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Rock the Crossbar

Monday, May 8

Sven names the provisional squad

England's provisional squad: Robinson (Tottenham), James (Manchester City), Green (Norwich), G Neville (Manchester United), R Ferdinand (Manchester United), Terry (Chelsea), A Cole (Arsenal), Campbell (Arsenal), Carragher (Liverpool), Bridge (Chelsea), Beckham (Real Madrid), Carrick (Tottenham), Lampard (Chelsea), Gerrard (Liverpool), Hargreaves (Bayern Munich), Jenas (Tottenham), Downing (Middlesbrough), J Cole (Chelsea), Lennon (Tottenham), Rooney (Manchester United), Owen (Newcastle), Crouch (Liverpool), Walcott (Arsenal). Five standby players: Scott Carson, Luke Young, Nigel Reo-Coker, Jermain Defoe, Andy Johnson Lakenheath Old Boys

32 Comments:

  • Walcott gets in is a huge surprise - has Sven monitored his progress??? I dont get this one but I am pleased that Sven is so forward thinking in his last few weeks. No SWP is a laugh and that serves the wanker right for not coming to us and taking the money. Good for Lennon too who I admire when his head isnt over the toilet. Surprised Luke Young didnt sneak in as cover for Gary but all in all this is a good squad.

    By Blogger Simon Burke, at 10:32 AM  

  • Campbell over Wes Brown. Joke.

    By Blogger TheBusbyBoy, at 10:52 AM  

  • If Rooney is out, I see a 5-man midfield for England with Carrick playing just behind Lampard and Gerrard. Beckham on one side and Joe Cole on the other.

    You only have to look at the number of strikers he has picked:
    Rooney (Manchester United), Owen (Newcastle), Crouch (Liverpool), Walcott (Arsenal).

    By Blogger TheBusbyBoy, at 10:55 AM  

  • I agree John - its 4-5-1 and its a good 4-5-1 as I think it should be Carrick that comes in to free up Gerrard a bit. Could work out very well. I also agree that Pie Eater Campbell shouldnt be ahead of Wes Brown, I hate Campbell and want him sold. He has been POOR since he came back and only the niceness of CRAP refs like Uriah have spared him more blushes. We just have to carry him through the Barcelona game and then we can off him.

    By Blogger Simon Burke, at 11:03 AM  

  • Beckham? Who is that?


    Why not go with Hargreaves (if fit) on the right, Cole on the left, with Carrick nestled behind Frankie and Stevie?


    Let Couch hold up top and lay-off balls to Owen H. and Joey. Maybe he'll get his head in front of a corner or a deflected free kick to put one in the net.


    Big trouble with the health of Gooney and Mikey...don't think Crouch or Wonderboy are the answers.


    Question for the group: is Gary Neville the best choice???

    By Blogger George Cuddy, at 11:04 AM  

  • I think Neville is the best and has experience with the camp that is valuable, no complaints there from me. Owen Hargreaves is pretty unpopular among the average English fan and wont feature much. It should be Carrick before Hargreaves at this point. Cole and Becks on the wings while Lennon prays for an injury to Beckham

    By Blogger Simon Burke, at 11:10 AM  

  • So, what is the average English fan? It is the guy in the kit from 1973, full belly showing, with sideburns to his lips, who gets so pissed that he can't find the tube stop nearest the grounds after the match? Or, is it the typical pundit in this forum who, clearly, is far too intellectual to be considered "average." (except for Devitt, a simpleton and walking human bruise after each training session and match)


    The fans don't make the selections for the first XI, thankfully. If they did, I fear England's squad would have two Nevilles on the same pitch with a current-form Gazza. Hargreaves is class, pure and simple. He's a wildcard to a point, but just the type of difference-maker needed in a tournament like this one. He is also versatile enough to attack and then work back to recover defensively - not exactly Becks' best attribute.


    One final note: I would much rather have Andy Johnson on the final roster than Crouch. Anyone else?

    By Blogger George Cuddy, at 2:42 PM  

  • YOu had me intrigued till you said the fans would want 2 Nevilles on the flanks - not a chance. And Andy Johnson over Crouch???? A fella trapped in division one who is a good penalty taker over a guy who gives England a different option and defences a big problem... I have no serious problem with Hargreaves, he comes in and plays as a spoiler type but I would prefer Carrick to come in and give us some tackling and some flair.

    By Blogger Simon Burke, at 2:51 PM  

  • Who is this gac idiot, Johnson over Crouch - Do you watch much football?

    By Blogger Stand up if you hate Man u, at 2:55 PM  

  • I love Carrick. Saw him in person in Chicago last summer vs. the USA and, though it was an exhibition, he was very strong in all aspects. In an earlier post, I clearly stated that I wanted him starting. Oh, and as far as statistics for the 2005/06 campaign:


    Peter Crouch: 32 appearances (27 as a starter, 5 as a sub), 6 goals, 6 assists.


