD coach Michael Appleton wants to get most of Oxford United’s summer signings completed before they face Wolverhampton Wanderers next week.

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RUGBY UNION: Jones is welcome here, says Exiles coach

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CRICKET: Improving Tiddington have Banbury on rack

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RACING: Oxfordshire trainer caught up in morphine case

Oxford Mail: The Cheka in his stable at Blewbury with trainer Eve Johnson Houghton at her end-of-season celebration

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