Posts Tagged ‘Group C’


Posted: June 6, 2010 in World Cup
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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 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


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 –


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.