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

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Post by mystiroakey Thu Jun 05, 2014 9:25 pm

First topic message reminder :

Thats my Team GSC

I would be inclined to play Barkley instead of Ox if he isn't fit over sterling tbh. Both strong- both run at the opposition. Sterling does off course do this but isn't quite as physically imposing- all 3 have great feet but the former two are just stronger. Sterling is the better overall player though and perhaps would be the best option v costa rica and italy but against uruguay at the least I would rather have strength in the shape of ox or barkley.

I am surprised hearing many others saying wilshire had no impact. I thought it was his best game for yonks. Nothing spectacular but he played the way CM's should play- bright , alert, took the odd player on, was forward passing on the whole. Ok he got taken down a few too many times- but 70% of the time it results in retaining possession in a free kick.

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Post by Good Golly I'm Olly Sun Jun 08, 2014 9:19 am

*cue overreaction*
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Post by mystiroakey Sun Jun 08, 2014 9:21 am

That wasn't really worth watching was it.

Stop start, stop start.

England dominated all but the score line.

Another draw. That's 2 on the trot. Italy have had 5 on the trot


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Post by skyeman Sun Jun 08, 2014 9:22 am

Olly wrote:*cue overreaction*

 Laugh 

No, we have learned our lesson.

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Post by Kurt N. Jurqa Sun Jun 08, 2014 9:22 am

My wife had the right idea with Father of the Bride 2.

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Post by Ent Sun Jun 08, 2014 9:24 am

England Are crap - what do uou all expect?

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Post by skyeman Sun Jun 08, 2014 9:25 am

Ent wrote:England Are crap - what do uou all expect?


The tenth best ranked team in the world. How jolly dare you.

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Post by Good Golly I'm Olly Sun Jun 08, 2014 9:26 am

Anyways if Daniel Sturridge hadn't decided to turn into Rick Van Wolfswinkel for the night that'd have been a comfortable victory

Least he's got them out of his system, one hopes
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Post by mystiroakey Sun Jun 08, 2014 9:26 am

Kurt N. Jurqa wrote:My wife had the right idea with Father of the Bride 2.

wise woman- dont bin her as i suggested earlier

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Post by mystiroakey Sun Jun 08, 2014 9:28 am

I just hope the whole world doesn't say wilshire is rubbish again after a decent cm performance- doing what a cm should do. not setting the world on fire- but playing as a CM does and should!

he has to start

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Post by skyeman Sun Jun 08, 2014 9:29 am

Anyone know the ko time next saturday?

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Post by mystiroakey Sun Jun 08, 2014 9:33 am

I think its 11 gmt.

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Post by skyeman Sun Jun 08, 2014 9:34 am

Just looked it up 23.00. Can't even watch it in the local. Shocked 

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Post by skyeman Sun Jun 08, 2014 9:35 am

mystiroakey wrote:I think its 11 gmt.

Thanks.

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Post by mystiroakey Sun Jun 08, 2014 9:36 am

Gerrard had a tight groin midweek

That makes sense- he looked like he couldnt stretch and get off his feet in the way he normally can- came up short in 50/50's to many times

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Post by Duty281 Sun Jun 08, 2014 9:50 am

Honduras a disgrace, England comfortable without being clinical.

That sort of conduct in a friendly displayed tonight by Honduras was shameful and embarrassing. They simply tried to make up for their inferior ability by kicking England out of the game. And diving. And timewasting.

In a competitive international that's something to dislike, but relatively understandable. In a friendly, less than a week before the World Cup, it's utterly shameful. I'm very glad no England player was injured over that game, I'm very pleased with the referee for attempting to put a lid on it, and I sincerely hope that Honduras are on the first plane home.

Which they will be. Obviously.

As for England, I thought Hodgson dropped a slight hint - or was it a slip of the tongue? - that Sterling would play next week in place of Rooney, when he said at the pre-match interview that if Sterling was available to play tonight then it would have been a complete team change from the Ecuador match. In other words, Rooney wouldn't have played tonight, which, assuming it wasn't a slip of the tongue in the boiling Miami heat, could indicate that Sterling will be playing number ten next Saturday. Well, we'll have to see about that, eh?

Either way, it's a difficult choice. Welbeck links up superbly with Sturridge and Rooney; the latter whom showed flashes of inspiration tonight, particularly that pass through to Sturridge in the first half which should have been converted. At this present moment in time, the White Pele (no, really!) is like a faulty car trying to splutter into life.

