Lessons learned for England
Ok, so this is what I reckon we learned from the game against Ecuador.
1. Ashley Cole is coming back into form and played a blinder – thank f**k for that.
2. Robinson does not seem to be the world class keeper we were lead to believe he was (though to be fair he has not had much to do over the last 4 games)
3. (and I never thought I'd say this) Hargreaves seems to be delivering on the pitch rather than just on paper. A better replacement for Neville than Carragher who would be better employed at the centre of the back 4 rather than on the right
4. If we play 4–1–4–1 we need to make sure we get ball to feet rather than still playing as if Peter Crouch was up front rather than Rooney. The number of times England pinged the ball high to the front man only to see it go to the opposition was depressing. Every time Robinson kicked it forward rather than passing it into midfield we cried with frustration. The formation depends on passing through a team – not passing over a team.
5. Lampard has not turned up. Will the real Frank Lampard please stand up. What is wrong with the lad. Better move Beckham into the middle and put Lennon on the right…
6. Lennon and J. Cole are the major threats at the moment. Boy, did Lennon look good on the ball. Both he and Cole have been the most threatening players for England so far. Gerrard seems to labour in obscurity when he plays with Lamps, so with the above point in mind – drop Lamps, stick Beckham in the middle (for his free kicks), let Gerrard roam forward to support Rooney with Becks hanging back to provide the incisive pass with Lennon and Cole marauding up the wings.
7. Carrick looked solid enough
8. Terry had a bit of a mare, but I would still support his inclusion thanks to his mammoth defending in the previous 3 games.
9. We will get beaten by better teams at the moment
10. We have to thank our lucky stars that Portugal lost three key players last night to injury or suspension – phew…
11. but…. the other Portuguese players are still rather good, and let's not forget the presence of Big Phil
12. Sven needs to learn to drop players – remember everyone thought it would be Jimmy Greaves leading England to victory in '66 only for him to be dropped. Sometimes you have to sacrifice the individual for the good of the team.