07 August 2007

Flapping McClaren = problems for England

Perusing the sports section of the Telegraph today, I noticed that Steve McClaren is considering bringing Sol Campbell back into the England fold, after firing him via an answer machine when he took over the reins. This has been brought about by a "defensive crisis" in the England squad with John Terry, Jonathan Woodgate and probably Gary Neville (woo hoo!) out injured.

Although the role of England manager is a thankless task, and I have tried not to criticise too much, McClaren has brought this all on himself. He would rather have players out of position on the field, rather than mustering the courage to drop those that were under-performing. This has lead to players being heckled on the pitch, him storming out of press conferences and quality players considering retirement from international football.
Since taking the England mantle, McClaren has travelled round the country to watch a number of Premiereship games (and will shortly be adding America to the mix), supposedly to pick the best squad available. However, the result of all this travelling is that he will have reverted to the same pre-World Cup squad of Sven. The World Cup 2006 squad was not the "golden generation" as heralded by the press; although it did possess a great deal of talent, it was not enough to see the result home. England need to build for the future, they need a squad that will last and and calling back Campbell and (allegedly) David James is not going to be the answer in the long term, despite how well they played last season.
The England line-up should be (subs are in brackets):
GK: Robinson (Carson, as Foster is injured)
RB: Richards (Shorey)
CD: Carragher (Neville)
CD: Ferdinand (Campbell)
LB: Cole, A (Bridge)
RW: Lennon (Wright-Phillips, Beckham)
CM: Hargreaves (Carrick)
CM: Gerrard (Lampard)
LW: Cole, J (Taylor, Downing)
ST: Owen (Crouch)
ST: Rooney (Smith)
Add to the squad a few players such as Johnson and Nugent up front, a few of the younger midfielders such as Jenas, Dyer and Bentley. It also may be worth calling up a couple of others from the U21 that impressed in Holland this year.

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