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The Official *England's Journey to Brazil 2014* Thread

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Post by Duty281 Thu 9 Aug - 18:51

First topic message reminder :

"There is a forgotten, nay almost forbidden word, which means more to me than any other. That word is England."
Sir Winston Churchill


Yes, it's nearly that time. Time for England to begin their Qualifying Campaign for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. Those promising, encouraging, and brave displays witnessed during Euro 2012 will have to be built on as the long road to Brazil starts. Along the way, they will play in London, Podgorica, Kiev, Warsaw, Chisinau and Serravale. The aim is simply to top the group and make it to Brazil with a minimum of fuss.

"Ask any man what nationality he would prefer to be, and ninety nine out of a hundred will tell you that they would prefer to be Englishmen."
Cecil John Rhodes


England have been drawn in Group H with Montengro, Ukraine, Poland, Moldova and San Marino. I don't even need to be insanely optimistic this time round. England will top that group. Moldova and San Marino will be the whipping boys. Montengro, Ukraine and Poland will only prove a challenge in their own ground. Wembley will be deemed a fortress.

"Remember that you are an Englishman, and have consequently won first place in the lottery of life."
Cecil John Rhodes


The fixture list for those Qualifiers is the following:

Moldova v England (7th September 2012)
England v Ukraine (11th September 2012)
England v San Marino (12th October 2012)
Poland v England (16th October 2012)
San Marino v England (22nd March 2013)
Montenegro v England (26th March 2013)
England v Moldova (6th September 2013)
Ukraine v England (10th September 2013)
England v Montenegro (11th October 2013)
England v Poland (15th October 2013)

Lovely, simple, finishing with a Wembley double-header. I predict we'll get 28 out of 30 points, perhaps getting a draw in either Warsaw or Kiev.

"Follow your spirit; and upon this charge,
Cry "God for Harry! England and Saint George"."
William Shakespeare


Of course, while England's fate will be defined by those 10 games, the ever important International Friendly will hone the team against more quality opposition. The friendlies currently scheduled are:

Italy v England (15th August 2012)
Sweden v England (14th November 2012)
England v Scotland (14th August 2013)

So let's get the England train rolling, starting on Wednesday, build up momentum before landing in Brazil in nearly 2 years time. Come on England!

“The English are so filled with their own greatness and have won so many big victories that they have come to believe they cannot lose. In battle they are the most confident nation in the world."
Unknown


Last edited by Duty281 on Sat 11 May - 13:36; edited 2 times in total

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Post by Duty281 Sat 22 Jun - 15:59

http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/football/23006865

Premier league fixture list appears to have upset England. Arsenal v Tottenham and Liverpool v Man Utd take place on the weekend before 2 vital qualifying games for England.

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Post by Guest Sat 22 Jun - 16:42

Please.......

Six days before the Moldova (h) game those fixtures take place. What we need more time than that to prepare against one of the weakest European side? We could beat Moldova with the reserves and then play Ukraine with the full side a few days later. Premier League has always come before England and that's the way it is and the way the money-making men at the F.A will always want it. I see no reason why these games should effect the outcome of these qualifiers. The negative, woeful tactics by Hodgson are more worrying than a set of EPL fixtures and that was proven when Ukraine attacked Montenegro and thrashed them 4-0 and made us look silly. Embarrasing.

Whoever disagree's with the above needs their head examining.

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Post by Duty281 Sat 22 Jun - 18:28

Never, ever, ever, underestimate Roy Hodgson.

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Post by Good Golly I'm Olly Sat 22 Jun - 19:58

I think Hodgson could have been more attacking in some games for sure, but really he has been hampered quite badly by the loss of our best player for most of his reign in Wilshere.

We saw against Brazil at Wembley how Hodgson wants to play and Wilshere is integral to that. We're a different team without him
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Post by Duty281 Sat 22 Jun - 20:07

Yeah, I'd go along with that. Hodgson, with his strongest XI available, wants to play 4-3-3 with Wilshere right in the heart of the midfield, setting up the attacks. He just doesn't have enough faith in the other central midfielders to do the same job at the same level. We actually haven't had Wilshere available for a single one of our qualifiers thus far. Staggering and irritating.

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Post by Duty281 Fri 28 Jun - 20:06

http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/football/23104664

Glenn Hoddle thinks we should concentrate on Euro 2016 rather than next summer's world cup. Balderdash and piffle, I say.

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Post by Guest Fri 28 Jun - 20:35

We're never going to build a team for tomorrow whilst the team/squad of today is sprinkled with too many 30+ year old players.

