Posts Tagged ‘England’

So I was reading this article. It talks about how Scholes snubbed Capello when he was given the opportunity to go to South Africa with the England squad and blah blah.

We all know the story – Franco Baldini called up Scholes and asked him to come out of retirement, Scholes was apparently given only two hours to decide whether he wanted to go and he said no. Now he regrets his decision.

The only part where I agree with the aforementioned article is where the writer says “It was his decision”. Yes it was, so Scholes shouldn’t really regret it. Anyway, what’s done is done.

Here’s where I disagree. Scholes was switched to the left hand side of midfield. Why on earth would you do that? In my honest opinion, Scholes is a far better midfielder than both Gerrard and Lampard. The only place where you play Scholes is in the center of the park. There is no other place you can make him play (unless he’s 21 and you’re playing him as second striker).

So what if Gerrard and Lampard decided that they would play for England even when they’re played out of position.

1) They’re not as good as Scholes

2) Let us be frank, when a player is played out of position, he generally doesn’t play like he would if he was played in the right position. Scholes was getting on in terms of age after Euro 04 and he chose not to play for England where he couldn’t give his best and focussed on his club career where he WAS being played in the right position and thereby being more useful.

3) The real problem here for England is the fact that they have absolutely nobody to play on the left wing.

4) I’m not entirely sure that Sir Alex Ferguson would’ve been too happy if Scholes had gone for the World Cup in South Africa. Although SAF claims that he told Scholes to go with his gut instinct, I’m not so sure if he would have been too happy if Scholes’ gut instinct said “Alright, let us see if I can make England do something this World Cup”. I’m pretty sure that this would have had an influence on Scholes’ decision to stay out of the international scene.

5) Scholes is better than Lampard and Gerrard (wait, did I mention that already?)

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So I didn’t watch England’s game last night against Algeria. I decided that sleeping might be a more interesting option than staying up late to watch an England game. I was proven right, or so said most people, and many newspapers.

England couldn’t score apparently and Rooney was amongst the worst players on the pitch. After the match, Wazza comes on the air and says,

‘Nice to see your home fans boo you. That’s what loyal support is’

There are really two sides to this. Sometimes footballers can have a really frustrating day and it isn’t really possible for them to do anything on the field. Nothing works. And on top of that if your own fans boo you it can be really frustrating, I’m sure.

The other angle to this is that when you’re playing in a tournament like the World Cup, there’s very little room for error. Within two games you can either qualify for the next round or be on the next flight home. And England are close to doing the latter. They still have a game left to play against Slovenia, but as we’ve seen, Slovenia is a tough nut to crack. They’ve pulled off a win against Algeria and drew against USA. They are top of the group as of now. They’re still not guaranteed a place in the Round of 16.

If England beats Slovenia and USA beats Algeria, then both England and USA will progress to the next round. I digress.

I was talking about fans booing. Yes, the fact of the matter is that fans pay a lot of money for airfare, accommodation, beer (how can you forget beer) and not to mention tickets for these matches. These poor delusional fans actually expect England to make it to the final (forget about getting out of the group). They do not draw the same salary as you, Wayne. Nor are they endorsed my multi-million dollar enterprises that pay you about a 100,000 pounds for every second you’re on the screen. I exaggerate of course, I have no idea how much they pay him, but we can certainly agree that it is a considerable sum.

And if they don’t like what they see, they will boo. Deal with it.

England

Posted: June 6, 2010 in World Cup
Tags: , ,

I will try my very best not to let my hatred for the English national team influence this article. Like always England comes into this world cup with a lot of hype surrounding them.  There have been no major changes in terms of players considering that they didn’t even manage to qualify for EURO 2008, but they finally have a top manager. He is arguably the best manager in the world (Mourinho and his fans might disagree). He is the only reason I believe England have a chance to do well this time around, but it is definitely not going to be easy.

Tactical Genius - Capello

The squad he has selected has surprised many people. I have no idea how Michael “Awful” Carrick got selected ahead of Scott Parker who had an excellent season with West Ham. Parker sadly didn’t even get a chance to prove his worth. There are concerns over Gareth Barry’s fitness and England will surely struggle if Carrick ends up playing at some point.  Theo Walcott deserved to be dropped but on what basis did Wright Philips get selected? Surely Adam Johnson would have been a better choice. Darren Bent who scored 24 goals for Sunderland this season was also not considered.