And of course there's Lallana - who's so deft, has wonderful feet and fantastic confidence - and Sterling, who Hodgson seems to be favouring more by the day. Oxlade will hopefully arrive back soon in good health.

That's the main selection query, though: pick three out of Welbeck, Rooney, Lallana, Barkley, and Sterling. Soon that five will become six. It's a headache that Hodgson will be pleased to have, though. You may even add Wilshere to that list, as he can play in the number ten role as well.

The rest of the selection is sorted. Henderson was more than solid tonight, and gradually finding his range with his passes (a sumptous one to Lallana late on being the best pass of the night), while increasing his air of authority. Gerrard was more patient on that ball; something that is, and will remain, integral for Manaus.

Keeper and back five under lock and key now as well. Still question-marks over Johnson, perhaps, with a slightly concerning lack of decent depth to cover a potential shortfall.

Overall though, I'm delighted with how far this England team have come in the last two years under Roy Hodgson. They've evolved from a defensive, rigid team, with some players in poor form and a disappointing lack of depth, to a more positive, confident team that is growing in stature by the day, with a plentiful air of youthful exuberance and players in form. Not to mention the increasing array of options Hodgson has at his disposal.

It could be a fantastic World Cup for England, I indeed have myself full confidence in this team to defeat Italy next week.

Tick-tock...less than seven days to go!

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Post by sportform Sun Jun 08, 2014 9:55 am

Would like to see England switch to a midfield three. I thought they looked much better in the second half with Barkley, Henderson and Wilshere in midfield. Henderson was motm for me and played a much underrated role. He sat and moved the ball well allowing the likes of Barkley and Wilshere to go forward and provide the creativity.

I think the full back position is a major problem for England. Not convinced defensively with either Glen Johnson or Leighton Baines.

Still not convinced with Daniel Sturridge up front either. He wants to drop back far too much for me when what England really need is someone looking to get into the six yard box, behind the defence and help to create space for the likes of Rooney and Lallana.
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Post by Ent Sun Jun 08, 2014 10:16 am

If Henderson is motm you know you are one of the worst teams to manage to qualify.

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Post by Dolphin Ziggler Sun Jun 08, 2014 10:39 am

Jordan Henderson is about as good at passing as I am at sex

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Post by Ent Sun Jun 08, 2014 10:52 am

Never put yourself down, plenty of other people around to do that.

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Post by sportform Sun Jun 08, 2014 11:07 am

Dolphin Ziggler wrote:Jordan Henderson is about as good at passing as I am at sex
92 passes 91% pass completion rate. I think far too many people underestimate the role he has. He is not going to be a world beater but kept the ball moving, spread the play and allows the likes of Barkley and Wilshere to go forward. He gave the team balance and I thought England looked far more creative with Barkley and Wilshere either side of Henderson in the second half. I really don't think people understand tactics sometimes. You can't have too many cooks.
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Post by sportform Sun Jun 08, 2014 11:15 am

Ent wrote:If Henderson is motm you know you are one of the worst teams to manage to qualify.
It always makes me laugh when English fans criticise anyone who plays simple passes and keeps possession but laud over players that play 'Hollywood balls' and give the ball away. These are the same people who then wonder why we can't keep the ball. Henderson is playing a similar role to Hargreaves who was also much maligned but was England player of the year/ World Cup in 2006.
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Post by mystiroakey Sun Jun 08, 2014 5:04 pm

Hendo was fine. I had no problem with him. Who was better for either team? Tough call in fairness. Wilshire probably played the best but was only on for 45 and that half contained about 20 mins of football due to hundurous subs every 5 mins and there Constant feigning injury or yellow card offences.

Gerard was the worst player England had in his 45. Thankfully it was due to a strain, so that should heal before Italy, or if it gets worse Roy won't start him, which would be even better!!!

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Post by Good Golly I'm Olly Sun Jun 08, 2014 5:51 pm

Henderson did alright (like Dolph does I suspect) he was better once Gerrard went off, but a lot of his passes were sideways and failed to really get us going as an attacking force, like Wilshere did when he came on.

Its a tough call who to start between the two, I think I'd prefer Wilshere to start. 

I'd also consider Lallana behind Rooney, with Sterling and Welbeck wide.
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Post by mystiroakey Sun Jun 08, 2014 5:54 pm

Yep Rooney up front . I would rather him taking the chances in the box than supplying them. In big games Rooney delivers . Sturridge has good footwork and great at cutting back in. Rooney needs to be the main striker. If Sturridge had finished his two chances yesterday my decision would be tougher.