I get where Hoddle is coming from but it's been said a million times before.

With England it's play-as-you-go. We'll get to Brazil and with a bit of luck make the last 8. Nobody expects anything more. (you aside Duty!)

You just can't "write off" a major tournament.

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Post by Duty281 Fri 28 Jun - 20:51

Only Germany and Spain can match our quality I feel. Tactically, Spain play right into our hands. Only Germany are in our way. Only Germany are stopping Roy Hodgson leading a conga on the beaches of the copacabana.

I think Germany are marginal favourites right now, then England, then Spain, then the rest. But that can change.

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Post by Guest Fri 28 Jun - 21:02

Still can't look beyond the Spain myself Duty. They've developed a knack of winning, even after labouring through the 90 minutes. They have a formidable pool of players to pick from. Their bench would take care of most of the competition.

The one team that fascinates me is Argentina. They are 9/2 3rd favourites at this point but they are ALL about Messi. He leads them to glory next summer then he can rightfully claim to being one of the best ever alongside Pele and Maradona.


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Post by Duty281 Tue 16 Jul - 21:28

http://www.independent.co.uk/sport/football/international/gary-neville-fears-for-england-as-foreign-players-block-path-for-homegrown-players-8704124.html

Gary Neville fears for England's homegrown players.

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Post by NickisBHAFC Tue 16 Jul - 22:33

I agree, way way too many foreign players have been brought into the Prem this season.

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Post by Duty281 Fri 26 Jul - 11:45

http://hereisthecity.com/2013/07/25/chelsea-boss-jose-mourinho-i-will-help-the-england-team/

Good old Mourinho!

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Post by Duty281 Wed 31 Jul - 10:45

In a season that will culminate with the World Cup, and possibly Hodgson's finest hour (and a half), many English players are seeking a charge in the outside lane to secure their place in the World Cup squad. Players like Gary Hooper, who may well have a chance if players like Welbeck continue to play poorly.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/football/23495593

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Post by Duty281 Sun 4 Aug - 12:54

http://www.theguardian.com/football/2013/jul/31/roy-hodgson-coach-england-u21s

There is no end to Roy Hodgson's immense talent as he will manage both the Senior and the U21 teams in the meaningless pivotal friendly against Scotland.

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Post by Duty281 Sun 4 Aug - 14:52

I've stumbled onto a good omen. Roy Hodgson will be 66 when he manages England at next year's world cup.

66? It's written in the stars.

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Post by Duty281 Thu 8 Aug - 13:11

I'm hearing a strong rumour that Rickie Lambert's in the England squad.

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Post by Crimey Thu 8 Aug - 13:16

Well most of the strikers are injured at the moment, so it wouldn't be surprising.

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Post by Crimey Thu 8 Aug - 13:17

Apparently Sterling and Zaha are on in the squad, Rooney and Wilshere aren't.

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Post by Crimey Thu 8 Aug - 13:18

Rooney is in fact, although I imagine he'll probably pull out.

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Post by Good Golly I'm Olly Thu 8 Aug - 13:19

Sky Sports News ‏@SkySportsNews 35s
GOALKEEPERS: Foster, Hart, Ruddy

Sky Sports News ‏@SkySportsNews 26s
DEFENDERS: Baines, Cahill, Cole, Jagielka, Johnson, Jones, Smalling, Walker

Sky Sports News ‏@SkySportsNews 14s
MIDFIELDERS: Carrick, Cleverley, Gerrard, Lampard, Wilshere, Milner, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Walcott, Young, Zaha

Sky Sports News ‏@SkySportsNews 17s
FORWARDS: Defoe, Rooney, Welbeck, Lambert

Yes Big John takes his rightful place as England's Number 2
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Post by Crimey Thu 8 Aug - 13:21

Would expect quite a few of those names will be pulling out, I thought Rooney and Defoe were both supposed to be injured, Wenger won't want Wilshere in the friendly either. So if those people pull out, I expect the starting XI to be...

Hart

Johnson
Jagielka
Cahill
Baines

Jones
Gerrard
Carrick

Walcott
Lambert
Zaha

With lots of changes.

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Post by Good Golly I'm Olly Thu 8 Aug - 13:22

Glad to see Lambert finally get the call up he deserves (even if it took a few injuries)
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Post by Crimey Thu 8 Aug - 13:23

I'm not sure it'll be a permanent thing, it'll be interesting to see whether he can replicate his form this year.

