Sunday, 13 June 2010
Back To The Drawing Board For Capello?
We've been here before haven't we? Four years to prepare for a World Cup and then, when we get there, we have a team who look as if they have never played a game together, with key individuals either going missing or cocking up dreadfully on the big day. Some will blame Capello but Sven, Keegan, Hoddle and Robson had the same problem to a greater or lesser degree.
What amazes me is how stupid the players are themselves and how loath they are to take responsibility for changing things. One goal up inside 5 minutes, we should have annihilated a very ordinary USA team (they had Altidore up front for pity's sake!) but we seemed to be happy to wait for something to happen, pacing ourselves for the last 20 minutes push when we always bag a goal or two these days. Well something happened all right, Rob Green happened!
Of course, had we won the game 1-0, the doom mongers would not now be parading themselves like tarts on a street corner. Yes we would be talking about a sub standard performance definitely, but saying that this is the mark of Champions, a team that wins without playing at its best, a team that wins ugly. And, in truth, we did win 1-0 because that Green error was so catastrophic, so absurd, so impossible to legislate for, that it shouldn't really come into the equation. Except, of course, it was ALWAYS going to happen if Green was selected. And now Capello has a nightmare problem: pick Green and risk a repeat, or put a replacement under the microscope, knowing he is only there because the first pick has made a terrible blunder. I would have picked Hart from the start. Now I might go with James because of his experience. I would not select Green under any circumstances.
But keeper isn't our only worry. Who now plays alongside Terry? Carragher should have been sent off. The foul that he was booked for was nasty and with some referees would have got a straight red. He was over the top of the ball and could easily have broken a leg or ankle. The ref decided on yellow, but then missed Carragher's arm in the face when struggling to keep up with the Yank, because he is now so damned slow. Terry and Carragher at centre back will not work against the better teams. King is crocked as we all feared, Upson isn't good enough, so I would now go with Dawson.
On the left, Wright-Phillips isn't good enough. Mind you, what was Milner up to exactly? He should also have seen red. The first foul, when he took the Yank out at the waist, was a shocker and would have provoked a yellow card 9 times out of 10. The one that he was booked for, gave the referee no choice whatsoever. Was he injured or did Capello take him off to prevent the red that he should have already collected?
On the right, Lennon's final ball, apart from that slipped pass to Heskey, was shocking. He may be given another go against Algeria, but against the better teams, pace alone may not be enough. Our best creative player on the right was Johnson and I have been calling for him to play right midfield for two years now. Sadly, with the squad Capello has picked, that is now impossible. God help us if we are required to play either Carragher or Milner at right back!
But the biggest worry of all was the "big three". Lampard was playing far too deep and failed to impose himself on the game. Gerrard scored but, that apart, was all huff and puff and no guile, and Rooney was...well knackered. Why, oh why, was he used in every friendly and warm up game after carrying the Man Utd front line on his own all season? That was inexplicably stupid on Capello's part.
Forget the Algeria game. Capello may pick a team to score goals against a sub standard team. From what I saw, the only way we can win the World Cup now is to select the following team for the bigger games:
Hart or James; Johnson, Terry, Dawson, A. Cole; Joe Cole, Lampard, Barry, Gerrard; Heskey (or Crouch) Rooney.
Posted by Hammersfan at 10:05