The recent friendly between England and Ghana was a game that surprised just about everyone. The match itself was open, had a good tempo and (thanks mostly to the Ghanaian fans) the atmosphere was one of the best Wembley has had in recent years. Was this because England fielded a weaker side giving Ghana cause to believe that they could win the game? Or did some of the England players feel they had points to prove? One way or another, the match was one of the best friendlies in recent memory. So, in such a competitive game, what has Fabio Capello and his staff learnt?
Now is the time for Fabio Capello to embrace this formation. He must allow the players to adjust to the changes and play like they do for their clubs. The formation allows England’s strongest position to shine – the midfield. England are now blessed with exceptional talent in the midfield, ranging from experience to young stars – something that is, no doubt, very exciting for English fans. Fabio Capello can’t stifle this by expecting Steven Gerrard to play wide in a 4-4-2. England play with a greater tempo when playing a 4-3-3 formation. It encourages the team to spread the ball out more and gives full-backs the impetus to push on to a greater degree. This has to be England’s default formation going into the final Euro 2012 qualifiers.
2. Gareth Barry is not international standard
Gareth Barry did not have a poor game against Ghana – far from it. However, it is the limitations to Gareth Barry’s play that cause concern. He offers England and Manchester City commitment, experience and drive. Yet, he has shown himself to be limited in the range of his creativity and ambition to cause problems in the final third. This is something that England fans were worried about before the performances of Scott Parker and Jack Wilshere – with them both in the team do England lack bite upfront? Wilshere and Parker are more important to England than Barry (at least more important to England’s future). As such, it is now time for Fabio Capello to move Barry to the side and push players of better quality through the side. Gareth Barry must be dropped down the selection order.
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