    Andy Johnson: 34 appearances (31 as a starter, 3 as a sub), 15 goals, 6 assists.


    Is the defensive prowess of 1st Division players that much weaker than the Premiership as a whole?


    A couple of guys named Lineker and Rush did a pretty decent job of "just" scoring goals a few years back...


    Idiot?

    By Blogger George Cuddy, at 4:28 PM  

  • "stand up if you hate man u?"

    Very original. Perhaps you are a bit jealous of GlazerUtd's success? I'm not a fan of that squad, but one can't argue with the silverware in their cabinet(s).


    As for watching football, I do - a lot - but lately I've been shagging your mother so much that I haven't had much time to watch Peter Crouch turn the ball over again and again and give chase with his wonderful pace. On a bright note, we (your mum and I) have been using one of my light-blue "Stand Up If You Love City" t-shirts as the clean-up towel. (Self-explanatory)

    By Blogger George Cuddy, at 4:36 PM  

  • Liverpool play Arsenal, United, Spurs, Chelsea, Man City, .......

    Palace play Preston, Brighton, Cardiff, QPR.

    Nuff said.

    Whats Lineker and Rush got to do with anything? One is Welsh and neither played in the lower tier.

    By Blogger Simon Burke, at 4:38 PM  

  • Jealous of the Mancs - too funny. We've got plenty of silverware in our cabinet(s) at Anfield.

    Gac, Do you live in Boston?

    By Blogger Stand up if you hate Man u, at 4:46 PM  

  • Johnson scores goals much in the manner of Lineker and Rush: off the shoulder, the hip, etc. Whatever it takes to get the ball in the net. Crouch is, indeed, dangerous off corners and set plays and crosses - how effective that will be for England in the World Cup is anyone's guess. I would rather have a worker or a poacher (like Johnson) than a, basically, one-dimensional stiff.


    I live in Boston, yes. And I've been to Anfield. Not that impressed, especially since 99.9% of your supporters have no idea where the tune "You'll Never Walk Alone" even originated. (From the musical "Carousel," for the record)


    The whole Kop "thing" is rather annoying, also.

    By Blogger George Cuddy, at 4:52 PM  

  • Gac, you are a grade A numpty. Also, mention my Mum again and I might have to knock you out.

    By Blogger Stand up if you hate Man u, at 4:58 PM  

  • My little boy lives here:

    http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&hl=en&q=60+Greenough+Street,+%235+%09Brookline,+MA+02445&om=1&ll=42.336246,-71.126733&spn=0.032358,0.097504

    When you are finished riding him, make sure you use his City top to clean up.

    By Anonymous GACs Mum, at 4:59 PM  

  • Very good my ole son.

    By Blogger Stand up if you hate Man u, at 5:12 PM  

  • There is nothing I enjoy more than a good scrap - so, please, I'm imploring you to visit my Brookline mansion and I'll be happy to oblige. Just ring the bell a few times so your mum - and I'm talking about YOUR mum "stand up if you hate man u" - has a chance to slip back into her "I did Keegan in '77, too" nightgown and leave out the back stairs. Then, I'll ready the broom to sweep up all of your teeth off of the sidewalk (your mum often sleepwalks barefoot and I wouldn't want her to bloody her toes).


    Brian McBride is #1.

    By Blogger George Cuddy, at 5:17 PM  

  • Mother jokes? Thats kinda gay.

    By Blogger TheBusbyBoy, at 5:36 PM  

  • So is saying I'll "knock you out." Let's move on. What do you think Victoria Beckham will wear to the first WC match?

    By Blogger George Cuddy, at 5:42 PM  

  • Actually I think he called you an idiot first :-)

    By Blogger TheBusbyBoy, at 5:44 PM  

  • The Walcott selection is interesting. Le Monde found it strange to have a 17yr old with no senior caps or Premiership starts making the squad while Defoe was left out.

    Regarding A Johnson, I believe a lot of his goals last year came from penalties. Also, Louis Saha scored over 30 goals in Fulham's 99-00 promotion season. I have the video and the defence was somewhat more porous than a Premiership side though I think he would bring more than Walcott.

    By Blogger Chris P, at 12:46 PM  

  • Should have taken fowler.

    By Blogger Rich Hughes, at 1:29 PM  

  • Remember, this is the "provisional squad".

    I am not saying he is correct in this approach, but I think Sven knows what he will get from Defoe and Johnson. I think he wants to see Walcott in these upcoming friendly games and, if he is horribly out of his depth, he will be dropped and one of those two will come in.

    If he looks sharp and scores a goal the media will go nuts, forget Rooney and brand Sven a genius and demand he stays.

    I am not a huge Johnson fan but people make fun of the fact that he scores a lot of penalties. People forget that, at least when I saw Palace last season, he made most of those penalties as well. Not a bad trait for a striker to have - the ability to get on the wrong side of a defender and force him into a lunge.

