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 Post subject: En-ger-land
PostPosted: Thu Sep 09, 2010 11:22 pm 
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Here we go again...Wayne Rooney is still number one but it's at full-back where we have so few options that the incumbents are untouchable. Just how low have Terry and Lampard dropped?


1 - Wayne Rooney
Consistently atop this ladder over the past three years, his no-show in South Africa (and its disastrous consequences) served only to illustrate his importance to England's fortunes. We're legally bound to sprinkle the word 'allegedly' throughout many sentences about Wayne Rooney but I have no qualms in leaving it out of this one: England will not win anything in the next four years unless Rooney produces his finest form.



2 - Ashley Cole
The yawning chasm between arguably (and yes, Manchester United fans will argue) the world's best left-back and the rest of England's options is so massive that the Chelsea defender's availability is of far greater importance to Fabio Capello than the women in Faces. You don't have to like him...just be grateful he's ours and he's pretty much always fit.



3 - Steven Gerrard
Revelling in the captaincy in a manner sadly missing at the World Cup, Gerrard has produced three impressive and varied performances on the bounce (possibly for the first time in an England shirt). From the barnstorming double goalscorer of the Hungary game to the restrained orchestrator who quietly pulled the strings against Bulgaria and Switzerland, Gerrard has won plaudits amongst everyone but the most vehemently one-eyed.



4 - Joe Hart
We're trying not to get carried away but he's young, he's number one for an ambitious club very much in the ascendance and he looks the real deal. Obviously had a couple of jittery moments against Switzerland, but we're willing to blame the wet ball - mostly because we're excited about having a bona fide solution to a long-term problem. He also - though we accept these are early days - does not appear to be a dick.



5 - Glen Johnson
As Nick Miller wrote in his ratings for the Swiss game: 'Ah, you could write these without watching the game. Good going forward, ropey going backwards, looks like a walking error. Twas ever thus.' But until Fabio forgives Micah Richards for whatever transgression makes his inclusion a non-starter, the next right-back options are the out-of-position likes of Phil Jagielka and James Milner, making Johnson pretty much untouchable as England's first choice.



6 - John Terry
There are those who will call for the permanent absence of both Terry and Lampard after England's performances without the Chelsea pair and there are those of us who will yawn and point out 'that's not really going to happen though, is it?' Terry is the lynchpin of the English champions' defence and he will play for England whether we, you or Wayne Bridge like it or not.



7 - Frank Lampard
While Terry is likely to walk straight back into England's team - albeit with the shine taken off by his performances on and off the pitch in South Africa - Lampard may not find it quite so easy to stroll back in. Although Gareth Barry has been far from convincing, he has done nothing to send Capello scrambling to make changes. He may have to wait for his starting chance but we will be astonished if he does not make the next squad, the one after that and every other up to Euro 2012.



8 - Jermain Defoe
Like most footballers, he's had his knockers. But there are signs that Defoe is capable of becoming a more complete footballer rather than simply a goalscorer. Even taking away his three goals, Defoe's performances against Bulgaria and Switzerland were his best in an England shirt - stretching the defence, leading the line, holding up the ball. Like a tiny Emile Heskey who can shoot.



9 - Gareth Barry
There's something a tad insipid about the City midfielder - and he remains a constant worry with his capacity to give away free-kicks in dangerous places - but Fabio is obviously a fan and, for the moment at least, he's probably the best option to partner Steven Gerrard. Meanwhile, our prayers for the fitness of Owen Hargreaves continue unabashed by the fact that he's clearly suffering from permanent crockage.



10 - James Milner
Undoubtedly missing the wow factor you might get from Theo Walcott or Adam Johnson but he's hardworking, versatile, and dovetails perfectly on the left with Ashley Cole, who revels in the room afforded him by Milner naturally coming inside, and presumably appreciates the work the Manchester City man does in defence. He's probably safe to clear a massive space in his spare room for a lot of England caps.



11 - Rio Ferdinand
'He's back, he's fit and he doesn't look particularly fragile,' were the none-too-prophetic words used in this ladder to describe Ferdinand ahead of the World Cup. Will he ever actually be fully fit again? If Jagielka continues to mature as an international football, will we really care?



12 - Adam Johnson
'There's no doubt he will now be on Fabio's radar, but we suspect it may be a tad too late. Shame,' were the rather-more-prophetic words used to describe Johnson ahead of the World Cup. Confident, direct and with an actual end product, Johnson looks utterly unfazed by the step up to international football. We like him in a way we never liked Stewart Downing. And no, we don't mean sexually.



13 - Theo Walcott
My contention that Theo would not make the final World Cup squad was met with howls of derision (well, abusive story comments) back in May but Theo's 20 minutes against Barcelona did nothing to convince me - or indeed Capello - that he deserved a place in South Africa. That Shaun Wright-Phillips was taken in his stead was by the the most baffling part of the decision. Hopefully it was the making of the man(child).



14 - Phil Jagielka
In hindsight, he should probably have gone to the World Cup ahead of Jamie Carragher after returning from injury at the back end of last season but - let's face it - that decision alone would not have won England the World Cup. Well, not unless he carried with him a magic potion to make Wayne Rooney able to play football. That aside, he looked a class act against Bulgaria and Switzerland. The one question mark against his name might be a lack of European football with Everton this season.



15 - Ben Foster
Leaving Manchester United for a regular gig at a mid-table Premier League club will be the making of Ben Foster. We may be on the verge of a goalkeeping feast after the famine that led us to Robert Green.



16 - Aaron Lennon
Went to the World Cup as England's first-choice right-winger but probably wasn't fit enough to have any real impact, while both Theo Walcott and Adam Johnson have impressed in his stead this season. Might need to pull up trees in the Champions League to worm his way back into favour. Contrary to the belief of some, was not dropped for the recent international games, rather left out for fitness reasons.



