…just don’t mix.
Much like friendlies Sven has a bit of trouble with substitutes during a game.
It’s bad enough when he changes the entire team 3 times over in friendlies, handing out caps and the captain’s armband like they’re sweets, but when he makes a change in competitive games it totally wrecks the team.
England againts Portugal during Euro 2004 Scolari introduced (ex-Spurs “flop”) Postiga who came on changed Portugal for the better and scored the equalising goal, Jose Mourinho of Chelsea when seeing his team struggle brings on a sub, sometimes all 3 at his disposal, and the team are lifted with those subs being the main factor in another win. But not Sven we get Vassell for Rooney (against Portugal) we get Wright-Phillips taken off when he was causing Wales most problems (Saturday’ win over Wales in the WC qualifying game) so that Rooney can be shunted out wide to utilise his pace because Wright-Phillips is the slowest player in the squad
Or maybe Wright-Phillips was just playing a bit too well, after all he was taking Beckhams position on the right of midfield and when Sven goes back to 4-4-2 formation he doesn’t want to be answering questions about why it’s Wright-Phillips being dropped.
And there’s the problem, Sven and his favourites and has chosen to build his team round one in particular Beckham, Sven’s captain for the next World Cup, when the team should be built round the best player we have Rooney.
What a waste of one of the most exciting talents in the game to have him as a lone target man or out wide, is Sven going to spoil the best chance England have had for a few generations of actually winning something just so Beckham can play. Rooney needs to be the deep lying striker, running the show not on his tod getting balls lumped into him surrounded by defenders.
Why is Sven scared of dropping one of Beckham, Lampard and Gerrard to the bench ? It’s more than obvious to everyone, except Sven of course, that Lampard & Gerrard don’t work together in a midfield 4, on current form should Lampard even be in the side, he hasn’t turned up for Chelsea yet and has just put in probably his worst 2 performances in an England shirt. One of these 3 on the bench would give them a kick up the arse to put in a better performance and would give Sven an eager player to introduce if the team was sagging during a game.
It would also enable a true playmaking stopper to be used infront of the back 4, Carrick or Hargreaves, yeah Beckham did alright on Saturday but it was only Wales how is he going to manage tackling a more talented player, if used against N.Ireland that’ll tell us even less and if Sven can try 4-5-1 why not 3-5-2 ?
That way (3-5-2) Rooney can have a strike partner, we wouldn’t get over run in midfield and the abundance of central defenders would come in handy.
Robinson in goal, wing backs of Wright-Phillips and Ashley Cole, center backs Ferdinand, Terry & Campbell, holding midfield Carrick then 2 out of Beckham, Lampard & Gerrard for the remaining midfield spots with Rooney & Owen up front.
The last 2 times we’ve come close it was done with this formation but I can’t see Sven changing now and so will he waste the opprtunity he’s been given with the most talented group of England players maybe ever and will we be left looking back thinking what if ?
But then an all Spurs team in 2010 lead by a decent manager might be the answer.