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

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Post by Duty281 Thu 09 Aug 2012, 6:51 pm

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 2013, 1:36 pm; edited 2 times in total

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Post by Duty281 Sun 16 Feb 2014, 7:40 pm

I've got Lampard just behind Carrick - I've never really rated the latter, but he is playing regularly.

I think Roy is reasonably settled on the core of the team which is:

Hart/G Johnson/Jagielka/Cahill/Baines - as the back 5.

Gerrard and someone (most likely Carrick, possibly Wilshere, outside chance for Barkley) - in the middle.

Welbeck on the left wing. Rooney playing behind Sturridge up front.

On the right is a more difficult choice. I believe, and I agree with him, that Roy will plump for Milner, but I can certainly see an argument for going with Sterling, particularly in the first game, if he keeps this present form up.

Good options off the bench this summer for England, lest we forget.

The most likely outcome is that, if England get out of the group, then we will face one of Spain or Brazil in the quarters, no matter what. A sizeable obstacle to be overcome, but I have every confidence!

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Post by Good Golly I'm Olly Sun 16 Feb 2014, 7:43 pm

Townsend shouldn't be near the squad, merely a flash in the pan few months. Adam Johnson the same.

Ox, Sterling should definitely be in and then...

#REDDERZFORENGLAND
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Post by Duty281 Sun 16 Feb 2014, 7:44 pm

Olly wrote:Townsend shouldn't be near the squad, merely a flash in the pan few months. Adam Johnson the same.

Ox, Sterling should definitely be in and then...

#REDDERZFORENGLAND

He wouldn't be if the delicious Theo Walcott was fit to play.

And if David Bentley had hit the media potential of him being the next Becks.

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Post by Good Golly I'm Olly Sun 16 Feb 2014, 7:47 pm

Oh yeah the Walcott injury is a blow, despite him never hitting his form for England
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Post by Good Golly I'm Olly Sun 16 Feb 2014, 7:48 pm

And at this moment in time, I personally would 100% take Luke Shaw over Ashley Cole.

When Cesar Azpilicueta (no idea how to spell it), a RB is playing ahead of Cole at LB, you know there is something wrong.
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Post by Duty281 Sun 16 Feb 2014, 7:52 pm

I would say the back-up option at left-back for England needs to be someone experienced.

It's 0-0 in the semi-final against Argentina after ten minutes, and Baines pulls his hamstring. Do you want Shaw coming on, or Ashley Cole? Shaw's time will come.

And Theo pulled something out of the bag for England against the Swedes (and nearly against the Italians too).

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Post by Good Golly I'm Olly Sun 16 Feb 2014, 7:59 pm

Duty281 wrote:I would say the back-up option at left-back for England needs to be someone experienced.

It's 0-0 in the semi-final against Argentina after ten minutes, and Baines pulls his hamstring. Do you want Shaw coming on, or Ashley Cole? Shaw's time will come.

And Theo pulled something out of the bag for England against the Swedes (and nearly against the Italians too).

I want the better player coming on. No matter what experience

And at the moment I think that's Shaw.

Experience is overrated anyways imo
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Post by Good Golly I'm Olly Sun 16 Feb 2014, 7:59 pm

And tbf none of these England players have experienced a World Cup semi final Duty Wink
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Post by Duty281 Sun 16 Feb 2014, 8:02 pm

Woops! What I meant was:

It's the last 16 game against Colombia, and it's all going wrong....

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Post by Steffan Sun 16 Feb 2014, 8:44 pm

I think England will make it out of the group

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Post by NickisBHAFC Sun 16 Feb 2014, 9:43 pm

Yeah i agree Duty, nail on the head there about Cole over Shaw. I do rate Shaw a lot and think it will be a huge player, but for now, Cole is still fit and going strong, have him as back up to Baines.

My team ill go for, would acctually be 5-3-2

GK Hart
RWB Johnson
CB Cahill
CB Jagilka
CB Jones
LWB Baines
RCM Whilshere/Barkley
CM Carrick
LCM Gerrard
ST Rooney
ST Sturridge

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Post by Crimey Mon 17 Feb 2014, 1:24 am

Townsend would have to put in some seriously good form over the next few months to get into the squad ahead of Sterling and Ox for me, who are both much better players.