17 - Peter Crouch
Only four starts under Fabio Capello tells you all you need to know about how the Italian sees the Spurs striker, who nevertheless pretty much always makes his squad. It seems he's a handy but slightly embarrassing weapon to have on the bench.



18 - Michael Dawson
Poor bugger. Buoyed by his place in the starting line-up against Bulgaria - against whom he excelled for all but one minute he was on the pitch - ahead of Joleon Lescott and Gary Cahill, and then promptly crocked. But at 26, his time will come again.



19 - Joleon Lescott
Did just the right side of 'okay' against Switzerland, though Fabio might be slightly worried at the frequency with which he put Joe Hart under pressure with back passes. Lescott should be slightly worried that he will not get enough football at Manchester City to justify his selection again. Watch this space.



20 - Darren Bent
One goal does not an international-class striker make. But it does probably earn you another chance.



21 - Shaun Wright-Phillips
We don't profess to understand but his inclusion in Capello's latest squad (and his emergence off the bench) despite playing just 68 minutes for Manchester City this season suggests that Fabio has a soft spot for little SWP. Maybe he reminds him a of a childhood pet.



22 - Michael Carrick
Clinging on to a career at Manchester United and clinging on to a place in this squad. We don't get him. You know this.



23 - Scott Carson
Third-choice goalkeeper as it stands, but would he have got that call if David Stockdale hadn't turned his ankle?



24 - Gary Cahill
Looked comfortable against Bulgaria but obviously didn't do quite enough in training to convince Fabio to start with him against Switzerland. May well need to leave Bolton to establish himself properly in the England set-up...though that's probably what Michael Ricketts thought.



25 - Bobby Zamora
Probably would have gone to South Africa if he had been fit. Definitely would have had a run-out against Bulgaria or Switzerland if he was fit. Possibly didn't cheer Darren Bent's goal too much.



26 - Ashley Young
Clearly loads better than Shaun Wright-Phillips. Clear that is to everybody but Ian Wright and Fabio Capello.



27 - Kieran Gibbs
Seems to have leapfrogged Stephen Warnock and Leighton Baines in the reserve left-back stakes despite a lack of first-team action for his club since November. We can only assume he sees him as the long-term successor to Ashley Cole, but how long can he pick a player who's playiing reserve-team football? See Wayne Bridge for the answer.



28 - Joe Cole
Became a better player in his absence than he has been on the pitch for about three years. There are now too many players above him on this list who are younger, quicker and more disciplined. So unless he has a blinder of a season...



29 - Jack Wilshere
The press used his absence from the latest England squad to call Fabio a 'jackass'. They did okay without him, didn't they? Fabio will be in no rush to overwhelm a youngster unlikely to be a regular for Arsenal any time soon.



30 - Matthew Upson
His recall was something of an unpleasant surprise. Fabio's decision not to play him was something of a pleasant surprise. England are clearly looking towards the future and the days of Upson as default third-choice centre-half are over.



31 - Tom Huddlestone
Something of a disappointment to see Michael Carrick selected ahead of the Tottenham midfielder. Mind you, we're disappointed to see Michael Carrick selected ahead of Jane from HR.



32 - Andy Carroll
While Carlton Cole was preferred in Capello's latest squad, the Newcastle striker is in pole position for the much-coveted back-up big-man role. Eventually he could be better than that.



33 - David Stockdale
Three very good displays for Fulham almost earned him a call-up. Until ankle-knackage.



34 - Stephen Warnock
Quite what the Villa left-back has done to fall behind a largely-untested 19-year-old is unclear, but Warnock going to the World Cup is starting to look like a very random quiz question answer.



35 - Carlton Cole
Was flavour of the month for about three weeks. We don't expect it to happen again.



36 - Stewart Downing
We'll level with you...we kind of forgot he existed.



37 - Scott Loach
Profited from Paul Robinson's retirement but probably needs to leave Watford before he's seriously considered as an option.



38 - Leighton Baines
He almost went to the World Cup, you know. Then he got homesick.



39 - Ryan Shawcross
Clearly on Capello's radar but will be looking over his shoulder at...



40 - Phil Jones
...who will be hoping he's the next John Terry rather than the next David Wheater.




THE REST

41 - Robert Green.

42 - Kevin Nolan.

43 - Micah Richards.

44 - Titus Bramble.

45 - Craig Gardner.

46 - Chris Smalling.

47 - Jack Rodwell.

48 - Lee Cattermole.

49 - Tom Cleverley.

50 - Phil Neville.

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 Post subject: Re: The Euro 2012 England Ladder
PostPosted: Thu Mar 31, 2011 2:25 am 
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It's been six months and an awful lot has changed in six months. We have a new No. 1 for the first time in almost four years while there are a few sliders. So what we think Fabio is thinking is...



1 (29) - Jack Wilshere
'Fabio will be in no rush to overwhelm a youngster unlikely to be a regular for Arsenal any time soon,' I wrote in September. My, what a difference six months make. He's not the Second Coming, he's not The Best Player In The World (that's Gareth Bale), but he is the reason Fabio Capello has switched to a 4-3-3. This makes him Very Important. And for now at least, Much More Important Than Rooney.



2 (2) - Ashley Cole
The yawning chasm between arguably (and yes, Manchester United fans will argue) the world's best left-back and England's other options is so massive that the Chelsea defender's availability is of far greater importance to Fabio Capello than even the women in Faces. A twunt he may be, but he's our twunt and a twunt that's thankfully almost always fit.



3 (6) - John Terry
We have long since given up banging the drum marked 'he's too slow' (though we will remark that he should be mightily relieved it was Joleon Lescott who was made to look foolish by Asamoah Gyan at Wembley) and accepted - particularly after his reinstatement as captain - that he will be a fixture at the heart of England's defence for the foreseeable future. There. We said it.