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Post by Good Golly I'm Olly Thu 8 Aug - 13:31

Well Lambert now has to make "that step up" to "international level", where it magically becomes 1,000 times harder to score past Grant Hanley.
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Post by Guest Thu 8 Aug - 13:33

Cleverley picard 

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Post by Crimey Thu 8 Aug - 13:55

Cleverley and Welbeck are gifted a place in the squad because they play for Manchester United, would much rather have the likes of Lallana instead of Cleverley and pretty much anybody instead of Welbeck.

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Post by Duty281 Thu 8 Aug - 14:33

Will be a difficult friendly motivation-wise for England, compared to Scotland. Still, the gulf in class should show. Quite a few young players in there with something to prove for England.

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Post by Mat Thu 8 Aug - 18:51

Olly wrote:Sky Sports News ‏@SkySportsNews 35s
GOALKEEPERS: Foster, Hart, Ruddy

Sky Sports News ‏@SkySportsNews 26s
DEFENDERS: Baines, Cahill, Cole, Jagielka, Johnson, Jones, Smalling, Walker

Sky Sports News ‏@SkySportsNews 14s
MIDFIELDERS: Carrick, Cleverley, Gerrard, Lampard, Wilshere, Milner, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Walcott, Young, Zaha

Sky Sports News ‏@SkySportsNews 17s
FORWARDS: Defoe, Rooney, Welbeck, Lambert

Yes Big John takes his rightful place as England's Number 3
Fixed that for you.

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Post by Duty281 Fri 9 Aug - 18:12

http://www.theguardian.com/football/2013/aug/08/roy-hodgson-wayne-rooney-england

Roy Hodgson has concerns over Wayne Rooney's mindset ahead of the new season. Fingers crossed, from an England perspective at least, that Rooney does move to Chelsea.

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Post by Duty281 Sun 11 Aug - 16:01

Just thinking about the vast array of talented wingers Hodgson has at his disposal:

Right side - Walcott, Lennon, Zaha, Milner.
Left side - Oxlade, Young, possibly Baines.

As well as Downing, Henderson, and McManaman as outside bets.

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Post by Crimey Sun 11 Aug - 16:02

Henderson and Baines really aren't wingers are they?

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Post by Duty281 Sun 11 Aug - 16:05

Well you could put Baines up on the left wing at a pinch if you really wanted to, and you could also put Henderson down the right flank.

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Post by Duty281 Mon 12 Aug - 13:07

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/football/teams/manchester-united/10233302/Chelsea-target-Wayne-Rooney-will-decide-the-course-of-the-Premier-League-season.html

How good is Wayne Rooney? Well, according to Alan Hansen, the team that has Wayne Rooney will win the title.

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Post by Good Golly I'm Olly Tue 13 Aug - 22:19

Good stuff from the U21's tonight, certainly played in the same formation the senior side did in Brazil, you can see that is Roy's preferred formation, with one up top, two wingers pushed on, two guys breaking from midfield, with one sitting deeper allowing the full backs to push on. Good stuff
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Post by Duty281 Wed 14 Aug - 13:25

http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/football/23693265

Steven Gerrard tips Wilshere to be England's future captain.

Pleaseeeeeeeee stay injury-free, Wilshere.

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Post by Good Golly I'm Olly Wed 14 Aug - 22:46

So if everyone is fit and raring to go, what do we think our best XI is?

For me it's:

-----------------Hart----------------
Walker----Jagielka---Jones?-----Baines
---------------Carrick-----------------
----------Gerrard---Wilshere----------
Walcott------------------------Welbeck
---------------Rooney-----------------

Not sure who to play alongside Jags at CB tbh, not convinced by Cahill, is Jones a CB? Tough one. Also liking the use of The Ox through the centre now, certainly seems more effective there than on the wing.

What do well all think?
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Post by NickisBHAFC Wed 14 Aug - 22:48

Jones at RB. Lescott at CB. 

Young or Sturridge instead of Welbeck. 

Apart from that i agree with you're team Olly.

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Post by Guest Wed 14 Aug - 23:01

Olly wrote:So if everyone is fit and raring to go, what do we think our best XI is?

For me it's:

-----------------Hart----------------
Walker----Jagielka---Jones?-----Baines
---------------Carrick-----------------
----------Gerrard---Wilshere----------
Walcott------------------------Welbeck
---------------Rooney-----------------

Not sure who to play alongside Jags at CB tbh, not convinced by Cahill, is Jones a CB? Tough one. Also liking the use of The Ox through the centre now, certainly seems more effective there than on the wing.