On Barkley. I like him driving through midfield . I want him deeper,  but as long as we play Wilshire he will at least get on the ball. I am not sure what influence he or any no 10 will get with Gerard and hendo

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Post by Diggers Sun Jun 08, 2014 6:00 pm

Bit of an obsession with positions on here. Watch Liverpool and its hard to tell who plays 9 or 10, which is exactly how Rooney and Sturridge should be able to work.

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Post by mystiroakey Sun Jun 08, 2014 6:05 pm

Rooney played more upfront when lambert played the other day. But much less in his 45 last night.

There were some cracking threw balls yesterday though. Wilshire, rooney and even Hendo made a couple. Most got through to lannana though. He isn't necessarily the one you want to threw ball to. He took up that central position too much last night.

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Post by Duty281 Sun Jun 08, 2014 6:21 pm

Henderson was good last night; fundmentally, he retained possession well which is exactly what England require.

I'd much rather have him in the side than Gerrard or Lampard, who regularly hit 40-yard Hollywood passes.

Keeping possession is crucial, so well done Jordan Henderson.

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Post by Diggers Sun Jun 08, 2014 6:24 pm

Gerrard passes short as well, its a complete myth he only hits Hollywood balls, it's like Lampard being rent a shot and ignoring the fact he's also been an assist machine.
Gerrard actually defended well last night and made done big covering interceptions. I honestly can't see a serious case for anyone starting ahead of him.

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Post by Duty281 Sun Jun 08, 2014 6:31 pm

I'd start Gerrard as well, obviously, and I've already said I was impressed with his greater patience in yesterday's game.

It's just that his patience wears out occasionally, and you may not notice that against Honduras as winning the ball back was a fairly easy challenge, but you will against a far greater technical team like Italy where regaining the ball will be difficult - especially as the game wears on.

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Post by Diggers Sun Jun 08, 2014 6:58 pm

Yep you need patience but equally you need to take a few chances and pick a pass, Gerrard can do that. Part of the strength of the English game is a quick counter attack, Gerrard is a big part of that strategy.
With the best will in the world whoever we play we won't out possession Italy.

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Post by GSC Sun Jun 08, 2014 7:10 pm

Henderson had those passing stats because half the time he ended up as a 3rd CB passing between them.

Wilshere must start for me, Gerrard and Henderson offered nothing going forward
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Post by Guest Sun Jun 08, 2014 7:17 pm

Centrally, we were like crab snails.

Yeah, I'd go with Wilshere, but still not expecting a miracle change in performance. With Barkley, its like they see him do a wonderous run, they cream themselves & have to clean themselves up in the toilet. While they are away for 10 minutes, they subsequently miss him go AWOL or showcase him giving away the ball numerous times. Boy has talent, just so raw though & against superior opposition his mistakes will cost you.

England are just simply terrible, I hope they can turn it around but I seriously doubt it. When was the last time we won away from home......oh yeah, San Marino. Seriously worrying times.

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Post by GSC Sun Jun 08, 2014 7:26 pm

I tend to agree with John there, Barkley had 2 touches, 1 a shot wide and Nick said he was "bossing" the game
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Post by mystiroakey Sun Jun 08, 2014 7:51 pm

The way I see it is a bit contradictory if we play a defensive way with less possesion and play counter v italy.

If we play that game I would rather have Cole and Carrick in the side.

Especially Carrick. If we have Johnson and baines who can provide the only penetration forward from the wings. We would then need the cm's to defend deep and help out the back 2,  Carrick is that perfect player.

So the ommission of him tells me Roy wants a more possesion based team therefore Wilshire is key to this side to get penetration from the flanks and centrally and then we can press higher up the field.

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Post by Good Golly I'm Olly Sun Jun 08, 2014 8:25 pm

I have to agree re Barkley, was not good last night, gave the ball away far too often, certainly showed why he'll be coming off the bench and I think that'll be the best role for him and England at this tournament. His legs will be good for the last 20 mins against tiring defences, especially if we're on the back foot
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Post by Diggers Sun Jun 08, 2014 9:51 pm

Sterling makes the difference for me, play him and Rooney and Sturridge and pose a real attacking threat.
We won't leak many, we never do (bar Germany 2010), but we need a real goal threat.

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Post by GSC Sun Jun 08, 2014 10:14 pm

Hart
Johnson-Cahill-Jagielka-Baines
Wilshere-Henderson
Lallana-Rooney-Sterling
Sturridge
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Post by Duty281 Sun Jun 08, 2014 10:16 pm

I think Sterling will be starting in Manaus, Hodgson has hinted as much and appears to be very impressed with his level of training, and the only question is who will he replace: Welbeck, Lallana or Rooney?

