Sunday, 13 June 2010
Forget Pace, Go With Guile And Power
The dilemma we face is how to select a team that can live with and beat the best in this World Cup. Capello has been lumping all his chips on pace so far, his answer to the riddle seems to be the opposite of Zola's: get a quick right footed winger wide right and we will score, seems to be the extent of the tactical thinking.
But his formation is causing problems because we are not getting the best out of our five best players. Both Lampard and Gerrard are most effective when playing in advanced positions and we need to get both into the box as often as possible. Rooney is shattered and needs to conserve his energy. He scored every one of his goals last season inside the box, but last night he dropped too deep and wasted far too much crucial energy closing USA defenders. Meanwhile, with conventional wingers in the team, we are not seeing Ashley Cole and Johnson to their best advantage, getting down the flanks and sending over crosses. Both are attacking full backs so why do we need wingers?
The solution? Gareth Barry and Joe Cole. Barry is a pivotal figure in this England team. Had he played last night, Rob Green would not have made that mistake because Dempsey would have been closed. There was a void in front of our central defenders all night, as there has been in all the games that Barry has missed. He has a superb pass completion ratio and wins a high percentage of his tackles. He does the simple things well and lets other play around him.
Cole is the opposite. Where Barry is Mr Efficiency, Cole is mercurial. You can't risk him in any form of defensive role, just like you can't risk Diamanti. So what do you do? You create a formation where he doesn't have to maintain any sort of defensive discipline. You say, get out there and play - be our Messi!
How? Well after thinking hard about this, you set up in a 4-1-3-1-1 formation like this:
Hart (or James);
Johnson, Terry, Dawson, A. Cole;
Lampard, Gerrard, Milner;
Why? Well with Cole, Gerrard and Milner you have three players who can work the flanks but, at the same time, you don't have somebody in the way of Johnson and Ashley, blocking their marauding runs forward.
Meanwhile, Rooney has responsibility to lead the line, his best position now. We need him in the box, finishing, confident that others will create opportunities for him.
Joe Cole has the guile to unpick defences. Gerrard, Lampard and Milner have the power to boss the midfield and break into the box and score. All three can also smash them home from distance. At the back, Barry can screen and protect Terry and Dawson and reads the game well enough to see danger before it happens. When we don't have the ball, we play 4-5-1, when we do have it, we have a multiplicity of attacking options.
Posted by Hammersfan at 12:07