4 (4) - Joe Hart
It was telling that Hart was never going to be rested for the Ghana game - after the goalkeeping farce of last summer comes the absolute commitment to the Manchester City man as England's No. 1. At the age of 23, he still has moments of over-confidence, but hopefully that will be beaten out of him by next June. Still no sign of being an absolute dick - which is something of a bonus in this England side.



5 (1) - Wayne Rooney
As far as I can calculate, Wayne Rooney has been atop this list for the best part of four years. But when he slides, he certainly slides. After building his team around Rooney, Fabio was badly burnt in South Africa, and it can be no coincidence that the new 4-3-3 formation makes him a more peripheral figure. Not available for the Switzerland game? It's no longer even close to a crisis.



6 (5) - Glen Johnson
If you thought Johnson's place was secure before, he's pretty much immoveable once you switch to a 4-3-3 formation that requires the full-backs to provide the width. Phil Jagielka showed us in 45 minutes against Ghana why Johnson is still the first-choice right-back by a country mile - and will be until Martin Kelly or Kyle Walker get the requisite experience. File this under 'we don't have to like it'.



7 (3) - Steven Gerrard
When this ladder was last published, Gerrard had just produced three impressive and varied performances on the bounce (possibly for the first time in an England shirt) but that seems an awful long time ago now. There are those that will view England's last three matches sans Gerrard as evidence for his permanent removal, but it's far more likely that the Liverpool captain will take that third midfield spot ahead of either James 'mini Gerrard' Milner or Frank 'not Gerrard' Lampard.



8 (7) - Frank Lampard
Ah, here he is. Talk of his international demise was a tad premature but his reprieve probably owes more to Gerrard's unavailability than his own standing in the eyes of Fabio Capello. He may not start England's next qualifier against Switzerland but - if fit - he will be in that squad, the next one, and every other until Euro 2012. A player with that much international and Champions League experience is not tossed away lightly.



9 (NE) - Scott Parker
Like us, you probably thought Parker's pre-World Cup call-up presented his final chance to make an international impact (hence he wasn't even in the 50 in September). But credit is due to Capello for tacitly acknowledging his mistake and deciding that Parker fits perfectly into a system that allows Wilshere the freedom to play. From the wilderness to a vital component in a matter of weeks. And astonishingly, he's only 30.



10 (26) - Ashley Young
'Clearly loads better than Shaun Wright-Phillips. Clear that is to everybody but Ian Wright and Fabio Capello,' I wrote in September. We suspect that even Wrighty would admit that Young trumps his boy now.



11 (32) - Andy Carroll
Forget the goal for a second - he looked like a carthorse against Ghana and you'll struggle to find a single person who puts him in the world-class bracket. But everything points to Capello seeing Carroll as the future focal point of the England attack. Even three goals in three games from Darren Bent cannot shift the notion that he is merely warming the penalty area for the big man with the big hair.



12 (11) - Rio Ferdinand
We assume he remains first choice if he's fit (and not sulking) but we're starting to wonder if we'll ever get to test that theory.



13 (10) - James Milner
You might be surprised to learn that before the Wales game, Milner had started the last four England games for which he'd been available. There's something of the 'not quite' about Milner, who nevertheless has a long international career ahead of him as a versatile, hard-working, energetic alternative. But he's simply nowhere near the same class as Wilshere in the middle or Young out wide - a James of all trades, but master of none. Useful, mind.



14 (18) - Michael Dawson
Leapfrogging Phil Jagielka in the wake of his assured performances in the Champions League into first-choice back-up at centre-half is the Tottenham defender viewed as something of a joke three or four years ago. We still raise eyebrows at the lack of pace in a Dawson-Terry partnership but at least Fabio has moved on from the days of begging phone calls to Jamie Carragher.



15 (20) - Darren Bent
Three goals in three games but we still suspect he's done little more than cement a place in the squad.



16 (15) - Ben Foster
Firmly established as England's No. 2. Which is not as s*** as it sounds.



17 (9) - Gareth Barry
Insipid and pedestrian - ladies and gentlemen, meet your latest England captain. In all fairness, Barry produced his most assured performance in an England shirt in quite some time against Ghana when given the armband and remains the reserve option for the holding role. But the fact that he didn't even make the bench in the match that mattered is telling. England are moving on quicker than Barry can run.



18 (38) - Leighton Baines
Phenomenal going forward, but do you trust him defensively? And after the Ghana game, do you trust him not to break someone's leg? Are you loving Ashley Cole a little more every day?



19 (36) - Stewart Downing
'We'll level with you...we kind of forgot he existed,' is wrote we wrote in September. We won't forget again after an intelligent and incisive performance against Ghana in his first England start in over two years. Lacks the pace of Theo Walcott or the creativity of Adam Johnson, but has the footballing brain to adapt to different positions and formations.



20 (8) - Jermain Defoe
Such is football. After the high of his performances against Bulgaria and Switzerland came the low of injury and a subsequent struggle for form. The formation currently favoured by Fabio further works against him, as does Rafael van der Vaart's presence at Tottenham. After a brief hurrah, he has now defaulted to his usual 'just not good enough at this level', erm, level.



21 (14) - Phil Jagielka
It must have hurt to see Dawson selected in his stead against Wales. If he wants to avoid further distress, he should probably avoid watching a re-run of the England-Ghana game in which he was close to woeful. He stays above Gary Cahill just because he seems to be - rather worryingly - the second-choice right-back. For now.



22 (13) - Theo Walcott
It's difficult to know where to place Walcott, Aaron Lennon and Adam Johnson on this list because they all had the misfortune to miss games in which their rivals for wide positions impressed. But as the Arsenal man started every England game before injury halted his season, we have to assume he will get another chance. Which he will presumably fire over the bar.



23 (41) - Robert Green
Remember those gloves with the 'England's No. 6' stitching? After a spell as an accidental No. 1, he can safely order a pair embroidered with 'England's No. 3'.