    Defoe's finishing is not very reliable.

    Don't be surprised though to see Defoe or Johnson replace Walcott in the final squad.

    By Blogger TheBusbyBoy, at 2:04 PM  

  • Before you lot get too crazy over Andy Johnson, I'd like to point out he was "snuffed out" today, according to radio commentary, by one Jay Demerit. "Just who is Jay Demerit?" you justifiably ask. Only another unsung Yank slowly making himself known overseas. Played his college ball at UIC before catching on in Engerlund.

    By Blogger Glazer Shmazer, at 5:44 PM  

  • Go away Tom

    By Blogger TheBusbyBoy, at 7:22 PM  

  • Tom, Is this like all the other super yanks making their way in Eng - Whitbread, Spector, Howard and so on..

    By Blogger Stand up if you hate Man u, at 10:13 AM  

  • Super Yanks? Did I say that? If anything, the fact that a guy like Demerit shows up and accomplishes something while flying completely under the radar over here suggests to me that perhaps there's a bit more quality lurking here than some folks care to admit. Does that justify a #4 ranking from FIFA? Uh, no. Does the fact that this guy has never been deemed good enough for our national player pool mean that we'll shock the world next month? Never said that. I just find it a tad amusing that people go on at length about Andy Johnson, and this kid who not long ago was playing on astroturf on the near South Side of Chicago in front of like 50 people shut him down in what I think you'd agree was probably the biggest match of his life. That's all.

    By Blogger Glazer Shmazer, at 10:34 AM  

  • Who here went on at length about Andy Johnson? I think the biggest compliment he got was that he has a knack of winning penalties.

    I actually heard this Demerit guy mentioned on the bbc football phone in on Saturday. A Watford fan said he has been excellent. Made a joke about him being in the team on Demerit. Ugh.

    By Blogger TheBusbyBoy, at 11:09 AM  

  • Fair play Johno. To suggest "go on at length" was a stretch, or well...wrong. I stand by my point, however, with respect to untapped talent, a point I believe GAC spoke to indirectly elsewhere. This guy's story is a good one by any standard. Another thing. UIC now has a grass field, so I was wrong on that point. He'll get a look soon enough. And for what it's worth, I think Crouch does more good for England than Johnson.

    By Blogger Glazer Shmazer, at 11:19 AM  

  • Let it be said I have said nothing good about AJ anywhere in my life! A Yank marking some fella out of a first division game excites me about as much as McLaren's appointment. Go back to your dodgy stats.

    By Blogger Simon Burke, at 4:37 PM  

  • Well played glazer...my earlier reference to untapped talent is basically a product of three issues for men's soccer in the USA:


    (1) The best club coaches at the developmental level coach girls' soccer, not boys. I have a national license and I've seen it time and time again over the past 15 years. Note how many top-flight female youth players who excel in college and then on the national team actually take players on 1v1; a lot when compared to the men produced here. (Reyna turning back again and again, even with numbers in his favor, as a prime example) Our female youth players improve to a higher standard than our male players. Why? They are more disciplined and motivated than the boys because their coaching mentors are superior. True, the game is a bit slower and tactics play a greater role (weaker teams can compete against superior foes with more chance of a good result than in a boys' mismatch), but boys' club soccer still remains "boot it and chase" while the girls build from the back, play triangle overlaps and, again, attack defenders 1v1.


    2. The identification process itself is flawed. The top youth clubs nationwide may, indeed, offer scholarships and the like, but this is usually to players who are already dominant at the U14/U15 level for some other team. Athletes need to be groomed from the U8/U10 level with less structured training environments so that they learn intuitive creative skills...unlike, for example, the robots at the IMG Academy in Florida. Our youth players go to training sessions and play in league matches and tournaments only; more time should be spent playing pick-up games on cement, in parks, etc. Young basketball players see a move on television by a pro and go out to try it in their driveway a few hundred times until they master it. Hopefully, this will happen eventually in the USA with the beautiful game - let's just pray they are emulating Henry and his ilk and not Cobi Jones. More minority players should be the first goal of US Soccer.


    3. I know I come off as quite pessimistic here, quite often, about soccer in the USA in general, but frankly a lot of it is born out of the frustration that the best athletes don't make soccer their first choice. Point guard John Stockton would have made a nice attacking mid; outfielder Rickey Henderson on the wing would have been a terror. Rich, white kids from the suburbs whose families can afford club/travel teams are simply not tested physically and psychologically in soccer the way that urban African-Americans are in basketball, the way running backs in Texas are, or the way the cut-throat weeding process of youth baseball in Southern California selects talent. I wish there were 500 more Clint Dempseys (love that kid), I really do - but that's a long, long, long time in coming.


    Would you select Walcott or Adu? Exactly my point.

    By Blogger George Cuddy, at 6:36 PM  

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