Ornate Push




Wednesday, March 28, 2007

England - Andorra

Two posts in one day, and I even tagged this one!

England as a football team were absolutely awful on Saturday when they played Israel. It was a case of watching 11 quality england players who didn't gel at all for 90 minutes all attempting to play the same way they do for their Premiership clubs. Ok, they didn't have much training time together, but it seems to me that Soccer Skills 101 should teach any coach that a team needs balance, and England completely lack it at the moment. Compounding the problem, the "brilliant" McClaren, team coach, seems to think that putting players in positions they aren't used to playing will also create some unexpected spark of football magic.

Thankfully we are told by the media that Wayne Rooney has taken matters into his own hands by striking the ball, hitting Lampard and breaking his wrist. This may be a smokescreen for the fact the McClaren has dropped Lampard from midfield, which is a difficult but essential move. It should have been tested earlier when McC had some capital for experimentation before everyone got on his back after 3 poor results. Whether he's been told not to, or just can't do it, Lampard doesn't track back to cover when other players are out of position.

So with Lampard out how should the England team line up ?

GK - Robinson

RB - Richards or Neville
CB - Ferdinand or Carragher
CB - Terry
LB - Cole

RM - Lennon
CM - Gerrard
CM - Hargreaves
LM - Downing or Barry

CF - Johnson / Defoe
CF - Rooney

This team sheet has players in their favoured positions and should balance the team enough to make them a solid proposition. Of course if Wayne Bridge was fit probably favour him at left back and move Cole forward, but for now this would be my team.

There is however no accounting for the seeming random choices our current manager chooses to make, a prematch coinflip could easily see something random like a second-choice keeper playing, with Jenas & Dyer mucking up the midfield.

Before I heard the Lampard news, my value bet of the day was going to be Andorra 1-0 England @ 200-1. The way England had been playing odds like that were worth the change of squandering a fiver. Since the Lampard news I still think the randomness of our coach makes that bet good value, but if the team sheet lines up as I've said above then I'd expect an England victory of +4 goals or more.

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Blogger BurnleyMik said...

I am with you on this one mate. England should have won by at LEAST 4 goals. I didnt see the game, but from what I have read and heard, they were very very poor again and the new striker from Preston, Nugent, played better than both Rooney and Johnson put together! Mclaren is not the right man for the job IMO. I also think that the FA have too much control over the team, if I remember rightly, that is why Venables walked. They need to keep out and let the manager make all the team decisions.


4:55 pm  
Blogger TanOrpheus said...

You're right about the FA's influence mate, but I think part of that is that certain players are included in clauses of the sponsorship deals. I remember reading something about that when Becks was dropped.

Mclaren's public relations are appalling, but I think in a tournament he would be a good manager, just look at the risks he took with 'boro when to get them to UEFA cup final. Whether he'd have the balls to take those risks with England though, I dont know.

England weren't as bad as the press & fans made out. Breaking down any team that has 10 men camping in their own half takes time and our so-called fans didn't help by booing after 20 minutes. They still looked a more balanced side last night.

10:48 pm  

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Ornate - adj. 1. Elaborately, heavily, and often excessively ornamented. 2. Flashy, showy, or florid in style or manner;

Push - 1. To exert outward pressure or force against something. 2. To advance despite difficulty or opposition; press forward. 3. To expend great or vigorous effort.

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