24 (24) - Gary Cahill
England's most impressive defender against Ghana, who tested his pace (speedy) as well as his aerial prowess (dominant). Possibly an all-round better player than Dawson or Jagielka but probably needs a move to a Champions League club to make that case.



25 (16) - Aaron Lennon
Assuming his fitness and assuming a 4-4-2, we expected Lennon to play against Wales and use his pace to help out Glen Johnson with Gareth Bale. But Lennon was once again injured and Fabio switched to a formation largely unfamiliar to the Tottenham winger. Frankly, we haven't a clue what Fabio is thinking about Walcott, Lennon and Johnson until we see his next squad...



26 (12) - Adam Johnson
...so we've just shoved them here for now. But we would ask whether starting eight Premier League games in a season is enough for someone with serious international ambitions. We would ask and we would know the answer.



27 (17) - Peter Crouch
We're not sure we've ever placed Crouch outside the 23-man squad before, but five starts in over three years under Capello tells you everything you need to know about where he stands in the affections of the Italian. Prolific? Yes. Popular? No.



27 (19) - Joleon Lescott
The last centre-half off the bench this week and 45 minutes against Ghana told you exactly why - lordy, he was rotten.



28 (NE) - Kyle Walker
Call-ups for the last two squads tell us he's ahead of Micah Richards in the right-back race. But judging by Capello's reluctance to call up the Manchester City defender, we suspect we might be ahead of Micah Richards in the right-back race.



29 (NE) - Matt Jarvis
A deserved call-up for the Wales and Ghana games but you have to wonder if he would have got the shout if half the Premier League's English wingers had not been crocked - though we are taking crumbs of comfort from the fact that he was preferred to Shaun Wright-Phillips.



30 (25) - Bobby Zamora
These games presumably came too early for the Fulham striker, but a return to any kind of goalscoring form would likely earn him another chance.



31 (21) - Shaun Wright-Phillips
Has the penny finally dropped?



32 (22) - Michael Carrick
Fabio doesn't like him. This is one of our favourite things about Fabio.



33 (NE) - Danny Welbeck
Did he just get his England debut to keep him out of Ghana's clutches? Will he care?



34 (46) - Chris Smalling
Henry Winter's favourite player. Not Fabio's yet.



35 (23) - Scott Carson
Fourth-choice goalkeeper by default until David Stockdale or Scott Loach get regular Premier League football.



36 (27) - Kieran Gibbs
Really, really needs Gael Cichy to leave Arsenal this summer.



37 (43) - Micah Richards
Did at least get 45 minutes against France and did not look out of his depth. Unlike...



38 (NE) - Jordan Henderson
His time will come. Possibly.



39 (31) - Tom Huddlestone
His time would have come v France. But he was crocked.



40 (35) - Carlton Cole
Was flavour of the month for about three weeks. We don't expect it to happen again.



THE REST

41 (33) - David Stockdale

42 (NE) - Martin Kelly

43 (NE) - Daniel Sturridge

44 (NE) - Joey Barton

45 (34) - Stephen Warnock

46 (28) - Joe Cole

47 (39) - Ryan Shawcross

48 (30) - Matthew Upson

49 (37) - Scott Loach

50 (50) - Phil Neville

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 Post subject: Re: The Euro 2012 England Ladder
PostPosted: Wed Sep 07, 2011 3:11 pm 
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In which we peer into the mind of Fabio Capello and try and work out where England players stand in his thoughts. And there are a couple of them who are irreplaceable...

1 (4) - Joe Hart
The only Premier League No. 1 anywhere near the England set-up. That makes him incredibly precious cargo and he should probably only ever travel in cars with one of those speed restriction devices to minimise the chances of an accident. Oh and for the record, if he ever does get injured and Ben Foster deigns to make himself available, we would like the incumbent England manager to ignore him and pick Robert Green, David Stockdale or even David James in his stead. Just to make a bloody point.


2 (2) - Ashley Cole
His twuntiness decrees that he will never get the credit as a footballer that he deserves but we are very, very glad indeed that he is a) English and b) almost never injured.


3 (5) - Wayne Rooney
'Not available for the Switzerland game? It's no longer even close to a crisis,' was the verdict back in March when we were aflush with optimism after the Wales-Ghana double header and Rooney was bald and pretty close to useless. Then he found both hair and form and the Bulgaria victory reminded us just how irresistible (footballistically, of course) Rooney could be in an England shirt. Would he prefer to play behind another striker? Probably. Do we have another striker in his class? No.


4 (1) - Jack Wilshere
England won twice without the boy wonder but we sure as hell missed him against Wales, where his dexterity, creativity and drive in tight spaces was sorely missed. If England do play three central midfielders, then one of them really needs to be Wilshere. Assuming we can get there without him (and assuming Arsene Wenger does not tell him he's in the red zone), his presence will be key at Euro 2012.


5 (10) - Ashley Young
England's player of 2011. Even before his move to Manchester United made him roughly 47% better (we won't bore you with the mathematics), he was making giant strides at international level. Capello made the mistake of not starting him v Switzerland in June but we doubt he will make that mistake again.


6 (3) - John Terry
When you're made to took a tad foolish by both Grant Holt and Steve Morison in successive weeks, you should start to worry about your defensive prowess. Indeed, you should start to worry that you've dropped through some kind of black hole into a parallel universe. But Terry is the England captain and will remain so - at least until News International launch another Sunday muckpaper.


7 (19) - Stewart Downing
What a difference a year - and a big-money move to Liverpool - makes. Downing has enjoyed something of an international renaissance with three starts in England's last four games. He might lack the raw pace of Theo Walcott or the ingenuity of Adam Johnson but he does offer oodles more intelligence and adaptability. Like Young, he is capable of playing anywhere along the '3' in a 4-2-3-1 formation and that makes him a very valuable asset indeed.


