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Thursday, October 12, 2006

What were you thinking, man?

Certain commentators have been saying that Stevie Mac used a 3-5-2 against Croatia. One look at the squad clearly shows that idea to be hogwash. Let's be honest - it was more like a 4-1-2-1-2. And where were the wingers? No, Stevie Mac, I don't mean our beloved Scottie P (viz. last post). England has so many talented wingers, and you decide to use none of them? It's shocking, shocking.

TDH was ready to see a real 3-5-2, with two real wingers. The whole idea of a 3-5-2 is that you can play dedicated wide men. They have to be the kind who can score, too, i.e. not Cashley Hole, whose shot is about as menacing as that of Juampi Sorin (viz. earlier TDH rants).

The Croat coach was right - Stevie Mac did his side a favor. It's hard to believe, too, that the FA couldn't arrange a match for this mad-scientist 3-5-2 against MK Dons or Grimsby, just to see if it passed the smell test. Must Stevie Mac use an away Euro 2008 qualifying tie as his laboratory? It's crazy, crazy.

Well, much work to do for England. Hopefully Stevie Mac will make El Tel the fall guy and bring in someone who actually knows some tactics. TDH also has a conspiracy theory on this: El Tel encouraged Stevie Mac to make a fool of himself, so that he could take over! Devious and yet so believable!


Blogger the Maradona of Malawi said...

what a shambles. I saw most of the second half, and it wasn't just that england lost, they were taken apart. Croatia looked better in every facet of the game. When you consider their best players included Rapaic (has been) and Kranjkar (probably never-will-be), that's disgraceful. Enlgnad miss Cole far more than many people realise. In games like this in the past they had three options:

1) Fall over and let Becks save the day with a set piece
2) Hope Wayne Rooney produces a moment of magic
3) Hope Young Joe does the same.

1 is no longer possible, 2 is unlikely with wayne in this kind of form, and 3 is gone with injury - who else in England is genuinely creative? not lamps or even gerrard. Not any of the other forwards. Who?

7:38 AM  
Blogger The American Geordie said...

Two words: Lennon and Richardson. They both have talent and the ability to be unpredictable, in the good sense of the word. And there's always young Theo, whom Stevie Mac would do well to bring along in time for 2010. Also, if you really want to go with speed and slickness, add in SWP and Defoe. Then there's Harewood, who has a rare combination of bulk and creativity. In short, England could field an entirely different offensive 4 or 5.

Just looking back at what I've written, is it a coincidence that these are all black players who've received only a minimum of minutes under the new regime?

9:44 AM  
Blogger The American Geordie said...

Also, where in your list of unavailable options was number 4, i.e. lightning strike out of nowhere by Michael Owen?

9:51 AM  
Blogger the Maradona of Malawi said...

I cede fully on Lennon. Richardson is not very good, in my opinion. One good game on a friendly tour of the US doesn't make a player. SWP is a definite maybe, but he needs minutes to prove it, at club and country level; and Defoe, ditto.

Harewood I like a lot, he looks a very strong and dangerous player - but again, not playing enough for club, and a big gamble in a qualifier - put him in a couple of difficult friendlies and see how he does.

Re: Option 4, I can't recall seeing it since the 2004 Euros game against Portugal... which England lost!

I'm not sure why Lennon wasn't starting, since Downing is clearly not up to the job, and I'm sure if Stevie Mac is happy to play gerrard out of position on the wing, left would suit him better so he could cut in on his right. When Cole comes back, he'd move either back to the left or behind the strikers to provide some much needed creativity.

10:48 AM  
Anonymous Palms said...

I'm not sure Cole is missed. The problem is that England are completely gutless. We were gutless in the world cup as well and Cole being on the pitch didn't change that (aside from his astonishing goal against Sweden of course).

I'd persist with Downing on the left. He is left footed (I'm tired of the square peg in round holes approach to England's left sided problem.) and now that Beckham is out of the picture, is the only player in the squad who can cross the ball. I'd certainly give him more slack than Carrick. Lennon is the obviously first choice for the right side (He's injured at the moment I think, that's why he wasn't playing).

I think the key is getting Gerrard to play for England like he does for Liverpool. and the obvious way of doing that is playing either Parker or Hargreaves in tandem with him in a four-man midfield. He really does frighten the life out of teams when he's got the bit between his teeth.

England are playing so cowardly at the moment, my enthusiasm for the national team wanes with each passing game. I've alwas been a club before country kind of guy anyway, but at this rate England are in danger of disappearing off my radar completely. I'm also quite uncomfortable cheering for a side that features both Ashley Cole and Gary Neville.

9:39 PM  
Anonymous palms said...

Oh and if you're talking about strikers, why not give Andy Johnson a run in the side. He's had a fantastic season so far.

9:42 PM  
Blogger Gamblog UK said...

442, replace the injured Ledley King with Ferdinand (arguably an improvement).

Replace the suspended Gerrard, with an out and out right sided player - Wright Phillips. The Wright Philips that looked the only player worth talking about, who played out of position for 10 minutes against the Macedonians. (arguably not an improvement - just)

Just play 442 and get at them. What's the problem?

532, 352, 312112 - you're all as mad as each other. We will still qualify by the way, so it's all good.

8:07 PM  

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