England v Croatia

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Rover the Top
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England v Croatia

Post by Rover the Top » Mon Nov 19, 2007 9:23 am

So (Shock! Horror!), Russia failed to beat a half-decent team they couldn't beat at home, and it's back to being England's turn to fuck up again.

I think from Friday's game, there can be no doubt that Barry should start, preferably with Gerrard. And it was a waste of time bringing Beckham in. And Wes Brown is crap, but we already knew that.

Of course, Croatia have now qualified, and unless there's some advantage in topping the group, they've nothing to play for but pride. It seems funny to me that, for all the criticisms we've had, we can still win the group. There's still big question marks over McClaren, just like there were with Sven. He's too eager to go defensive, and recalling Lampard for 'another look' was ridiculous. If we fail to beat Croatia, then he has to go. And if we get through, I can't see us doing much at the actual championships.

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Post by Gibbon » Mon Nov 19, 2007 10:02 am

Agreed on all counts. :cry:

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Post by Simon » Mon Nov 19, 2007 11:22 am

I think he should have gone a while ago. To be struggling to qualify from this group with the players he has is ridiculous. He is by far the most well paid manager in the group (certainly one of the most well paid in world football) and therefore should be capable of performing the simplest tasks.

Imagine if Russia and Croatia had won on Wednesday. We'd all be calling for his head now, but due to another team doing his job for him and a lot of luck we aren't.

Unless we reach the semis of Euro 2008 he should go.

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Post by Joe » Mon Nov 19, 2007 11:26 am

I agree with the Beckham part, he was trying too far too hard, and made too many mistakes (he couldn't even take a corner which is what he has been renowned for). I have always been a fan of Beckham, unlike others. He was a brilliant player in his day, but I think it is definetly time to give others a chance now. He can make up his final 2 appearances needed for 100 caps in more pointless friendless.

Having said all that, I'm almost certain he WILL start on Wednesday. But that's Mclaren for you.

I don't see why Barry definetly has to come back in? Lampard and Gerrard didn't wrong as a pairing. They weren't fantastic to watch, but neither were Barrry and Gerrard. And with Lampard, at least we know he can be fantastic when he finds his England form.

As for the result I think we will scab it. Which will obviously be brilliant as we'll be in the Championships next summer, and hopefully by then Bentley will be pushing even harder for a starting position, and maybe even Warnock will be in the squad.

The only dissapointing thing will be Mclaren keeping his job. The arguments from some people will be that 'we've qualified, what else do you want?'. Well, I want us to play exciting attacking football, like the quality of our players can do. I want us to beat teams comfortably rather than scraping through them. I want the right players to be picked in the squad/team and not the managers favourites.

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Re:

Post by Rover the Top » Mon Nov 19, 2007 11:39 am

Joe wrote: I don't see why Barry definetly has to come back in? Lampard and Gerrard didn't wrong as a pairing. They weren't fantastic to watch, but neither were Barrry and Gerrard. And with Lampard, at least we know he can be fantastic when he finds his England form.
Since you were fighting Lampard's corner, I'm not really surprised you're sticking by him... but he was utter shite AGAIN. And I disagree entirely that Barry and Gerrard weren't exciting, in my view Barry has been a better choice than Hargreaves and King in the 'defensive' midfielder role, he should be automatic choice now, and I'm puzzled why McClaren dropped him for no reason.

Bentley had an extremely difficult situation to put up with... only given half an hour to prove himself, he got booed by the prats in the crowd for playing for England because they think he doesn't want to (can anyone explain that logic?). And then instead of working with the impressive Richards, he has to try to link up with Wes Brown. No one tried to play him into the game, he had to try to make things happen, and I think he showed the effort if not the results.

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Post by Gibbon » Mon Nov 19, 2007 11:51 am

Aye, Barry has real creativity and leadership in midfield. He's exactly what our central midfield has been lacking for so long. Barry would now be my first name on the central midfield role, and Gerard and Lampard would be interchangeable along side him depending on form.

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Post by Rover the Top » Mon Nov 19, 2007 1:28 pm

What worries me is that since we only need a draw, McClaren might decide to replace Owen by choosing Gerrard, Lampard and Barry, and leave Crouch alone up front.

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Re:

Post by Joe » Mon Nov 19, 2007 2:21 pm

Rover the Top wrote:What worries me is that since we only need a draw, McClaren might decide to replace Owen by choosing Gerrard, Lampard and Barry, and leave Crouch alone up front.
I think that's exactly what he will do.

And then he comes out with
We've got to attack, be up-tempo and really go to win the game. We've got to make sure that we're not negative.
My team would be, Green, Richards, Lescott, Campbell, Bridge, Bentley, Lampard, Gerrard, Cole, Crouch, Defoe

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Post by Gibbon » Mon Nov 19, 2007 2:49 pm

I think he may play that lineup - but play Gerrard as a striker.

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Post by Phil » Mon Nov 19, 2007 2:57 pm

Robinson
Brown/Richards Richards/Terry Campbell Bridge/Cole
Beckham Hargreaves Lampard Cole
Gerrard
Crouch

Depending on injuries is what I expect.

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Post by Rover the Top » Mon Nov 19, 2007 3:26 pm

What the fuck has Hargreaves done to get in the side? He's only managed a half dozen games for United, and not really looked that great.

My team, picking from those in the squad, would be:

James; Richards, Campbell, Lescott, Bridge (if Ashley Cole is injured, I can't remember?); Bentley, Barry, Gerrard, J.Cole; Crouch, Defoe.

I think McClaren will choose:

Robinson; Richards, Campbell, Lescott, Bridge; Beckham, Barry, Gerrard, Lampard, J.Cole; Crouch.

Robinson will flap at something to concede another soft goal, and we won't get an equaliser because we'll just lump long balls to the isolated freakshow up front. Beckham will run a maximum of 4 yards from the centre line, except for when he's taking freekicks and corners. And no one will remember Lampard is on the pitch until the 81st minute, when whoever's been playing well will be subbed.

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Post by Phil » Mon Nov 19, 2007 4:04 pm

Note that was what I think McClaren would pick, not necessarily who I would pick ;)

As for Hargreaves not looking that great for United, he has gotten man of the match in half of the games he has played so far lol. I'd be surprised if Bentley is even on the bench on Wednesday. Ahead of him for the wings are Beckham, Wright-Phillips, Cole and I would put Ashley Young there too; he did well on Friday.

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Re:

Post by streakyb » Mon Nov 19, 2007 4:07 pm

Phil wrote:Ahead of him for the wings are Beckham, Wright-Phillips, Cole and I would put Ashley Young there too; he did well on Friday.
Given we will have Crouch upfront you would have thought you would want at least one player who could cross the ball.

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Post by Rover the Top » Mon Nov 19, 2007 4:14 pm

Phil wrote:Note that was what I think McClaren would pick, not necessarily who I would pick ;)
I know, and that only makes it an even stranger suggestion... Barry has been playing, recognised to have done well by McClaren, and the media, and so must surely be favourite to start ahead of a guy who has hardly played this season? :-?

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Post by Lincoln Rover » Mon Nov 19, 2007 4:17 pm

Is Wright-Phillips fit?

If so, Bentley hasn't really got any chance of playing. We know he's going to pick Beckham ahead of either of the above, and if we need a goal in the 2nd half Wright-phillips will surely come on for Beckham.

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