Without injuries, I'd go for:

Joe Hart, John Ruddy, Ben Foster

Glen Johnson, Kyle Walker, Phil Jones, Gary Cahill, Phil Jagielka, Michael Dawson, Leighton Baines, Ashley Cole

Steven Gerrard, Jordan Henderson, James Milner, Raheem Sterling, Jack Wilshere, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Michael Carrick, Adam Lallana

Wayne Rooney, Daniel Sturridge, Danny Welbeck, Andy Carroll

That's a comination of what I think he'll go for and some of my own personal choices. The starting XI I'd expect to be picked from that would be:

Hart

Johnson
Cahill
Jagielka
Baines

Gerrard
Carrick

Milner
Rooney
Welbeck

Sturridge

I would go for:

Hart

Johnson
Cahill
Jagielka
Baines

Gerrard
Henderson

Sterling
Rooney
Lallana

Sturridge

Probably bias in there for sure, but I do think there is something to be said of using players who work together well at club level on an international level.

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Post by Dolphin Ziggler Mon 17 Feb 2014, 9:13 am

Probably bias

I'd pick Jordan Ibe over Lallana, pick Conor Coady for a deeper role and push Gerrard forward so we can get rid of Rooney. Martin Kelly is better than Cahill too. Fraser Forster can play in goal as he knows the words to never walk alone, and whilst something good must have rubbed off on Jagielka by merely being in Liverpool, Baines has the same argument and kind of looks like one of The Beatles, so Flanagan can play in central defence with Baines left back.

Forster

Johnson
Kelly
Flanagan
Baines

Coady
Henderson

Sterling
Gerrard
Ibe

Sturridge

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Post by Good Golly I'm Olly Mon 17 Feb 2014, 9:26 am

Crimey wrote:Townsend would have to put in some seriously good form over the next few months to get into the squad ahead of Sterling and Ox for me, who are both much better players.

Without injuries, I'd go for:

Joe Hart, John Ruddy, Ben Foster

Glen Johnson, Kyle Walker, Phil Jones, Gary Cahill, Phil Jagielka, Michael Dawson, Leighton Baines, Ashley Cole

Steven Gerrard, Jordan Henderson, James Milner, Raheem Sterling, Jack Wilshere, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Michael Carrick, Adam Lallana

Wayne Rooney, Daniel Sturridge, Danny Welbeck, Andy Carroll

That's a comination of what I think he'll go for and some of my own personal choices. The starting XI I'd expect to be picked from that would be:

Hart

Johnson
Cahill
Jagielka
Baines

Gerrard
Carrick

Milner
Rooney
Welbeck

Sturridge

I would go for:

Hart

Johnson
Cahill
Jagielka
Baines

Gerrard
Henderson

Sterling
Rooney
Lallana

Sturridge

Probably bias in there for sure, but I do think there is something to be said of using players who work together well at club level on an international level.

Michael Dawson?! Were you drunk when putting him in or?!
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Post by Dolphin Ziggler Mon 17 Feb 2014, 9:57 am

The Michael Turner of Tottenham Hotspur. He is a, and this is a term I never use, gash defender.

Rather take Tomkins or Caulker, and I don't think theyre England standard either.

Saying that, I think two places for Walker and Johnson seems a waste when they are pretty much the same player and there are players who can cover.

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Post by mystiroakey Mon 17 Feb 2014, 12:54 pm

I know Crimey is a Liverpool fan. and although the players he is picking may not be the best on paper i think England will be best served playing gerrard,Henderson,sturridge and sterling.

add wilshire and rooney and you have one hell of a midfield/striker combo.

The fact that we all know if Gerrard is fit he will start adds to that liverpool starting line up decision.

I would play Wilshire over lallana/ But both lalanna and ox as the bench option.

I have seen many say we should bring only one of lallana,ox or sterling!!

I cant buy that- bring all 3!

milner is a key sub player as well. Played well at citeh this year- but has been sadly under played. I think he is the better option over Carrick. But I think Roy will start carrick over hendersoin and milner

Hart is deffo starting keeper.

Johnson, cahill,terry(chelsea partnership) and then shaw/baines or cole- I Have no problem with playing any of the 3.

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Post by Crimey Mon 17 Feb 2014, 1:32 pm

I don't think it's that biased, all the players I have picked have caps and are in good form and have been talked about as getting possible call ups by non-Liverpool fans.

Michael Dawson was put in there due to a lack of options, unlikely he would have to play as I'd have Jones ahead of him and something would have to go really wrong for more than two of the central defenders to get injured. I don't want to take Chris Smalling who I think is genuinely awful, agree that Tomkins and Caulker might be better options, but not likely they'd be called up, Dawson has played for England before and is a regular starter for a top side in the Premier League, so that's my logic.

