Chris O (follow on Twitter: @COakleyFtbl)
Mon 18 June 2007

The state of play for England

Written by Kedge

Following the draw with Brazil in a friendly to welcome the team back to the spiritual home of football and a win in the Euro 2008 qualifier in Estonia, what have we learnt about England?

Or maybe more to the point, what has been confirmed?

1. Our defence still tends to lose concentration in the final minutes of the game.
2. David Beckham can put the ball on a sixpence.
3. Joe Cole is very one-footed.
4. The left side is still England's big problem area.
5. Cole, Lampard, Gerrard, and Beckham do not gel as a midfield unit.
6. We still pick too many players on reputation rather than form.
7. We still play too many players out of position just to fit them in the side.

But we must have learnt something, surely? Well, if we didn’t know these already, we do now:

1. Robinson’s reflexes are good, but he sometimes flaps at crosses.
2. Joe Cole has perfected the 'step-over'… unfortunately no one is fooled by it.
3. Our midfield don't push up enough when our defence has the ball.
4. We need someone who can cross the ball from the left (i.e. a left-footer).
5. Alan Smith is not an international centre forward.
6. We need to find some new, young, very good players from somewhere.

Let's hope England start getting it right soon. It might be too late for 2008, but this dilemma needs to be solved ready for the 2010 World Cup campaign.

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