Wednesday, September 8, 2010

No fudge for Steven Gerrard please Fabio!

Memo to Fabio: Don't! Do not go there! Do not even think about it! Don’t consider it, evaluate it or discuss it... not even with your interpreter.

James Milner will be suspended for next month’s game against Montenegro, but under no circumstances, on no account, in no way must Steven Gerrard be shoehorned into his position on the left of midfield. Ok?

Don’t get me wrong, if Frank Lampard is fit in time for the match I will be happy to see him back in an England shirt. I am one of the few people that believe he is actually underrated. But Lampard must only play if Gerrard or Gareth Barry cannot.

4-4-2 is still not my favourite ‘arrangement’ because it is essentially a system of square holes. But please, please fill it with square pegs.

England are playing well, certainly well enough to defeat the likes of Bulgaria and a surprisingly poor Switzerland. Fabio Capello has enjoyed a good week. Even some of the negatives may prove positive.

Joe Hart’s little wobble will remind him and everyone else that he is an international novice, a very good one. Wayne Rooney did just begin to indulge himself with some loose passes, as he is prone to do when he gets so much of the ball. We got one or two little reminders without suffering any pain.

Even Theo Walcott’s injury may prove a fateful ‘leg-up’ to Adam Johnson. Both bring something fresh and exciting to the party, but Johnson’s quiet confidence and constant goal threat maybe just give him the edge at the moment. He looks ready.

I don’t think either Johnson or Walcott had done quite enough by May to ‘demand’ a place in the World Cup squad, and missing out on South Africa probably did both (and England) a favour.

Two years ago, Joe Cole’s injury in the second qualifying game allowed a previously injured Gerrard back into the team. For the next match against Kazakhstan in the October, Capello actually fudged a kind of 4-3-3 to accommodate Gerrard, Barry and Lampard, pushing Rooney a little wider out to the left.

The fudge survived until half-time when England were booed off.

Please, please, please... no fudge on the menu this time.

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