Well done to England, they won the 2 games to 1 which is all that counts. Flintoff got the sendoff he deserved, been a huge presence for the English team.
When I think about this series, as a whole, it was probably one of the worst I've ever sat through, and only the mystical allure of "The Ashes" and Flintoff's last series kept me from switching off at times. The level of the cricket, for a majority of the entire series was like I dunno..New Zealand vs Pakistan. Poor batting, poor bowling, and at times poor fielding. It certainly didn't help that the umpires consistently made questionable decisions; for both sides. No doubt be a lot of talk about how umpires need some help out there, there were certainly a great many decisions that the average viewer thought "hrmm" to. I'm not saying they swayed the result one way or the other, simply that they made a lot of mistakes.
Based solely on the statistics, you can't say England really deserved to win the ashes, but then again, the way Australia performed they certainly didn't deserve to either. If I were the urn I'd just say fuck you both, i'm off to live in my cottage in the mountains for a couple of years till the next series, as you were both rubbish. Yes, you could call it a "thrilling contest", but only because both teams were so incredibly poor for so long, and whenever they played to their maximum potential, which was rarely, we got a result.
In the end it came down to the individuals and the brilliant performances they gave when it mattered most, and in the end, England just had a couple more than Australia. Broad and Flintoff have been the standouts, while for Australia only Michael Clarke can really hold his head high, although Hilfenhaus performed admirably; considering his position at the start of the series. A lot of players from both teams were absolute shite, and I think the victory will save a few of the English lads from being dropped, but the Australian media, while isn't as knee-jerking as the English, will probably be out for blood. I'd expect Hussey in particular to come under fire, despite his last knock there, alot of people will question why Stuart Clarke wasn't brought in sooner, what about Lee...where was the Johnson from SA, etc etc.
Think anyone who believes England are all of a sudden world-beaters is extremely naive. This is still an Australian team rebuilding, trying to figure some things out, and obviously England were spurred on by Freddies announcement. But realistically, although these teams are still probably in the top half-dozen cricketing test nations right now, neither is anywhere near the consistency required to beat the top 2.
Funny times. Use to be all about Australia and England. Now it's about the money and the power the likes of India have, with the IPL and the like captivating the crowds.