What do well all think?
I think he has the potential to be our best since Rio. Whether David Moyes see's it that way is another thing.

I'm expecting him to have a monster season. Immense talent.

http://www.goal.com/en-gb/news/2896/premier-league/2013/07/24/4139221/phil-jones-eyes-centre-back-role-at-manchester-united

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Post by Good Golly I'm Olly Thu 15 Aug - 0:04

Nick please tell me you are joking with the Lescott at CB shout
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Post by Duty281 Thu 15 Aug - 10:14

I would go for:

-----------------Hart----------------
Johnson----Jagielka---Jones/Cahill-----Cole
---------------Gerrard-----------------
----------Cleverley---Wilshere----------
Walcott------------------------Welbeck
---------------Rooney-----------------

There's also great depth from the bench as well to step up.

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Post by Duty281 Thu 15 Aug - 10:26

England are solid in every position, with potential world-class talent (marked with a star)in a few areas:

GK - Hart*. A good keeper who will only get better with age. Sadly, this is one position with little depth.

LB - Cole*. Still a world-class left-back, and will be pushed hard by Baines.

CB - Jagielka/Cahill. This is solid more than anything else. England would be helped if Terry came out of retirement. There's also the experience of Lescott on the bench, and the potential of Jones and Smalling.

RB - Johnson. He's matured vastly as a defender, and is a world away from the defender he was 3 years ago. Walker and possibly Richards will be the competition for this place.

CM - Wilshere* and Gerrard* are the definite choices, the 3rd spot is up for grabs. Cleverley, Carrick, Parker, Barry, Lampard, Milner, Henderson, Oxlade, and Jones all provide a wealth of competition and a mixture of youth/experience.

RW - Walcott is probably the front-runner now, will worry any defence with his pace, and does have a goalscoring touch. Lennon probably isn't too far behind, and Zaha will be keen to push on this season as well.

LW - Welbeck seems to be in favour on this side. Competing-wise, Young is at the prime age of his career, while Oxlade adds a dash of youth to the proceedings.

CF - Rooney*, Rooney, Rooney. World-class on his day, frustrating on many others. Carroll is a good option off the bench, as is Defoe - they are both proven goal-scorers.

Potentially 8 Champions League players starting for England as well. It's enough to go all the way.

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Post by Crimey Thu 15 Aug - 11:14

Well, I'd like to see England play something like this:

-------------------Hart

Johnson-----Jagielka-----Jones----Cole

-------------Gerrard----Wilshere-------

Walcott----------Rooney-------Ox

-----------------Sturridge------------

I think Hart should keep his spot, but if he has a particularly poor year with City then Hodgson shouldn't be afraid of dropping him, especially if one of Ruddy, Forster or Foster have a great season. Johnson is definitely better than Walker who is vastly overrated having had a few good months nearly two years ago. I really like Johnson, I think he's developed into a really solid defender and is a better attacker than Walker with a good shot on him. Centre backs I'm not sure on, I think Jagielka should be in there, but his partner is more difficult, I'm not convinced centre back is Jones best position but I don't rate Cahill, Lescott won't be playing enough first team football to warrant his place, same goes for Smalling and I think Terry and Ferdinand are no goes really. Left back I'd plump for Cole, I think it's right on the wire between Cole and Baines but I would be much happier putting my confidence in Cole when the going gets tough.

Midfield I'd go for Gerrard playing the deep-lying playmaker, Wilshere box to box and Rooney the number 10. I don't think Carrick has done enough to warrant his place and playing him and Gerrard is having two players doing the same job. I was really impressed with Wilshere against Scotland and the runs he made from deep with neat one-twos. Rooney as the number 10 is because I don't think he's good enough as a lone forward as he drifts and he's better than any other option such as Cleverley or Lampard. Walcott on the right wing with Lennon challenging, on the left I'm not so sure, I'd only be picking the Ox is Wenger plays him enough to warrant the selection, if not you could go for Young. I would even consider Walcott on the left with Lennon on the right. The wingers does depend on form.

Sturridge up front as I think he's better than Welbeck and will definitely outscore him. Carroll wouldn't suit a style with the wingers selected.

I expect the first choice side will look more like:

Hart

Johnson
Jagielka
Cahill
Cole

Carrick
Gerrard
Wilshere

Walcott
Rooney
Welbeck

Possibly with Milner instead of Walcott.