8 (7) - Steven Gerrard
The writing of this section was delayed for three-four minutes while we discussed England's first-choice side and whether Steven Gerrard would figure. Then we realised England never, ever get to pick their first-choice side and so it was a moot point. But what we do know is that a fit Steven Gerrard will at least feature in every England squad and probably every England XI. And yes, we're relatively happy with that.


9 (9) - Scott Parker
That Parker was rested for the Wales game in order to keep him suspension-free for the away game in Montenegro tells you how essential he has become to the England set-up in a relatively short period of time. Astonishingly, he's still only 30.


10 (6) - Glen Johnson
We wrote in March: 'Phil Jagielka showed us in 45 minutes against Ghana why Johnson is still the first-choice right-back by a country mile - and will be until Martin Kelly or Kyle Walker get the requisite experience. File this under 'we don't have to like it'.' We never bargained on Chris Smalling providing a viable alternative. Finally, Johnson will be the one feeling uncomfortable about his position as England's first-choice right-back.


11 (17) - Gareth Barry
'England are moving on quicker than Barry can run,' was the verdict back in March but Barry - buoyed by an injury-free, tournament-free summer - seems to have rediscovered some pace and even a little hint of dynamism for both club and country. Ah, so that's the Barry we needed in South Africa.


12 (12) - Rio Ferdinand
We assume he remains first choice if he's fit. In the same way that we assume we would get a tan if the sun came out.


13 (8) - Frank Lampard
Will he be in England's next squad? And the one after that? And the one after that? And the Euro 2012 squad (assuming we get there)? Yes, yes, yes and yes. Will he start any more games for England? Maybe not. Only fools would say that he should be discarded from the England set-up. But equally, only fools would suggest he is untouchable because of previous form he is currently struggling to replicate.


14 (24) - Gary Cahill
Fabio has experimented with various 'not Ferdinand' options in the centre of defence but assured performances against Ghana, Bulgaria and Wales seem have put Cahill ahead of Phil Jagielka, Joleon Lescott and the discarded Michael Dawson. We're rather pleased that he did not need to leave Bolton to corner the third-choice centre-half market, though we suspect he will be looking anxiously over his shoulder at Phil Jones.


15 (22) - Theo Walcott
When Walcott is available, Walcott does tend to start - curiously ahead of both Young and Downing in June for the Switzerland game. Half of England finds Walcott entirely infuriating to watch, but Capello seems to be firmly camped in the other half that thinks his pace is worth the infuriation.


16 (13) - James Milner
There's something of the 'not quite' about Milner, who nevertheless has a long international career ahead of him as a versatile, hard-working, energetic alternative. But he's simply nowhere near the same class as Wilshere in the middle or Young out wide - a James of all trades, but master of none. Useful, mind.


17 (23) - Robert Green
Remember those gloves with the 'England's No. 6' stitching? make it 'England's No. 2' now. He can thank Foster.


18 (34) - Chris Smalling
The highest climber. Who knew he would make a better right-back than pretty much every other Englishman? And who knew it would only take about five games to claim that spot?


19 (11) - Andy Carroll
I can't shake the notion that Fabio Capello would love to build his England attack around Carroll and play Rooney behind/to the side of the big man. But the big man keeps foiling him by being a bit carthorsey and rubbish. We suspect Kenny Daglish shares Fabio's pain.


20 (26) - Adam Johnson
Offers that little bit of something different that means the likes of Aaron Lennon and Shaun Wright-Phillips (with their 'just a s*** Theo Walcott' schtick) are left out in the cold.


21 (18) - Leighton Baines
Firmly extablished as England's second-choice left-back. And we quite like his hair. That is all.


22 (15) - Darren Bent
We're still not convinced and we don't think Capello is either. Would he have played v Bulgaria or Wales if he was fit? Unfortunately we will never know for sure. Of course, being clever buggers, we think we know the answer.


23 (41) - David Stockdale
The on-loan Ipswich keeper is England's third-choice keeper by default. This is worrying to almost everyone but the on-loan Ipswich keeper.


24 (21) - Phil Jagielka
The reverberations of an utterly rotten performance against Ghana are still being felt by Jagielka, who no longer sneaks into our 23-man squad on the flimsy basis that he's the second-choice right-back.


25 (20) - Jermain Defoe
Rewind a year and Defoe was scoring a hat-trick against Bulgaria and then looking like a genuine international footballer against Switzerland. Now he might as well have 'unused sub' attached to the end of his name.


26 (NE) - Phil Jones
Anyone want to bet against him making his England debut in the next friendly? Let's face it, if you're a) English and b) play regularly for a top-six Premier League club, you will play regularly for England. Unless you're Michael Carrick or Jordan Henderson.


27 (NE) - Tom Cleverley
See above.


28 (37) - Micah Richards
Named in Capello's last two England squads so he is at least back on the Italian's radar...just in time to see Chris Smalling acquit himself relatively well in his position. Bugger.


29 (27) - Joleon Lescott
He has been named in Capello's last eight squads and yet we remain utterly unconvinced that he will ever play again for England.


30 (33) - Danny Welbeck
Not quite as good as the media would have you believe. But still better than Peter Crouch.


31 (28) - Kyle Walker
In and amongst and around and about but yet to make his England debut.


32 (27) - Peter Crouch
For his latest trick, Capello stopped even pretending he was interested in Crouch and left him out of the squad altogether.


33 (32) - Michael Carrick
Fabio doesn't like him. This is one of our favourite things about Fabio.


34 (14) - Michael Dawson
Quite a fall from grace. Started alongside John Terry v Wales in March. Presumably he watched this latest match from his sofa. Unfortunately he has reverted to slightly awkward, slow type after his Champions League advantures.


35 (25) - Aaron Lennon
Odd to think that he went to the World Cup last year.


36 (30) - Bobby Zamora
Needs another run of goals. Unlikely to get another run of goals.


37 (29) - Matt Jarvis
Will he ever be more than a quiz question answer?


38 (NE) - Frank Fielding
Times are hard.