I agree on Johnson and Walker and only put Walker in my squad at the last second when I only had 22 people and thought I may as well considering there wasn't anywhere else I could put anybody, and if Jones is right back cover then Dawson may have to come in the centre.

Mysti, John Terry is not going to be playing for England. Hodgson has made the official announcement now, he retired from English football and Hodgson has no desire to ask him to come out of it, and by all accounts Terry doesn't want to anyway.


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Post by mystiroakey Mon 17 Feb 2014, 1:36 pm

Well I pretty much agree with your team and I am not biased.. So fair enough

The only change for me is wilshire for lalana(seeing as Terry wont play).. I think we need someone that can tick the play along, and for me on form he is perfect for that role

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Post by Crimey Mon 17 Feb 2014, 1:39 pm

I don't think Wilshere is that kind of player, he may still develop into that kind of player but for me Wilshere is closer to a young Gerrard than he is Xavi. He likes to dribble with the ball and explode into the box. I don't think he's that good at it either. Injuries have definitely played their part, but that doesn't change the fact that for me Wilshere has failed to live up to his potential so far and for me shouldn't be starting for England or even Arsenal for that matter where I'd rank, Flamini, Arteta and Ramsey all ahead of him.

Think people judge him on the potential he had and that game against Barcelona rather than how he plays most weeks which is actually quite poor. I think he's got poor temperament as well.

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Post by mystiroakey Mon 17 Feb 2014, 1:43 pm

He is good..Your being way to harsh on him. Its not just about one game either..

But if sterling keeps this up. He would be one of my first players on the team sheet.. He is the closest thing we have to a Zaha Wink that will be favoured ..

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Post by Duty281 Mon 17 Feb 2014, 2:13 pm

Well I can trot out my usual "England have improved since last time" line.

Hart has improved, as all keepers do, over time.
Johnson is better than two years ago.
Gerrard is getting better with age for his country.
Wilshere/Barkley/Carrick will be better than the limited Parker.
Welbeck will add to the left side over what Young offered.
Even Milner's in better shape than Euro 2012.
Rooney is in better form than in Ukraine.
Our striking options have improved on the Welbeck/Carroll option we had two years ago; both of those players have improved, particularly Welbeck.
Our young players are better.
There are less injuries.
Our manager and coaching staff are all settled, as opposed to the rush last time.

What a summer this might be.

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Post by mystiroakey Mon 17 Feb 2014, 2:31 pm

Its annoying - our players are starting to give me some hope!

I dont need hope!

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Post by Dolphin Ziggler Mon 17 Feb 2014, 3:10 pm

Id take Hendo, and I'm not even a fan, but playing him is a bit much.

Hart

Walker (or anyone, such a position of "ok" options)
Jagielka
Cahill
Baines

Gerrard
Wilshere
Carrick

Welbeck
Rooney
Sturridge

Play a front three that can play with freedom of roles, Welbeck definitely reverting wider as he works harder for the team and his positional sense is better than any England player.

Three men in midfield for security, Wilshere breaking forward most. Gerrard having someone to help him hold as is the custom.

Use the full backs for the width, thats both of their strengths and that midfield will protect their forays forward.

The Ox is the best footballer of all the wide options. Overall game is superb.




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Post by Crimey Mon 17 Feb 2014, 4:20 pm

I don't think Henderson will get played, just that I would. I think a midfield two of Gerrard and Carrick is too slow and they both do the same thing, Wilshere isn't disciplined enough and will leave Gerrard exposed, Henderson has the energy levels to sit by Gerrard and do the running for him essentially.

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Post by Dolphin Ziggler Mon 17 Feb 2014, 4:26 pm

What Carrick has is all the nous and ability that Henderson has to huff and puff to make up for. With Carrick in there doing the job with, and better, than Gerrard it gives Gerrard the opportunity to play 15 yards further forward when England have the ball. We'll need two deeper midfielders with those full backs. Wilshere doesnt need the discipline as he's then got Gerrard and Carrick there. He can supplement them but also have freedom.

Gerrard is a fine holding midfielder, but Liverpool protect him very well and its a hell of a lot easier with Sturridge on song and most important Suarez in the team. Carrick is more disciplined and better at the anchoring. Together they'll protect, keep the ball and be able to start attacks, whilst also covering the others deficiencies.

Granted, I'd be tempted to play Barkley instead of Wilshere, or even the Ox, but all of those would come above Henderson for a starting place.

