Blog template Rock the Crossbar: England Squad for June

Rock the Crossbar

Wednesday, December 28

England Squad for June

It's not too early to pointlessly debate the possible England 22 for Germany this summer. Here's my take.
  • Keepers -- Paul Robinson has made this spot his own. You'd have to say that he is miles ahead of anyone else. But after him, who? Robert Green's not made enough progress and has been shelled for the better part of two seasons at Norwich. Chris Kirkland has been freakishly unlucky with his injuries and doesn't seem to figure. I'm not sure that Scott Carson is even playing in the Prem. It all seems to lead to the horrible and inevitable conclusion that once again, David James might get the nod as second choice. Cue the nightmares and refill the Ambien scripts.
  • Defenders -- Spoilt for choice in the center. Rio and John Terry seem to be first choice, but Sol Campbell and Ledley King will both probably be in the final 22. Luke Young seems very composed at right back, hopefully demoting Gary Neville to the bench. It remains to be seen whether Ashley Cole will return from after a long layoff through injury. But if he does, seemingly that place is his. Hopefully, there's room for Carrigher. After that, England's a bit thin on the flanks. Don't reckon Glenn Johnson has made enough progress or played enough games. And with any luck, Everton is so crap that Phil Neville is finally recognized as the liability that he is. Hopefully somebody will make an impression in one of the upcoming friendlies.
  • Midfielders -- Sorted, mostly. Though Becks is not in as rich form as Stevie G, Joe Cole, or Frank Lampard, he'll play and it won't probably matter much. Scott Parker, Alan Smith, Michael Carrick and Jermaine Jenas will be considered. From what I've seen, Darren Ambrose should also be considered. Owen Hargreaves should not.
  • Forwards -- Tricky. Rooney of course, Owen because despite everything, he scores for England, and Defoe because he's in thrilling form. It would have been nice if Crouch had gone on a scoring tear this year and he may still, but either way, he'll probably make the trip because of how awkward his style is to deal with. After that, it's a steep drop off.

Have I missed anybody?


  • I think the main question facing England is how to deal with Lampard and Gerrard in midfield. Most of the football-phone-in experts seem to have come to the conslusion that you can't play both in the same team. Normally I might agree but not in this case.

    Lampard and Gerrard, along with Rooney, are the three best players in the team. I think you have to find a way for them and that’s the job of the manager. The problem is, as I have been saying for ages, the lack of a real defensive midfielder to put behind them. If you had a Makalele, Graveson or Keane you could play both Gerrard and Lampard in front of the him, just like Chelsea play Essien and Lampard in front of Makalele. Possible England candidates for this position include King, Smith, Dawson etc.
    Also, laugh as you may, I think Rio could do a good job here. He is much more comfortable on the ball than King and King was tried there. You could play Rio in front of Terry and AN Other. It is very, very late for that kind of experimentation though.

    Whoever you put there, you could then have Beckham and Cole on the flanks but that would obviously resign you to playing one up front. This is the second part of the problem. Your best player is probably Rooney so are you doing him a disservice and not taking full advantage of him by playing him up front by himself? By solving one problem, are you are creating another?

    Its a tough situation but what I would be worried about is that we have all known about this situation for years and I still don't think Sven is any closer to solving it than any of us are.

    By Blogger TheBusbyBoy, at 1:56 PM  

  • Of course, the much simpler solution is to have either Gerrard or Lampard sit back more. Easier said than done though as the essence of both players is busrting forward. It might just have to be done though so you can go with:

    Neville Rio Terry Cole
    Beckham Gerrard Lampard Cole

    I think this team has the best balance and most players know their role. They key will be clearly defining the roles of Gerrard and Lampard.

    By Blogger TheBusbyBoy, at 2:01 PM  

  • I have to say its 4-4-2 with Gerrard sitting deeper than Lampard. Owen and Rooney up top as they can both win the tight games so I cant drop either...

    Cole and Becks on the flanks.
    Back 4 of Neville (he's not that bad), Rio, Terry, Cashley.
    Squad depth is my concern - we lose Rooney and thats that.
    In the middle - if we lose Gerrard or Gerrard, not sure who can come in there... John is right though, Sven's got 3 brilliant players there and he has to gel them - luckily he has some leeway cos when he gets it wrong he has a very good defense behind them to mask any issues.

    England wont win the World Cup, I am under no illusions but they should make at least the quarters with this team though a tie against Germany could ruin all of that.

    I want to see Crouch go and get time on the pitch - having seen a lot of him in Liverpool, he may not score 100 but his link up play and his ball winning ability just outside the box is fantastic. Pity he cant score goals though.


    By Blogger Simon Burke, at 2:31 PM  

  • Crouchy: 6 goals in 7 games.

    By Blogger Rich Hughes, at 4:03 PM  

  • Goals against Saprissa dont count. He had a deflected goal V Wigan - and the goal against Newcastle was credited as a Given own goal - !

    By Blogger Simon Burke, at 10:27 PM  

  • Cool finish against Everton last night after some nifty passing.

    By Blogger gooner71, at 10:48 AM  

  • That was a nice finish to be fair. I would definitely have him in the England squad. It is a bit of a cliché but he offers something so much different than the rest of the English strikers - or most strikers in the world for that matter. I can easily see a situation where England are chasing a game and they go with 3 up front - Crouch with Owen and Rooney buzzing around him. He has to be in.

    It will be fascinating to see how England would use him against a team like Brazil.

    Paul Robinson, the Spurs keeper that is, has really come on leaps and bounds and is an instant upgrade from previous campaigns. I can see United, Arsenal and Liverpool invovled in a big scrap for him in 2/3 years.

    By Blogger TheBusbyBoy, at 2:22 PM  

  • Definatley a good bench option for the international stage - Or if your playing 'average height 5'3 N Korea', maybe a start. English defenders have a problem - surely this is magnified for players from less physical leagues populated by shorter players?

    You saw it when Owen scored 2 at the end of the Argentina game - all the defenders were sucked towards Crouch.

    By Blogger Rich Hughes, at 4:26 PM  

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