I'd certainly be going with Lallana left, Sterling right and Rooney, on perhaps his last chance, as number ten. All depends on how bold Hodgson aspires to be. Gerrard and Henderson in the middle.

And how does everyone feel about England's chances against Italy? I think it'll be tight, nervy and cautious, but think England's superior abundance of pace and width, coupled with options off the bench, will see them over the line against a rather aged Italian team struggling for wins. England will start fast, they always do at major tournaments in recent years, and go one up rather early, before adding a second on the counter in the second half.

Italy will endeavour to play with a slow tempo, with Pirlo as the heartbeat, whilst trying to wear down and pick the lock, chess-style, of the English defence. But the Three Lions shall be more positive, with a greater work-rate on and off the ball, with the counter-attack and the wide players causing the opposition a constant threat.

England 2-0 Italy. Pace wins the day! And I quite fancy one of Cahill or Jagielka to score from a set-piece.

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Post by GSC Sun Jun 08, 2014 10:18 pm

I think if we play like we did 2 years ago we'll lose. Defense isn't as strong, Gerrard has less legs. If we try to get at Italy, they're beatable.
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Post by Diggers Sun Jun 08, 2014 10:34 pm

I fancy Rooney to have a good tournament. He always looks sluggish after a lay off, but as long as he is fit and isn't carrying a knock I think he'll impress.
Italy have their own problems, lots of them, I'm certainly not quaking at the thought of the side they are going to turn out. Pirlo runs that side and he's two years older now than last time we met.
England 2-1. Set piece goal a good shout plus one from Rooney.

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Post by Dolphin Ziggler Sun Jun 08, 2014 11:00 pm

sportform wrote:
Dolphin Ziggler wrote:Jordan Henderson is about as good at passing as I am at sex
92 passes 91% pass completion rate. I think far too many people underestimate the role he has. He is not going to be a world beater but kept the ball moving, spread the play and allows the likes of Barkley and Wilshere to go forward. He gave the team balance and I thought England looked far more creative with Barkley and Wilshere either side of Henderson in the second half. I really don't think people understand tactics sometimes. You can't have too many cooks.

Exactly. I can keep my balls moving and do nothing impressive, constantly ruining the flow of anything if I try do something interesting and always finishing as someone unexciting who you wouldnt remember.

I dont mind Henderson, I just dont want him even considering passing to creatively. His final ball is generally poor.

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Post by Dolphin Ziggler Sun Jun 08, 2014 11:07 pm

I do think it was nice to see England play a flat game and Rooney not be a part of it for 45 minutes. Who can it be down to now?

Exposed a couple of my worries over Sturridge. Tries to get involved too much deeper but it isnt his major strength,. His shooting boots are failing him currently too.

Lallana, whilst frustrating me a little last night, will probably have far more true impact against better teams. He is very neat and tidy, creates space for himself but hes played against two teams that just wanted to defend.

I think that was also the greatest performance Sterling never had. You felt he was exactly what we were missing and thats enhanced his chances.

I would happily see a "midfield three" in place, but basically just Lallana playing with a little more responsibility.

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Post by NickisBHAFC Sun Jun 08, 2014 11:19 pm

Only 2 players played well last night, Whilshere and Barkley.

Think we need to be careful with Barkley though can't rush him, ease him in and use him as a super sub. 

Team for Italy, after all of these low standard friendly's. 

GK Hart
RB Johnson - Worries me a lot.
CB Cahill
CB Jagilka
RCM Henderson
CM Gerrard
LCM Whilshere - A lot to do though.
ARM Sterling
ST Rooney
ALM Sturridge - Needs to actually sing the anthem and take chances a 10 year old could put away.

Im still feeling positive and very much counting down the days to the World Cup like a kid at Christmas.

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Post by owen10ozzy Sun Jun 08, 2014 11:27 pm

Duty ...honestly what tournaments do you watch?! England off to fast starts usually?!

Euro 2000- lost Portugal 3-2
WC 2002 - Drew 1-1 Sweden
Euro 2004 - lost France 2-1
WC 2006 - beat Paraguay 1-0
WC 2010 - Drew USA 1-1
Euro 2012 - Drew France 1-1

We are generally very sub standard starters; just one win in last 6 opening games at major tournaments suggests we are sluggish starters. Given when they have been against top teams we have yet to win 1 I hold out even less hope.

See Hodgson has said he has also known his starting XI since before the friendlies...as most sensible people have said was the case.

