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Friday, March 23, 2007

Come high, come low, a win tomorrow

This is why:

Group E Table

1) Croatia P 4, W 3, D 1, GD 10, PTS 10

2) Russia P 4, W 2, D 2, GD 4, PTS 8

3) England P 4, W 2, D 1, L 1, GD 4, PTS 7

4) Macedonia P 5, W 2, D 1, L 2, GD 1, PTS 7

5) Israel P 4, W 2, D 1, L 1, GD 3, PTS 7

6) Estonia P 3, L 3, GD -4, PTS 0

7) Andorra P 4, L 4, GD -18, PTS 0

And this too:


P Neville, Terry, Ferdinand; Carragher;


Gerrard, Lampard, Lennon;

Rooney, Johnson.

Are we a nation which considers itself at the national football level too good to fail or is it because we are English that we take for granted we have automatically earned the right to compete in elite football tournaments? Because when England do play, we have a high expectancy of winning the game, be it a friendly or otherwise. For myself, I expect us to win games because of the comparison between us and the opposition and on analysis of the players chosen in both sides.

Most of us presumably are familiar of the Israeli members Tal Ben Haim & Idan Tal (both of Bolton Wanderers), Yossi Benayoun (West Ham United), and a brief glimpse of Ben Sahar (Chelsea), and that does not go on to suggest Israel are inferior to England and a win is therefore inevitable. I say a win is the only result because of the calibre of players we have at present and how they play, they can equal most of the Europe's best. As such we have a stronger chance of doing well in competitions than before, provided the players play fully to their abilities as they do domestically.

I for one would love for David Nugent to come on and score, the first Preston North End player to be chosen since Sir Tom Finney in 1959. But intriguingly is that we have Andy Johnson and Wayne Rooney fit and ready to start, two of many who we have yet to see unleashed fully for England together. Both pacy with a keen eye for goal and they have good attacking midfielders to help them. Quite simply Steve McClaren and John Terry need say no more than go out there, maintain possession, shut down the opposition quickly and attack their goal with fervour.



Blogger BlindJak said...

Good analysis RedsMan. However, “provided the players play fully to their abilities as they do domestically” That’s just the problem. Far too often and particularly in the WC too many of our players have not bought their domestic for to the international scene. Pretty much all managers since Terry Venables have also struggled to gel 11 individuals into a team.

I personally thought we have one of the strongest squads at the WC with great quality in depth but due to injuries, poor form and bad management we didn’t get close to fulfilling our potential.

If we play as a team tomorrow Israel doesn’t stand a chance. But as we have not put on a team display for some time I expect a rough ride tomorrow. Though will the quality of player available still expect us to gain 3 points.

One further note, I’d be inclined to play Barry at LB rather than Neville.

3/23/2007 1:11 pm

Blogger T said...

Good analysis Redsman and BlindJak- agree with much of it!

I like Johnson up front- much more preferable to Crouch and the mobility and deadly fininshing of the Everton man will hopefully bring more spark and playability to England's possession and attacking game. Agree also that Barry should be ahead of Neville. Maybe even Leighton Baines of Wigan should be ahead of the Everton stalwart.

I agree with Blindjak about Israel being tough opponents. They are scrappers and the atmosphere will be like a proper cup-tie. That said, we have enough ability in the team to break down Israel and lets hope we do indeed witness one of those rarer sights in football: an England performance to be proud of.

3/24/2007 10:28 am


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