39 (31) - Shaun Wright-Phillips
Really sodding odd that he went to the World Cup last year.


40 (NE) - Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain
If he overtakes Walcott for club, he will soon do the same for country.

41 (38) - Jordan Henderson
42 (36) - Kieran Gibbs
43 (42) - Martin Kelly
44 (39) - Tom Huddlestone
45 (44) - Joey Barton
46 (NE) - Ross Barkley
47 (43) - Daniel Sturridge
48 (45) - Stephen Warnock
49 (47) - Ryan Shawcross
50 (50) - Phil Neville

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 Post subject: Owen
PostPosted: Tue Sep 20, 2011 3:39 pm 
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Henry Winter looks like this...

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Enough said IMO.

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 Post subject: Re: The General Chelsea Thread
PostPosted: Wed Sep 21, 2011 9:22 am 
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JSP wrote:
Is Winter the one who constantly bangs on about getting Owen back in the England side? For god sake man let it go players come and go the key to good management is realising when a players starting to fall from the peak and moving them on.


0906 FOOTBALL: The Daily Telegraph's Henry Winter on Twitter: "Capello always dismissive when we badger him about @themichaelowen. Pity. Owen would be a great wild-card for England at Euros."



:busted:

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 Post subject: Re: The General Chelsea Thread
PostPosted: Wed Sep 21, 2011 9:38 am 
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How far can this guy f*ck off?

He's a real wild card is Owen I mean it's not like everyone in Europe knows who he is and what he can do. I mean really this guy is paid for his opinion?

Talk about being stuck in the past what is better for England considering we all know that we can't win the next tournament rolling out the "golden generation" for one last crack or giving the youngsters a chance in a big tournament.

Strikers currently ahead of Owen

Rooney
Bent
Defoe
Carroll
Zamora
Sturridge
Welbeck
Agbonlahor


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 Post subject: Re: The General Chelsea Thread
PostPosted: Wed Sep 21, 2011 9:41 am 
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His main argument currently is "We're 1-0 down with minutes to go..who do you want to bring on, Defoe or Owen?"

I've brought Shearer on.

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 Post subject: Re: The General Chelsea Thread
PostPosted: Wed Sep 21, 2011 9:46 am 
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borocooper wrote:
His main argument currently is "We're 1-0 down with minutes to go..who do you want to bring on, Defoe or Owen?"

I've brought Shearer on.


Personally I'd go Lineker with Charlton hovering on the edge of the box for anything that drops down.

This guy just doesn't get it does he we're not going to Euro 2012 to try and win the trophy we can't Spain, Germany, Holland, France are all better sides than us. This tournament for me should be about getting Hart, Jones, Smalling, Richards, Cahill, Cleverley, Wilshere, Welbeck, Young etc experience of playing in a big tournament.

This tw*t would rather we line up Hart, Johnson, Terry, Rio, Cole, Walcott, Lampard, Gerrard, Young, Rooney & Owen for another inevitable 1/4 exit.


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 Post subject: Re: The General Chelsea Thread
PostPosted: Wed Sep 21, 2011 10:00 am 
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JSP wrote:
This guy just doesn't get it does he we're not going to Euro 2012 to try and win the trophy


Whilst we're not favourites that has got to be wrong. Everyone who is going to Euro 2012 is going there trying to win it otherwise what's the point in turning up.

We all know Football isn't as predictable as others would like to think. Birmingham picked up a trophy last year. Their will be loads of evidence throughout history of teams winning trophy's when not having the best squad but with a bit of luck and determination it's possible, if we don't even want to try and win it I'd say we may as well pull out now.

I'd also argue against France being a better side than us.

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 Post subject: Re: The General Chelsea Thread
PostPosted: Wed Sep 21, 2011 10:13 am 
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Im sure the players are going to try and win..but the reality is it's hugely unlikely we will..and putting Owen on the plane as a "wildcard" at the expense of a young guy who might get some much needed big tournament experience seems ridiculous.

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 Post subject: Re: The General Chelsea Thread
PostPosted: Wed Sep 21, 2011 10:25 am 
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I agree. You've got to look at the strikers we're taken first.

You get 23 players. We've got to assume that's 3 GK's 8 DF's 8 MF's 4 ST's

Based on that there isn't any space for Owen in the team. Rooney Bent Carroll Defoe would probably be the obvious choice.

Though I can see where he's coming from, 110th minute of the game. Bent picks up and injury and the score is level. I'd rather so Owen coming on as an impact sub than Carroll or Defoe in that tense nerve racking situation with Penaltys to follow.

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 Post subject: Re: The General Chelsea Thread
PostPosted: Wed Sep 21, 2011 10:28 am 
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idontfeardeath wrote:
Whilst we're not favourites that has got to be wrong. Everyone who is going to Euro 2012 is going there trying to win it otherwise what's the point in turning up.

We all know Football isn't as predictable as others would like to think. Birmingham picked up a trophy last year. Their will be loads of evidence throughout history of teams winning trophy's when not having the best squad but with a bit of luck and determination it's possible, if we don't even want to try and win it I'd say we may as well pull out now.

I'd also argue against France being a better side than us.


Do you really think Sweden, Slovakia and the like go there thinking they can win it? They go there with a target and ours should be a semi final as we've proven over the last 20 years that we are at best a 1/4 final nation.

Birmingham picked up a trophy where most top sides put out reserve sides until it gets interesting and I can't see the top European sides crashing out early as the groups are designed in a way that the big nations get through.

If there was only 1 better team than us I'd say we had a chance but for me Spain, Germany & Holland are miles ahead of us at the moment in terms of first XI and squad depth. Then I'd say there's another pool of teams Portugal, Italy, France & England where a result could go either way.

Didn't France beat us at Wembley a few months back quite easily IIRC.

For England to win anything we need a massive slice of luck. Our new counter attacking style might suit playing better sides as we can sit back and hit on the break but I don't think our defence is anywhere near solid enough to keep a good side out.


