Monday, 28 March 2011

Wales v England Review

Wales 0-2 England

The game was a must win and they did. A formation of 4-3-3 shocked some fans but that change was needed a little too late but at least it has happened now. It was a comfortable win in the end. The goals came early and England never looked in trouble. Lampard scored from the spot his first goal for England for a long time, and Darren Bent scored the other. For me the most impressive players were Ashley Young, Jack Wilshere and Scott Parker. In a formation which suits these players Young destroyed the Welsh left back. He had a hand in both goals and looked comfortable playing there. He is a confidence player though and when things are going well he will look class. But what can he do against much tougher opposition? That will show how good a player he is. I think a move away from Villa will be on the cards soon so that may help his cause. The same argument can be made for Scott Parker. He been the best player at Upton Park this season and deserved a starting place. He done what needed to be done in front of the back four. He played it simple and easy, nothing special but a cool confident performance. I expected nothing less. Jack Wilshere passed his test for me. Clearly eased into his role next to Lampard some neat classy pass and moves. He looks now a starter for England for a little while now.

The game against Ghana will see a whole new England team as most have been released due to Champions League commitments. So that means another new captain. Whoever gets the armband will be proud to lead out his country in front a full Wembley Satdium, but he knows he is only really getting the nod as he is the only one left has the main boys have gone home!

Saturday, 26 March 2011

Wales v England Preview

Today England take on Wales in the Euro 2012 Qualifier, it simply is a must win game for England. After the captaincy debacle it's matters on the pitch that matter. England should be beating teams like Wales, but we know England make nothing easy. It will be a full house and the proud Welsh fans will love to get one over their neighbours. Their hopes though took a massive blow as Bale was ruled out, now the main threat I feel lie in Craig Bellamy. On his day he can terrorise any defence and today Terry and Co better be weary.

We know England will start with Jack Wilshire in midfield so it will be a big test for him. He has in recent weeks shone in an Arsenal team that has struggled. Now he is making the step up to an England starter, it could be a massive kick on in his career. Wayne Rooney will be sure to start up front but who will partner him. Andy Carroll has just got back to full training and working his way to full fitness. Is he ready to start up front today? I would start with Peter Crouch; he has an excellent international record and works well with Rooney. He is a fans favourite and can handle the pressure of a hostile crowd at the Millennium. It won’t be an easy game for England and of course there is a massive amount of pressure on them.
The team I would select would be: Green, Johnson, Terry, Dawson, Cole, Lennon, Wilshere, Lampard, Young, Rooney and Crouch. This would be in a 4-4-2 formation as England always play 4-4-2! Let’s see what Capello does. I predict an England win 2-0.

Sunday, 20 March 2011

Top of the table looking the same.....

As we head into the international break this season’s title race looks like it’s going to be the same old faces, with a similar outcome. Man United sit top and 5 points clear of Arsenal. United have had probably the most average season for a long time. The defence is not great and the midfield has been a lot better. But they have done what United always do, get results when not playing well. Hernandez, Berbatov & Nani have been the main men for me. The little Mexicans first season in England have seen him scored 16 goals in all competitions this season. He is a true goal poacher, he reminds me of Ole Gunnar Solskjear who worked well with any partner he was teamed, Hernandez has done the same with Berbatov and Rooney.

Nani has stepped up his game a lot he had big boots to fill in the size of Ronaldo. He had been compared to his fellow countryman but never really was as good. However he has been a key player this season and has scored 10 times. He has done very well but I feel their last key player this year has been Berbatov. The Bulgarian has shown class in his own special way. He may not run as much as the others or track back, but he does find the space and get the goals with a tally of 21 so far this season. United are on course for a 19th title and they usually kick on this time of the season. I can’t see anyone stopping them.

Arsenal currently sit in second, after a two week period that saw them go out of three cup competitions they tried their hardest at West Brom to dent their title challenge. They got it back to 2-2, but again the same problem areas cost Arsenal dearly. The goalkeeper situation took a new turn as Wenger signed Jens Lehmann, Wenger never signs anyone over 30 years- old and hardly goes back to an old player, (he did go for Sol Campbell a few years back) is this a sign of desperation? He can’t amend his centre half problem now, but that cost them the cup final against Birmingham. If he did make a move in January to cover those problems areas they could have one cup in the cabinet and maybe slightly closer in the league. Their team look good on paper but in reality it’s the same old Arsenal to me, and they won’t win a thing. Again!

Chelsea in third are now nine points behind Man United and with a game in hand. They still have to play United at Old Trafford so it’s not impossible seeing them retain their title but it will be very hard, I think they will run out of games. Their mid season wobble cost them dear and maybe their focus could be on the Champions League this season. They will finish in the top three though.

Manchester City in fourth take up the last Champions League place but their negative style especially in away games bore me to death. With so much attacking options Mancini can pick from he comes out with such a defensive style. City can’t afford to let this season fizzle out. They have a great chance to reach the F.A Cup final and they need to finish in the top four. If they really want to go places, this team have to make this season count.

Monday, 14 March 2011

Update: Championship

I’ve been away for a while but now I’m back. I will start with a look at the Championship. QPR sit top of the table where they have been for pretty much the whole season. Now with a 10 point gap surely now the SuperHoops will be back in the big time. They could have a problem if the FA take action with a points deduction over the signing of, Alejandro Faurlin. It’s similar to the Carlos Tevez situation at West Ham a few years back. However Rangers say they have done nothing wrong. It would be a shame to ruin a fantastic season with matters with the men in suits at Lotus Road. QPR have lead the way from day one, with an exceptional defence Paddy Kenny has kept 20 clean sheets in the league this season. But the star man has to be Adel Taarabt; he has shown he really is too good for the Championship. The 21 year-old has netted 15 goals so far this season, was given the captaincy and he become a firm fan favourite. At times he will annoy you by not passing and sulking at times. But the goals he has scored and the assists and chances created more than make up for it. He will probably take the player of the year award at QPR & I would not be surprised if he takes the Championship award too. He will be a Premier League player next year and I hope it’s at Loftus Road.

Nottingham Forest where QPR’s closet contenders and looked to be a big problem. But with a run of 4 draws & 2 defeats from their last 6 games their fight for automatic promotion looks to have gone. They need to pick up form again because Burnley lie 4 points behind with 2 games in hand.

Swansea City currently sits second but it’s very tight for that second automatic promotion spot. Norwich City can go there tonight if they beat Bristol City. Cardiff have also gone off the boil, messing up against Barnsley, Palace & Ipswich recently. But they should bounce back with the players they have. Leeds United still plugging away and if they do keep within touching distance they go to QPR on the last day of the season. It could be a game where QPR lift the title and Leeds clinch second spot? Only time will tell.

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