If it was me my starting eleven would be.

hart

Johnson Cahill Jagielka Baines

Henderson

Wilshere

Sterling Lallana Sturridge

Rooney

Don't need two holding midfielder which is what Gerrard and Henderson are. Play Wilshere who will drive forward and help up the tempo in the centre. Lallana in the 10 role; technically the best England player and that includes Rooney. Can use both feet, comfortable on ball in tight spaces and can score and create. Know Sturridge doesn't like that left hand side role but Rooney is going to play so better to get best of him and I feel that's as a striker. Sturridge has more pace and flair than Welbeck so would prefer him in order to put the fear into the full backs.

Sadly won't look anything like that and I don't even think Sterling will start against Italy. Going to be Milner and Welbeck just know it is. With Gerrard and Henderson in middle. Rooney wasted in that ten and Sturridge isolated up top so has to come back deep.

Everyone moaning about him and him dropping deep need to think; it's often because Welbeck isn't up in the final 3rd (doing his defensive duties instead) and Rooney is dropping deep to pick the ball up from Gerrard/Henderson who are on half way line as neither have legs to drive forward!

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Post by Dolphin Ziggler Sun Jun 08, 2014 11:33 pm

Sounds like you didnt watch that game, Owen. Welbeck was pinned in the final third like everyone else. Sturridge's problem was his ability to drift out meant there was no one making moves to stretch the defence.

I'd also question playing Sturridge wide considering he has no discipline and having discipline is clearly an important factor for the role. I'd also wonder what sense there is in not playing Gerrard who clearly controls the midfield for England, as well as being a fantastic set piece taker on the whole.

All a bit fanciful. Just suggesting players fill gaps not play roles.

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Post by sportform Sun Jun 08, 2014 11:46 pm

Glimpsing through the comments on here most people see to want to overload the team with 'Hollywood' players instead of trying to field a balanced team.
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Post by owen10ozzy Sun Jun 08, 2014 11:49 pm

I'm not talking about one single game...talking on the whole when it comes to Sturridge in England top.

Gerrard or Henderson in that role Dolph! Makes no difference just dont play both otherwise england look pedestrian! I'd say your being fanciful if you genuinely don't believe that to be the case whenever they are paired...just as was the case when it was Gerrard/Carrick or Gerrard/Barry or Gerrard/Lampard..all players with no pace. Yet England seem to love the idea of playing two people without pace then wonder why we have no penetration in the final 3rd.

As for Sturridge, I do agree he doesn't have the discipline Roy probably wants from him...but that's because Roy wants his attacking players to play with more balance. All well and good but often it ends up being that the balance is more defensive than any thoughts of being attacking. Call me old fashioned I would just rather have my wide men playing with more freedom to attack rather than worrying about tracking back every single time! 4 defenders and a holding midfielder should be enough to cope the majority of the time. Defending does start at the front...doesn't mean 10 of our 11 players have to track back all the time...which is usually the case especially when playing likes of Welbeck and Milner wide!

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Post by sportform Sun Jun 08, 2014 11:57 pm

Agree about Sturridge. He wants to drop deep too much and crowds the 'hole'. We are already playing narrow with Welbeck, Rooney and Lallana.

That is why I would go three in midfield rather than that three behind the main striker. Rooney needs space and we are crowding him out of the game.

I would have played Peter Crouch up front. If you go back and look at his England games he is the kind of goal poacher we need. Lambert is probably the nearest we have to that in the squad. If they could get Sterling up top playing off he last defender that would be my best bet but he hasn't played as the out and out striker before so it would be a risk but he does offer the best chance to get beyond the defence and stretch the opposition.
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Post by mystiroakey Mon Jun 09, 2014 12:02 am

Exactly my team Owen.

Just posted it elwewhere

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Post by sportform Mon Jun 09, 2014 12:09 am

Having watched England in these past three friendlies Henderson is better suited to the holding role as he just keeps it simple and keeps possession/ keeps the ball moving. Too often Gerrard looks for 40 yard pass which is great when it comes off, like his pass to Rooney last night, but mainly means loss of possession, England dropping deep and a big gap appearring between the midfield and attack. Go look at England's games in Euro 2012 for evidence of that.

I thought we looked far better in midfield when we switched to a midfield three. All of a sudden we started playing through the middle, from Henderson to Wilshere or Barkley, rather than over the top of it. I don't understand people criticising Henderson for sideways passing. That is his job as a holding midfield to keep possession and move the ball from left to right and visa versa. That is what Busquets does for Spain and Barcelona. Just keep the ball moving for the likes of Iniesta and Xavi.
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