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 Post subject: Re: The Euro 2012 England Ladder
PostPosted: Mon Oct 10, 2011 7:18 pm 
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1 (1) - Joe Hart
Still the only Premier League No. 1 anywhere near the England set-up thanks to Ben Foster and Paul Robinson taking their gloves home in fits of pique. Thankfully he's rather bloody good and is yet to be on the losing side for England in 14 matches. In order to preserve this incredible statistic, Fabio Capello should probably think about throwing Scott Carson in against Spain.


2 (5) - Ashley Young
England's player of 2011 and now England's top scorer of 2011 with four goals. Whatever your club allegiance, it should be refreshing to watch a good English player become a very good English player in just a few impressive months. Now the challenge is to cruise from 'very good' to 'great' without becoming an utter, utter twunt in the process.


3 (4) - Jack Wilshere
England have got over the finishing line without Wilshere but we certainly missed his dexterity, creativity and drive against Wales and then Montenegro, when having basically two of the same player in Parker/Barry backfired when the opposition decided to belatedly apply some pressure. It's a damned shame we won't have him against Spain but we'll trade that for having him fit in June.


4 (2) - Ashley Cole
Was it just complacency that made him look vulnerable against Montenegro? Is it worth picking Leighton Baines for a couple of matches simply to remind him that he's not the only left-back in England?


5 (3) - Wayne Rooney
'The Bulgaria victory reminded us just how irresistible (footballistically, of course) Rooney could be in an England shirt,' was last month's verdict. And then the Montenegro game reminded us just how infuriating he could also be in an England shirt. There's no point indulging in psychoanalysis - the bottom line is that he can be an absolute tool. The further he drops down this ladder, the healthier for England.


6 (6) - John Terry
That he was at least partly at fault for Montenegro's opener is irrelevant - he is England's captain and thus all-but guaranteed to start every game for which he is fit in Polkraine. File under 'we don't have to like it'.


7 (9) - Scott Parker
There is such a dearth of defensively-minded England midfielders that Parker has reached the elevated status of 'one of the first names on the team sheet' and everybody whistles, looks the other way and pretends not to notice his mistakes in an England shirt. We notice them, say 'hmmmmmm' and hope Owen Hargreaves will one day become a fully functioning footballer again.


8 (8) - Steven Gerrard
'Who will replace Rooney?' was the question. Well, here's your answer - Gerrard will play in the middle of the '3' of a 4-2-3-1 when he is fit. And he probably won't kick somebody just because he has the temerity to have momentarily better ball control.


9 (15) - Theo Walcott
Like him or find him utterly, utterly infuriating, Walcott does tend to start whenever he is available. Stewart Downing probably thought he had done enough in the Arsenal winger's absence but he was back on the bench for the Montenegro game as one pin-point cross appeared to justify Fabio's selection. By the way, Nick Miller swears the ball bobbled so the cross was, in essence, a fluke.


10 (11) - Gareth Barry
Against Bulgaria and then for 44 minutes against Montenegro, Barry's partnership with Parker looked vaguely like one you could possibly take into a major tournament. And then Montenegro started playing. But as it stands - barring Hargreaves getting fit - it's difficult to see Barry not going to Polkraine. Thankfully he looks about 37% better/quicker than he did in South Africa.


11 (7) - Stewart Downing
A lack of raw pace is no bar to a place in Liverpool's first XI but at international level, Downing is finding Theo Walcott an annoyingly quick and difficult man to displace. But Capello is a fan and being able to play anywhere along the '3' in a 4-2-3-1 formation makes him a very valuable asset. A shoo-in for the squad.


12 (10) - Glen Johnson
Phil Jones did a passable impressive of Glen Johnson's 'dangerous going forward, dangerous going backwards' schtick against Montenegro and there was little to suggest that Johnson will not be Fabio's first-choice right-back when he eventually returns to fitness. After all, Johnson has 34 games experience of scaring the bejesus out of us - Jones can't waltz in, do it once and expect to take over.


13 (13) - Frank Lampard
Will he be in England's next squad? And the one after that? And the one after that? And the Euro 2012 squad? Yes, yes, yes and yes. Will he start any more games for England? Maybe not.


14 (14) - Gary Cahill
'We're rather pleased that he did not need to leave Bolton to corner the third-choice centre-half market, though we suspect he will be looking anxiously over his shoulder at Phil Jones,' we wrote last month. He's the man currently in possession of the shirt but is he really any better than the Matthew Upson of two years ago? How long will he be able to resist the charge of Jones and Smalling? Until just after the Spain game, we suspect.


15 (22) - Darren Bent
Four goals in four consecutive away games and the nod in Montenegro ahead of Andy Carroll, Bobby Zamora and Danny Welbeck. Is Fabio finally convinced that Bent is rather more than a decent Premier League player? Or - perhaps more likely - that a decent Premier League player is about as good as it gets in the absence of Rooney.


16 (16) - James Milner
There's something of the 'not quite' about Milner, who nevertheless has a long international career ahead of him as a versatile, hard-working, energetic alternative. But he's simply nowhere near the same class as Wilshere in the middle or Young out wide - a James of all trades, but master of none. Useful, mind.


17 (26) - Phil Jones
He's not a right-back. But he does offer a glimpse of an England future that is not reliant on Rio Ferdinand. We expect him to start alongside John Terry when England face Spain next month and we will have fingers, toes and other extremities crossed that it works. The only question is whether he can be ready for a European Championship by June.


18 (17) - Robert Green
England's No. 2 we assume.


19 (18) - Chris Smalling
The more Smalling and Jones play for Manchester United, the better chance of both boarding the plane to Polkraine. They offer a versatility not offered by Cahill, with Smalling in particular impressing at right-back against Bulgaria and Wales. When we say 'impressing', we mean he didn't give us kittens. This is enough to impress us in an England right-back these days.