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Post by Duty281 Thu 15 Aug - 12:43

Duty281 wrote:I would go for:

-----------------Hart----------------
Johnson----Jagielka---Jones/Cahill-----Cole
---------------Gerrard-----------------
----------Cleverley---Wilshere----------
Walcott------------------------Welbeck
---------------Rooney-----------------

There's also great depth from the bench as well to step up.
It may not also be a bad idea to go with the following if the opposition have slow centre-halves:

-----------------Hart----------------
Johnson----Jagielka---Jones/Cahill-----Cole
---------------Gerrard-----------------
----------Rooney---Wilshere----------
Lennon------------------------Welbeck
---------------Walcott-----------------

Nor would this be a bad idea if England had an aerial advantage:

-----------------Hart----------------
Johnson----Jagielka---Jones/Cahill-----Cole
---------------Gerrard-----------------
----------Rooney---Wilshere----------
Walcott------------------------Welbeck
---------------Carroll-----------------

Options? Hodgson has loads.

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Post by Gregers Thu 15 Aug - 12:48

Is ti just me who thought Gerrard looked like he'd aged about 5 years since the end of last season?

Age catching up with him massively

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Post by Guest Thu 15 Aug - 12:59

haha gregers, my mate said the exact same thing last night. Along the lines of Gerrard looks much physically weaker and really slim. Also, thought his leg muscles just werent as big anymore, appears he has lost power/strength to his game. Had to agree actually and you seem to think it aswell. I also dont think that holding/deep role suits him at all. I know we want wilshere penetrating but gerrard used to do that with more effectiveness than jack. he just seems to run, play a ball and then the striker loses it, usually rooney's poor touch. for all people stating how important wilshere is, I thought he didnt play that well last night, scotland coped with ease really.

also lampard looks about 50 now, shocking hair-do

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Post by Crimey Thu 15 Aug - 14:39

If there is any consolation, Gerrard came into the season last year over time. He really hit form after December after struggling for the first couple of months. I think he can excel in the deep role but against Scotland he did look a little off-colour.

I think Wilshere's runs showed promise, the other players need to get in tune with him and improve their first touch. Welbeck and Rooney are usually the worst at this.

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Post by Dolphin Ziggler Thu 15 Aug - 15:35

Id be playing Cleverley or Carrick and having a midfield three rather than two that Rooney can drop into.
 
I also wouldnt have Sturridge near a starting line up, inconsistent, doesnt work hard enough and not the best team player. Welbeck is miles smarter in possession, better head and links up well with Rooney. 

I wouldnt start Carroll, but he'd be my second choice striker. Would love to see a bit of Rooney off of Carroll too, Andy is a master at making space for others.

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Post by Crimey Thu 15 Aug - 15:38

There is no way Cleverley is good enough to be a starter for England going into a major international tournament. Carrick and Gerrard together is a recipe for disaster I think, Gerrard and Carrick play too similar games these days and with Gerrard being the captain and the go-to playmaker Carrick will struggle to make any kind of impact on the game.

I agree everything you say about Sturridge, but would select him every day over Welbeck. Welbeck is supposed to be a striker, but he struggles to score goals and is pushed out wide too often. If he's playing often as a winger for Manchester United I wouldn't select him as a forward for England, if Sturridge is playing through the middle for Liverpool I think he'll be the most successful English forward this season.

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Post by Good Golly I'm Olly Thu 15 Aug - 18:27

At the end of the day tho, Sir Alex Ferguson doesn't pick you so many times if you're playing badly/are that bad.

Not the greatest Welbeck fan, but for England he always does well, I'd have him over Sturridge
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Post by Guest Thu 15 Aug - 18:58

Had to laugh when Andy Townsend game Welbeck man of the match, how many times is that now in the last 12 months? Brown-nose or what, its embarrassing. That said, he is growing on me is Welbeck and he is improving, although his finishing is just diabolical. I fear at the highest level in a Euro`s or WC, not having an consistant attacking goal threat in that position will be costly in comparison to our rivals. As for Cleverley, no, no, no & many more no`s to him being in the first XI. Just ineffective, offers little goal threat and although he set the Walcott goal up, it was only against Scotland......let's not get carried away. If anything Cleverly has just taken over the role of my most hated England player, which was vacated by the king of negative, side to side football, Gareth Barry.

As for the side, its pretty much guaranteed to be Wilshere, Carrick, Gerrard, Welbeck, Rooney & Walcott for home games. Against Ukraine, I'd expect negative Roy to replace Walcott with Milner and hope we either win 1-0 or achieve a draw.

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