Month: June 2014

England Line Up vs Uruguay

This is a very anticipated game bearing in mind that both teams lost their opening games of the tournament which, saw the surprise of the tournament so far Costa Rica running away with a 3 – 1 victory against Uruguay to the displeasure of Luis Suarez who was sat on the bench. This will be the second game for the teams so will have acclimatised and be used to the conditions that they will have to play in come Thursday night. I can’t really see there being any changes to the back five despite the below average performance from Baines who’s only competition is Luke Shaw, who would probably not cope with the pressure at this stage seeing how Baines was run rings around by Candreva. The only tactical change for the defence would be to reiterate to the centre backs they need to communicate with Joe Hart who will have seen Balotelli’s movement to the back post leading to the second Italian goal.

The midfield might see Wilshere come in for Henderson who didn’t play badly but didn’t put his own brand of play for all to see on the world stage which is what we want to see. This is where we failed last time round because we had no courage and were afraid to put a stamp on the games.

In the attacking midfield role I would move Rooney inside so that he has an opportunity in his favoured position and if he fails to impress then that should be his last chance of a guaranteed spot which, he seems to have under Hodgson. On either side of him Sterling and Lallana who can swap and change sides causing more confusion for the Uruguay defenders. Then finally upfront I would play Daniel Sturridge he has scored in his first world cup game, looks lively and dangerous threatening to get behind the defensive line constantly.

England XI:

Joe Hart

Glen Johnson

Leighton Baines

Gary Cahill

Phil Jagielka

Steven Gerrard

Jack Wilshere

Raheem Sterling

Wayne Rooney

Daniel Sturridge

Advertisements

My England Line Up vs Italy

All the rumours are pointing towards quite a youthful attacking force to feature against Italy possible because of the age of the Italian defenders who are ageing. Cheillini will not have the legs to match one of several players; Daniel Sturridge, Raheem Sterling, Adam Lallana, Oxlade Chamberlain and Ross Barkley to name a few who would render the Italian defence cuckoo. The list of players previous are examples of the youthful nature of the squad proving England’s reliance on the old faithful is dissolving which can only benefit English football for the future. Realistically I can’t see any changes to the England back five including; Joe Hart in net, Glen Johnson at Right Back, Leighton Baines at Left Back and pairing at the back Phil Jagielka and Gary Cahill. This back five has been very solid and has built up a good understanding so hopefully this will stand us in good stead in our defensive duties.

Now for the holding midfield, we obviously have the certainty of Steven Gerrard captaining the side hoping to overtake David Beckham’s record appearances for an outfield player for England. Now the difficulty comes when deciding his partner, Lampard could add an attacking threat with his good goal scoring record for England or the more likely Jordan Henderson with his box to box antics causing more havoc for Prandelli’s side to contend with.

In front of the Liverpool pair I have really struggled with deciding who should play and in what position wide or central, another issue that came to mind is does Rooney actually deserve a spot on merit. My decision is as so; Rooney through the middle because the boys alongside him will need his composure and experience to help guide them through a game of this magnitude and importance. I have been a big critic of Rooney this year saying he should be the man to step and lead United through this tough time but actually looking at his record he has come up with 15 goals mainly playing as a CAM which can only be commended. If Rooney is to ever put to rest the whispers of his national team record then Brazil would be the time to put it behind him. Alongside him Raheem Sterling but despite his age and lack of game time in an England shirt he can really, really frighten the Italy Right Back into making numerous mistakes leading to England scoring. On the other side it would be difficult to say no to Adam Lallana as he has been consistently good throughout his England career, stepping into the centre of the field running at the defence causing them to back track and lose attention of the on running players. Inevitable Daniel Sturridge must start he has shown he is an out and out scoring, creating chances at will for example Peru where he curled the ball majestically into the top corner from a unlikely position.

England XI:

Joe Hart

Glen Johnson

Leighton Baines

Steven Gerrard

Jordan Henderson

Raheem Sterling

Wayne Rooney

Adam Lallana

Daniel Sturridge

The final Act

The final act of the season is for me to round up and evaluate  if the season was a success or a failure. Ideally I would like to have been saying the wait is over we are finally part of the elite group of teams who have won the Barclays Premier League but as most would expect it has been another let down.Start of the season if you told me we would finish fourth then I would have no issues with that and be talking about how this is a platform for next year. The lucrative prize of Champions League football forcing us to build and improve on this season, however if you told me we would be challenging for the title and just miss out on winning I would be annoyed but pleased at the great improvement from the team. Now when I am asked how I feel it is a mix up of anguish, confusion and disarray, how can a team so dominant for the most part of the season come undone in just two games: chelsea and Crystal Palace.

This season should really be a celebration of the great achievement from everyone involved with the club, starting with the ground staff, the media teams, training staff, Brendan, players and most importantly the Reds faithfull who turn out every game to see it all unfold. recent years have been an uphill struggle for everyone invloved in the club wondering when we will hit the big time again and I wouldn’t have it any other way. This season nobody could argue we have been the side that has been the most exciting, inventive and exhilirating to watch and for that we have Brendan to thank. Brendan’s understanding of players freedom to move within a set structure has allowed us to play adventurous football that will undoubtedly go down in Liverpool folk law with vivid memories of possible a premier league classic Liverpool 3 – 2 Manchester City.

As always we do need to recognise the protagonists of the plot, to begin with captain fantastic has found his place in the team which benefits all parties Defenders needing cover, strikers needing service and the energetic box to box players like Jordan Henderson. This year Stevie has chipped in with a fair share of goals scoring over 10 in the premier league joining the SAS on the list of high scorers. We couldn’t go without mentioning Martin Skrtel who has been tremendous all season with his last ditch challenges reading of the game and his presence in the box on corners. A particular young man named Raheem Sterling could not go without a mention for his dynamic running of games either; as part of a three man attack or as the point of the diamond ensuring that our doubts of young English talent is put to rest. Two men who have been superb all season Daniel Sturridge and Luis Suarez have easily engraved themselves into kop history of greta strike partnerships joining keegan and toshack, Rush and Dalglish. This has been an especially potent season for them both, Daniel Sturridge has been a bright light for English forwards showing that power and pace does still exist beating Wayne Rooney to being the highest scoring british player in the league. Inevitable he wouldnt have benefitted the team as much if he did not feature alongside the allustrious Luis Suarez who against all odds stopped at Anfield to become the leagues most dangerous man equalling Cristiano Ronaldo for goals seeing them both share the spoils for the european golden boot.

Lastly, a great deal of appreciation should be shown to Brendan Rodgers who has turned this team around into a champions league side who can only see things going forward. For a final note to quote myself at the end of every season “Next years our year”