Goalkeeping situation is a big worry for England. Joe Hart had an excellent season with Birmingham but Capello has decided to go with David James or Robert Green. Now we all know about David James. He is a talented shot stopper but he is also very capable of doing a ‘Fabianski’ any moment. Green is just…average. He won’t make many mistakes but he is not going to win you matches either.

Rio Ferdinand’s injury is definitely a very big blow to Capello’s plans. He was their captain and his organization skills will definitely be missed. Ledley King is a good replacement but struggles to play two games in a week. He and Carragher will have to rotate. John Terry, the English Warrior will lead by example and others will keep a close watch on him and follow him wherever he goes!!

Ashley Cole at Left back is their best defender and he is world class. Glenn Johnson is great going forward but the same can’t be said about his defending. Overall their defense looks pretty solid which is what you will expect from a team managed by Capello.

Despite having players like Gerrard and Lampard, who had the season of his life with Chelsea, midfield is England’s biggest problem. The lack of technical ability in the midfield clearly hurts them. They lack a player in the mould of Sneijder or Xavi. They recently got outplayed by Mexico (they ended up winning 3-1) and they will find it a lot harder against top teams like Spain and Holland.  In the middle of the park they have Barry and Lampard. Lampard has struggled to replicate his Chelsea form when he plays for England. Barry can do a solid if not spectacular job there. Steven Gerrard who plays wide left too faces the same problem. But he will have a point to prove after the shocking season he had with Liverpool. Also the fact that he is now the captain can also be a factor.  It looks like either Lennon or Milner will play on the right wing. Joe Cole is also a possibility.

All of England’s hope is pinned on one player. He is Capello’s main weapon and I am not talking about Emile Heskey. Enter Wayne Rooney. He had his best season ever with United and England’s progress in the competition will largely depend on how well he does. He scored 9 goals for them in the qualification round and he has usually done well when he plays for England. But maybe there is a bit too much pressure on him. Nike “Write the Future” ad and this article http://tinyurl.com/2fkgcu5 sums it up. However he has it what it takes to deliver in a big competition. Same can’t be said about his striker partners. Defoe is a good striker but he and Rooney are not going to start together. So it will be either Heskey or Crouch which gives you an indication of how England is going to play.  It is not going to be very pretty but it can be effective.

World Class - Wayne Rooney

Squad

Goalkeepers: Joe Hart (Manchester City), David James (Portsmouth), Robert Green (West Ham).

Defenders: Jamie Carragher (Liverpool), Ashley Cole (Chelsea), Michael Dawson (Tottenham), Glen Johnson (Liverpool), Ledley King (Tottenham), John Terry (Chelsea), Matthew Upson (West Ham), Stephen Warnock (Aston Villa).

Midfielders: Gareth Barry (Manchester City), Michael Carrick (Manchester United), Joe Cole (Chelsea), Steven Gerrard (Liverpool), Frank Lampard (Chelsea), Aaron Lennon (Tottenham), James Milner (Aston Villa), Shaun Wright-Phillips (Manchester City).

Forwards: Peter Crouch (Tottenham), Jermain Defoe (Tottenham), Emile Heskey (Aston Villa), Wayne Rooney (Manchester United).

Expected Line Up –

Green

Johnson                    King                        Terry                            Cole

Lennon                 Lampard                     Barry                          Gerrard

Rooney          Heskey

Prediction- England probably has the 6th or 7th best team in this world cup. But looking at their fixtures they have a realistic chance of reaching the semifinals. They have avoided the likes of Holland, Brazil and Spain until the semifinal stage. But they could end up facing Germany, Argentina or France before that. Both Argentina and France despite having superior teams might struggle against England thanks to their brilliant managers. I expect Capello to outwit Domenech and Maradona. Germany on the other hand will be a lot tougher. So I expect England to reach semis which really will be an achievement considering the squad they have.