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Post by Crimey Mon 17 Feb 2014, 4:33 pm

I don't think Carrick is the right player to pair Gerrard with, he looks so much better with a mobile midfielder next to him, closing down anything that moves, winning the ball back and allowing Gerrard to start attacks. I would honestly rather play Scott Parker next to Gerrard than Carrick. Michael Carrick is a good player but for me you only play one of him and Gerrard and Gerrard gets the nod every time.

The role Gerrard is supposed to play for me is identical to the one that Carrick would play and I just don't see the point, I would never have two players doing the same role. I don't expect Gerrard to play further forward either unless England are desperate, I would expect him to be the deepest midfielder in the team.

I think Hodgson will go for Carrick and Gerrard together, but I think that would be a mistake.

I can't see Hodgson playing your more fluid 4-3-3 either, I fully expect 4-2-3-1 or some variation of that such as 4-4-1-1. He'll want his team to be structured with players having their set roles rather than a flowing front three which can interchange positions. I think the full backs will be getting their protection from the wide players as well.

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Post by mystiroakey Mon 17 Feb 2014, 4:46 pm

Dolphin Ziggler wrote:What Carrick has is all the nous and ability that Henderson has to huff and puff to make up for. With Carrick in there doing the job with, and better, than Gerrard it gives Gerrard the opportunity to play 15 yards further forward when England have the ball. We'll need two deeper midfielders with those full backs. Wilshere doesnt need the discipline as he's then got Gerrard and Carrick there. He can supplement them but also have freedom.

Gerrard is a fine holding midfielder, but Liverpool protect him very well and its a hell of a lot easier with Sturridge on song and most important Suarez in the team. Carrick is more disciplined and better at the anchoring. Together they'll protect, keep the ball and be able to start attacks, whilst also covering the others deficiencies.

Granted, I'd be tempted to play Barkley instead of Wilshere, or even the Ox, but all of those would come above Henderson for a starting place.


I would say that there is no reason why the key reason to play a gerrard, henderson partnership is suraez..


In fact given that this is all about England . one word..

Rooney.

I think playing the Liverpool brand but having to substitute suraez and countinhio for rooney and wilshire is a pretty decent attempt in replicating the team

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Post by Duty281 Mon 17 Feb 2014, 4:49 pm

I think Gerrard should be the holding midfielder for England - it's essentially the role he plays for his club now that age is catching up with the once magnificent, but still considerable, midfielder.

That leaves one of Wilshere or Barkley to go forward in attack; I'd favour the former, and leave Carrick on the bench for when you want to wind a game down.

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Post by Dolphin Ziggler Mon 17 Feb 2014, 4:57 pm

I'd question whether Gerrard is good enough at it if he needs Henderson and Lucas to do the role around him.

Similarly, Rooney and Wilshere are not Coutinho and Suarez and it would be daft to play them as such. I bring up the point because Suarez is a player that makes everything a lot easier for his team, stretching player, beating men, pure pace, guile and insane work rate. Rooney isnt that same player.

I'd also play three central men because our full backs are better going forward rather than back.

Gerrard will definitely play further forward for England than Carrick's natural position, he does so for Liverpool too. But he definitely will for England.

And like for like, doing an anchoring role? Stevie G is a great footballer but that exact role is one Carrick is better at.

Again, I'd play the 433, doesnt mean Roy will.

But in the 4231 Id still play both men and be sure in the knowledge we won't get stuck with Gareth Barry being mugged as our last line before the defence.

Still, if Gerrard is holding then I don't want Henderson as the player joining the attack.

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Post by mystiroakey Mon 17 Feb 2014, 5:00 pm

Why would you play them as such.

dolph its just plain daft to say that the reason it works at Liverpool is due to suraez.

in fact the reality is playing them with Wilshire and Rooney makes even more sense. Due to rooneys work rate

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Post by mystiroakey Mon 17 Feb 2014, 5:05 pm

Playing a 433 with welbeck isn't an option.

well it is. But it has always ended up as a 442 with united and England,

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Post by Dolphin Ziggler Mon 17 Feb 2014, 5:46 pm

And hes always worked out wide for England, tucking in, so a 433 is fine.

Its not daft, its so much easier playing in a midfield when you have arguably the best player in world football (on form) ahead of you running the game. Rooney doesnt match Suarez's work rate, not in leading a line. He wont do the modern pressing Suarez does, he doesnt run channels and in behind like Suarez does. And he isnt anywhere near as good at the moment.

And Wilshere isnt Coutinho.

I feel like its daft to suggest Rooney and Wilshere will be able to do the job Suarez and Coutinho do

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Post by mystiroakey Mon 17 Feb 2014, 6:22 pm

So what you are trying to say is that if you have suraez you might as well have a couple of dogs playing in midfield!! because he is so good!!

