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Thursday, November 10, 2005

"In my opinion, the English players are too honest."

A tough match once again awaits England's supposedly finest at the Stade de Geneve. And TDH wonders, what will be the talking point this time? Another player sent off after an Argentine performance worthy of a Best Actor award? Another player taken down in the box, with no penalty called? The Hand of God's Gay Lover?

Anything's possible when the Ingles Locos and the Argies face off. Here's TDH's choice for an England formation, using the players Sven's taking with him:

4-1-3-2 or call it what you will
Goalkeeper: Robinson (obviously)
Leftback: Konchesky (Argentina is no place for Wayne Bridge's return)
Centerback: Terry (obviously)
Centerback: Campbell (sit down, Rio; Sol's always Sol-id for England)
Rightback: Young (not much choice here)
Holding midfielder: King (made for it - but so is Parker)
Left midfielder: Cole (at least to start, and he'll have to defend well)
Central midfielder: Lampard (you can't fault Fat Frank, you just can't)
Right midfielder: Beckham (his crosses for Madrid have been insane)
Back forward: Rooney (sounds odd, but that's where he plays best)
Front forward: Owen (the eternal poacher)

TDH could be convinced to play Carrick instead of King, but it just feels like having an extra enforcer back there will be useful. The main problem for England is that they don't have a tall man to flick down the long balls. Crouch isn't good enough to justify inclusion for that role alone. One solution could be playing Gerrard instead of Lampard, but then he'd spend too much time forward. It's not an ideal situation, but when has it been since Shearer left?

So, England will have to build up the game from the back, and that's why Sven will need his best ball-at-feet men on the pitch (sounds like an argument for Rio... cringe). They'll have to be quick and clever, too, because the Argies will be hitting the turf any chance they get.

The other problem is that England haven't played a team of the Argies' caliber in... in... well, it's been a long time. On the bright side, perhaps, Pekerman has in his squad only two of the six Argies who play together for Spain's yellow goal orgy. Still, TDH figures 2-1 to La Seleccion with Owen saving England's blushes.

Tomorrow: the American stars you should have heard of by now


Blogger the Maradona of Malawi said...

FINALLY, you have realised that young Joe is in fact a necessity for England! The stepovers! the feints! the deflected goals! ahh, it warms my heart...

I'm also a big fan of Carrick, which would give a midfield of which 3/4 was weaned by the Whammy Youth Academy. He's the closest thing England have to Pirlo, the man who makes Milan work.

That said, I do like King as a holding player, and they definitely need some one to look after Riquelme, who could otherwise wreak havoc...

5:10 PM  
Blogger The American Geordie said...

Well, Cole will do for now. But in the long term (and after his injury clears up), I think Stewart Downing will revolutionize England's left-flank play. The kid is 21 and has already torn several good Premiership sides to pieces.

In any case, Sven will want Mourinho-like cover at all positions in Germany, and here's where he might start:

GK: Robinson/"anyone but James"
LB: Cole/Bridge
CB1: Terry/Carragher
CB2: Campbell/Ferdinand
RB: Neville/Young
HM: Parker/King
LM: Downing/Cole
CM: Lampard/Gerrard
RM: Beckham/Wright-Phillips
F1: Rooney/Defoe
F2: Owen/Bent

If, by some miracle, Dyer is healthy, then I might consider including him rather than Defoe. He plays well in that set-back striker role. Also Carrick will have an argument about the HM spots. I think Bent will prove his worth by the end of the season, but TDH's stats will tell the tale....

7:30 PM  

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