First they got hammered aainst by the Danes. Then they just scraped through with a 1-0 win against Wales. So what is it that is going wrong with the team?
Lets see, for the first game most of the goals came when Sven changed the complete side (it was a friendly) and you had players like Glen Johnson defending and David James fumbling with the ball as usual. So while it was a shock loss, I would not have been so worried.
But the scrappy 1-0 win does not give the picture of a world cup winning side for sure. And I always get into a discussion with friends as how this team can play so badly when you look at the side. Its one of the great sides, but its like the Indian cricket team. Most of them would end up playing individually or just have an off day. Unfortunately if you look at sides like the Czech Rep. or Brazil you just cannot do both. Specially if you plan to get your hands on the world cup!
I think the first problem has been sorted out thanks to the Danish drubbing – the goalkeeper. I don’t know what Sven saw in James to persist with him for so long. Robinson is a far more accomplished goalkeeper. David James is just rubbish. And for him to say, ‘ I did not prepare for the game (Danes) as it was a friendly’ reeks of unprofesionalism. What did he think – it would be a walk in the park for him!???
The second problem is with the formation. Sven wants to play the diamond formation with Rooney just behind Owen in front. Unfortunately, if do not have a Butt or a Scott Parker, you just cannot play that formation. He instead went on to change it to a 4-5-1 formation against Wales. Why????? Can’t he see that even Fergie changed that formation to a 4-3-3 one when he knows thats the best way to win matches. I don’t think England can play a holding game like the Italians. They just get too confused and bogged down.
The third problem is that with the left winger. Joe Cole might score goals but don’t think he is the person to run up and down the left wing. As such the attack would get narrow and be constrained to balls played up the midfield or from crosses across the right. If you have to beat the best, balls need to played from both left and right and as such attack is more wider. Downing would be my automatic choice.
So my ideal team would be:
Defenders: Gary Neville, Rio Ferdinand, John Terry, Ashley Cole
(Covers: Jamie Carragher, Sol Campbell, Luke Young, Wes Brown)
Midefielders: Becks, Stevie G., Downing
(Covers: Butt, Parker, Lampard)
Forwards: Rooney, Owen, Defoe
(Covers: Wright-Phillips, Crouch)
Sven needs to think about what he is doing. It looks like he is more interested in qualifying than grooming a world-beating team. People’s patience is being tested for sure.
What are your thoughts on these?