Tougher games ahead

Toxic's England XI
Toxic's England XI formation

than against Northern Ireland there certainly will be then we’ll find out how good Joe Cole is.

But you can’t deny he did the business on Saturday, all round, possession (he doesn’t get brushed off the ball these days), passing (no stupid flicks and tricks that didn’t come off), tackling & shooting he has demonstrated what he can give to a team when he puts his mind to it and all thanks must go to Jose Mourhino for this.

Thankfully Cole’s good performance hasn’t hidden the fact Beckham looks a spent force and really doesn’t deserve his place in the starting XI. Comes to something when even Kieron Dyer shows you up to be lacking. And well the free kicks are more miss than hit these days. Lucky for him he’s still Sven’s golden boy.

Another downside, in an otherwise good display, was Gerrard he has to hold back because Lampard is now the heartbeat of the central midfield but he doesn’t help himself with the “Hollywood” balls that never come off and one-twos that are hammered at the player. Yeah we know you can really hit a ball but most times you’d achieve more with less power and more touch.

Again Owen Hargreaves was overlooked by the media (5 out of ten) no mention that if it wasn’t for his excellent passing Dyer wouldn’t have been in the position to get 7.

All this has made me revise my starting XI to that on the right, though I’d use Shaun Wright-Phillips as the right sided wingback as it’s a position he’s played previously and his pace/dribbling will frighten defenders.

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