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Saturday, February 04, 2006

"Sol Campbell there, using his strength. And that is his strength - his strength."

Isn't it funny how some things that seem so solid can suddenly crumble into uncertainty? No, TDH isn't talking about Sol Campbell. But TDH is talking about Sol's effect on England's line-up for Germany 2006.

The big man looks like he's on a one-way trip to the bench. With less playing time, there's a fair chance that he'll be left out of Sven's Last Squad. (Alas it's too late for the Toon to pick him up - anybody would have been better than Swansong.) So what will Sven do?

Well, there's no doubt that three of the center-back spots will go to Terry, Rio and Carragher. For the fourth, Sven could plump for Wrong-Way Woody as long as he finishes out the season reasonably in Madrid. Heaven help England, but Wuss Brown is also a possibility. Or Sven could be clever - bear with TDH here - and pick King for that spot.

The whole reason you have back-up players at each position is for flexibility, right? Well, Ledley can provide it. Even if he starts a match as a holding midfielder, he can drop back if one of the center-backs is injured. And in the meantime, another midfield spot opens up on the roster.

As we've all recounted time and again, four of the eight spots are taken by Fat Frank, Stevie G, Becks, and Young Joe. Now there are four remaining for some combination of SWP, Kieran Richardson, Jenas, Carrick, Downing (we pray), Hargreaves (agh) and perhaps Parker. Hargreaves has only played in about half of Bayern's games, several as a sub. As of today, TDH would bet on Sven picking the first four. The way Richardson's playing, he could be England's 1958 Pele....


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