Come on mate..

For me its all about partnerships and then fill in the gaps..

Sterling and sturridge are like rosbif and yorkshire pudding

gerrard and henderson are racking up them miles and looking better each game, and also play at the same team as the two previous

rooney and welbeck just doesnt work. Tried and tried and tried- it just doesn't work full stop...And although I =think welbeck gets massive stick when its not needed as he has played very well on the left wing. He isn't the better option..

wilshire and rooney are our most natural footballers and get the nod.. 

sadly terry wont be playing so no partnership at CB..

   Gerrard Henderson
Sterling Rooney wilshire
        Sturridge

so a 4231

to be honest i would call yours a 442 not a 433 as is allways the case when welbeck plays in that role, but to be fair we haven't got any natural left wingers so its not a bad option. Not going to call on Zaha here- but he could be the future in that role as we would switch him at palace from left to right and he is dangerous on both wings..


Last edited by mystiroakey on Mon 17 Feb 2014, 6:32 pm; edited 2 times in total

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Post by Duty281 Mon 17 Feb 2014, 6:27 pm

Ox to trot on the left, with Sterling on the right?

That is, if Roy fancies attacking against the Italians; after all, that's where they are weakest...down the flanks.

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Post by mystiroakey Mon 17 Feb 2014, 6:31 pm

I would be happy with that Duty- I just cant see Roy having the balls.

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Post by Duty281 Mon 17 Feb 2014, 6:34 pm

Think he'll play one of them though, with Milner taking the other flank?

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Post by mystiroakey Mon 17 Feb 2014, 6:35 pm

its whether he still wants to feed the 'spaceman' ..


Last edited by mystiroakey on Mon 17 Feb 2014, 6:36 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Post by mystiroakey Mon 17 Feb 2014, 6:36 pm

Basically with the options we have got-

if he plays 

townsend gerrard carrick milner
    rooney sturridge


I might go the way of the Hibbz.

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Post by Duty281 Mon 17 Feb 2014, 6:51 pm

Seven games of football - one nil all the way for this Roy of the Rovers tale!

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Post by Dolphin Ziggler Mon 17 Feb 2014, 7:00 pm

Ridiculous hyperbole, its just certain players make certain styles easier. Which I think is more than obvious

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Post by Duty281 Sat 22 Feb 2014, 10:40 pm

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/football/teams/england/10651773/World-Cup-2014-Roy-Hodgsons-charm-offensive-in-Manaus-could-win-over-much-needed-support-from-locals.html

Roy Hodgson on the charm offensive in Manaus = great diplomacy.

http://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/sport/columnists/biting-back/roy-hodgson-in-dreamland-30026162.html

Roy is also dreaming the same dreams that I have. Or are they premonitions?

Throw your soul through every open door,
Count your blessings to find what you look for.
Turn my sorrow into treasured gold,
You'll pay me back in kind and reap just what you've sown.

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Post by Duty281 Thu 27 Feb 2014, 12:05 pm

Roy Hodgson set to name a 32 man squad for the friendly against Denmark today! The fringe players get a chance.

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Post by Guest Thu 27 Feb 2014, 12:43 pm

If Cleverley is selected by clueless Roy, I'm not sure what I'm going to do. Cleverley isn't even good enough to be classed `fringe`, he`s that appalling.

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Post by Duty281 Thu 27 Feb 2014, 12:46 pm

No, no, no.

None of those adjectives to describe our Roy, please.

Salt of the earth with the heart of a lion? Yes.

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Post by Good Golly I'm Olly Thu 27 Feb 2014, 2:12 pm

Rumor is SIX Utd players in the squad

Rooney, Carrick, Jones, Smalling....Cleverly........and Young.

And people say a big club bias doesnt exist
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Post by mystiroakey Thu 27 Feb 2014, 2:15 pm

I hope they are just talking about rooney and his 5 gilfs.

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Post by Crimey Thu 27 Feb 2014, 2:16 pm

That would be awful. I don't think the last three justify their spots at all.

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Post by Duty281 Thu 27 Feb 2014, 2:16 pm

He's only having a look at most of these players.

Relax!

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Post by Crimey Thu 27 Feb 2014, 2:17 pm

Duty281 wrote:He's only having a look at most of these players.

Relax!

Has he had his eyes closed this season?

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Post by Stella Thu 27 Feb 2014, 2:17 pm

I would think at least 4 of those Utd players will be going to Brazil.
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