Nothing much to note here, except that with Rooney looking increasingly unlikely to participate in the World Cup (read United Rant’s piece on the topic), Eriksson is preparing for life without the Manchester United striker – a situation that has not been helped by Owen’s injured foot and Crouch’s poor touch.
Still, Eriksson, blasted in the media for his conservative approach has taken a gamble with Jamie Carragher now slated for the holding midfielder position. This comes off the back of Carrick’s poor game in that same position against Belarus, while why Phil Neville has not been drafted in for this role, I don’t know.
The suggested formation is like this:
GK – Robinson
RB – Gary Neville
CB – Rio Ferdinand
CB – John Terry
LB – Ashley Cole
DM – Jamie Carragher
RM – David Beckham
LM – Joe Cole
CM – Frank Lampard
AM – Steven Gerrard
ST – Michael Owen
This assumes that yesterday’s training experiment with Carragher proved successful, and that Owen has survived the injury scare that had him pull out of training yesterday.
While I don’t really mind such a distribution, I’d prefer seeing Terry or Beckham in the holding role – Terry is the sort of dominating personality like Keano and Vieira and will be able to control the game ‘Makelele style’, whereas Beckham’s passing and crossing will come in handy in that posititon and this also allows Lennon to start on the right.
The other move – pushing Gerrard upfront to support Owen – is a very smart move. The only problem I see here is Owen’s fitness, so we might end up playing the World Cup with either Crouch or Defoe up front – and of those two I’d put Defoe on the bench and bring in Walcott instead. The kid is fast, and we need that here.
More after the game.
Update: The formation experiment was a ‘semi-success’ – more on this after England negotiate Jamaica