24 hours after the England game last night and I have had chance to digest the whole evening.
Firstly I need to slam the alleged “Sports Journalist of the Year” for his derogatory comments this morning. “Thanks Pearce now go get Redknapp and let’s go to the Euro’s” – surely this can’t be the basis for award winning journalism? It’s insulting to Tottenham who have a manager they are happy with. It’s insulting to Redknapp who is a man of deep principal. It is insulting to the bold and forward-thinking team selection that came back so well against the Dutch. It is an insult to England’s long term future manager Stuart Pearce. Above all else though it is an insult to us the fans.
It would be wrong of me to name this journalist in question but for arguments sake we’ll call him Samuel Martin. We all watched a young and inexperienced England side take on a vastly experienced Dutch side. Which of us honestly expected a victory? Winning last night didn’t matter. Hearing the crowd get behind the team and give Stuart Pearce’s young lions a chance was what it was about. To cast Pearce into the wilderness 90 minutes later is lunacy. For those that watched the match and didn’t just want to dribble out woeful old England stories, England were the better team over the whole match.
There were a few negatives I’d grant you. Micah Richards is no nearer re-establishing himself into the England fold and Leighton Baines didn’t elevate himself above Ashley Cole either. Manchester City’s deadwood Gareth Barry somehow started the match but was rightly removed at half time. Also Adam Johnson starting ahead of Theo Walcott or Daniel Sturridge was a decision that still baffles me. The only other player who amazes me with England selection is Stewart Downing. Whoever does take us to the Euros can they please leave him in Liverpool?
Joe Hart could do nothing about either goal and is a certainty to be goalkeeper for as long as he is fit. Chris Smalling and Gary Cahill both handled themselves well but it would have been nice to see Phil Jones get a start. Maybe Pearce should of gone with Jones, Smalling, Cahill and Ashley Cole as his defence.
Parker was amazing and everywhere as he kept up his “Bugs Bunny” like style. Who’s there getting a block? Scott Parker. Who’s that passing? Scott Parker. Give him the armband full time. I was a little surprised James Milner didn’t start instead of the ineffective Barry. That said nobody else would of started ahead of those that did.
So looking forward: we have Joe Hart and two-three other keepers. Robert Green, Scott Carson and David Stockdale are vying for the back up slots.
Ashley Cole and Leighton Baines will provide left back options and Kyle Walker is a guaranteed right back. Gary Cahill, Chris Smalling, Phil Jones and the experience of Rio Ferdinand should be enough defensive options.
Theo Walcott, , Ashley Young, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Aaron Lennon should be the wide attacking options whilst Scott Parker, Tom Cleverley and James Milner ‘boss’ the central midfield. That leaves Steven Gerrard and Daniel Sturridge in the secondary striker role. Obviously Wayne Rooney and Danny Welbeck go as two of the other striking options.
So 3 keepers, 7 defenders, 8 midfielders and 3 forwards leaves 2 spaces in the squad. I think a choice will be made: Paul Scholes or Frank Lampard. Frazier Campbell or Jermaine Defoe.
What are your thoughts on England? Comment below.
Written by Wesley Hillier @armchairstato.blogspot.com.
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