As England drew 2-2 with Ecuador in the humidity of Miami, did Roy Hodgson see what was glaringly obvious to everyone else watching on? Bring on the kids.
England should something in this draw that wasn’t there against Peru and quite frankly has hardly been there throughout Roy’s reign. Signs of life. A vastly changed side from the previous pre-tournament warm up friendly showed Roy the way forward there’s only three problems.
Firstly. Will Roy have actually taken on board that with the likes of Barkley and Oxlade-Chamberlain in the side the team is less predictable, less static, less one dimensional. England finally had some life as players ran at their opponents didn’t just pass it sideways.
Half a problem added to this is the fact Chamberlain is going for a scan after he twisted his knee and could have damaged ligaments. The way he looked as he trudged off didn’t indicate good news will follow.
Second problem was Rooney scored. Dear god you’d think it was the greatest goal ever from both his reaction and certain sections of the media…
the most significant event of this feisty friendly was the goal from Wayne Rooney, reminding the doubters of his qualities. Henry Winter
You wouldn’t know it was a tap in from a few inches. It was the result of good work from Milner, OxC and Lambert and was the only thing the anonymous Rooney did all game. Well part from the one thing he did very well which was the leave gaping acres of grass on England’s left hand side.
What a surprise. Supposed to be out left his inside cramping everything up while someone looks for an out ball and is faced with just that playerless expanse on the left flank. Who knew it wouldn’t work? Oh, yes everyone who saw it not work at his club.
Which brings us to the third and major problem. Roy just doesn’t see it. Having a go at Barkley for losing the ball
an awful lot. Roy likes his sideways passer who risk nothing and gain very little more. Gerrard, Rooney and Johnson are world class at giving the ball away, especially doing so with nothing balls or glory shots, at least Barkley was trying to do something not just boring us into submission.
From the squad make up to the line-up to formation to his statements you know Roy doesn’t get it and come that first game it’ll be the usual suspects that he started against Peru that’ll be out there for the anthems.
We all know Milner isn’t a right-back and so he was exposed. Well Roy you could have taken one out there, a real one, instead of just Johnson. But he’s got his versatile player, Jones and Smalling, who can be crap in a number of positions. And as it would be more likely that one of the starting centre-backs – Cahill & Jagielka – has to be replaced rather than both of them wouldn’t it be better to try one of them with one of the understudies?
But then Roy took Frank Lampard with him. Here you are Frank, here’s a farewell cap. How many people will have to be injured before Frank plays in Brazil? Alongside him Wilshere scored his name out of contention for a place in the team as he and Frank vied to see who could do the least. It was a close call.
Up front Lambert showed he won’t let anyone down if he plays. Some lovely touches to play in others were wasted by the others and he took his goal really well. Can anyone really believe Roy was weighing up taking Carroll over the, now, Liverpool player?
But it was Barkley and Chamberlain, the former more so, that shone in giving England some impetus that is so often lacking. Of course things were made somewhat easier for them with the lack of Gerrard, demanding the ball in the middle of the park.
Introducing kids to the World Cup has worked for England, Gazza, Owen using old failures hasn’t exactly set the world alight before. The formation, line up on the right would work better than anything Roy has tried – would have to find that AN Other at right back. It wouldn’t win the competition but would go out not boring us all to death.