20 (20) - Adam Johnson
Offers that little bit of something different that means the likes of Aaron Lennon and Shaun Wright-Phillips (with their 'just a s*** Theo Walcott' schtick) are left out in the cold.


21 (19) - Andy Carroll
I can't shake the notion that Fabio Capello would love to build his England attack around Carroll and play Rooney behind/to the side of the big man. But the big man keeps foiling him by being a bit carthorsey and rubbish. If that theme continues, Bobby Zamora could be an unlikely face on that airport steps photograph.


22 (21) - Leighton Baines
Firmly extablished as England's second-choice left-back. And we quite like his hair. That is all.


23 (23) - David Stockdale
If we were to predict England's three goalkeepers or Polkraine, we would go Hart, Green/Carson as the safe (ahem) pair of hands and Stockdale to give him a taste of tournament life.


24 (12) - Rio Ferdinand
We assume he goes if he's fit. But what are the chances?


25 (30) - Danny Welbeck
Coming off the bench in Montenegro confirms he is very much in Capello's plans. Now just needs a barnstormer in an England shirt to make it impossible for the Italian to leave him behind.


26 (36) - Bobby Zamora
'Needs another run of goals. Unlikely to get another run of goals,' was last month's verdict. Wrong. Andy Carroll needs to watch his back - a difficult move to pull off from a bar stool.


27 (24) - Phil Jagielka
There's no longer any space in the squad for a decent centre-half who is also a vaguely passable full-back.


28 (25) - Jermain Defoe
The bad news is that he was left out of the squad for Montenegro. The good news is that Capello mentioned him in despatches. Shame that Euro 2012 is being held in Polkraine and not in despatches.


29 (27) - Tom Cleverley
Curse those rioters.


30 (31) - Kyle Walker
In the squad again, but the fact that Capello chose to play Jones out of position over and above picking Walker in his natural position is pretty damning.


31 (28) - Micah Richards
See above.


32 (RE) - Owen Hargreaves
We can dream. We will.


33 (RE) - Gaby Agbonlahor
May well have been in Fabio's squad for Montenegro but for an untimely back injury. Offers the versatility of being able to play on the wing as well as up front - something that may yet bring in him or Daniel Sturridge ahead of an out-and-out wide man like Johnson.


34 (29) - Joleon Lescott
'He has been named in Capello's last eight squads and yet we remain utterly unconvinced that he will ever play again for England,' we wrote last month. Capello was also unconvinced and he was dropped.


35 (47) - Daniel Sturridge
Some were surprised that he was left out of Capello's last squad. Not us - we'll save our surprise for when he is left out of the next friendly squads.


36 (RE) - Joe Cole
We hear he's doing well in France. Should Adam Johnson be worried?


37 (32) - Peter Crouch
Out of sight at Stoke, out of mind.


38 (40) - Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain
Theo wasn't half as good as The Ox when he was picked for a major tournament.


39 (33) - Michael Carrick
Fabio doesn't like him. This is one of our favourite things about Fabio.


40 (RE) - Scott Carson
Recalled from Turkey to sit on the bench v Montenegro. We don't think he'll get that call if Rob Green is fit.

41 (34) - Michael Dawson
42 (43) - Martin Kelly
43 (35) - Aaron Lennon
44 (39) - Shaun Wright-Phillips
45 (48) - Stephen Warnock
46 (42) - Kieran Gibbs
47 (41) - Jordan Henderson
48 (NE) - Steven Taylor
49 (44) - Tom Huddlestone
50 (50) - Phil Neville

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 Post subject: Re: The Euro 2012 England Ladder
PostPosted: Tue Nov 15, 2011 10:55 pm 
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Some interesting dilemmas

DEF: Pick 8 or 9

Johnson
Walker
Jones CB RB DM
Smalling CB RB
Jagielka CB RB
Terry Capt
Ferdinand
Lescott :idea: can play LB
Cahill
Cole
Baines (cries when he goes to London.... 25 days in Poland he'll top himself)
Warnock/Gibbs

MID: Pick 8 or 9

Gerrard
Lampard
Barry
Parker
Milner
Downing
Johnson
Walcott
Young
Rodwell
Wilshere
Cleverley
(Hargreaves)

ATT: Pick 4 or 5

Rooney
Bent
Welbeck
Sturridge
Zamora
Crouch
Carroll
Defoe
Agbonlahor

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 Post subject: Re: The Euro 2012 England Ladder
PostPosted: Tue Nov 15, 2011 11:13 pm 
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oh yeah

.....and Carrick :angelnot:

























......and Owen :angelnot:

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 Post subject: Re: The Euro 2012 England Ladder
PostPosted: Tue Nov 15, 2011 11:39 pm 
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Given the amount of time he decided to give Adam Johnson over these last 2 games I woud suggest he might well be left out completely.

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 Post subject: Re: The Euro 2012 England Ladder
PostPosted: Sun Nov 20, 2011 3:41 am 
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It's getting awfully hard to predict who will be in Fabio Capello's squad. We should warn you - Gareth Bary will be going. Get used to it. But Phil Jagielka won't. We think.


1 (1) - Joe Hart
Oh me of little faith. Last month I suggested throwing in Scott Carson against Spain to protect Hart's remarkable unbeaten record in an England shirt. No need. The record now stands at 16 matches and we would happily start using one of those God-awful Sun prayer mats to keep him safe for Polkraine. Meanwhile, the FA should appoint a Medieval-style dedicated food taster so he doesn't get so much as a tummy bug. We need him safe.


2 (7) - Scott Parker
From the wilderness to undroppable in nine short months. He was always a shoo-in for the MOTM award against a Spain side operating mostly on his patch but you simply cannot argue with his application. In the absence of any other serious candidate in his position, Parker's position is safer than the Green Cross Code.


3 (4) - Ashley Cole
Worrying complacency against Montenegro was followed by impressive concentration against Spain. The better the opposition, the better the performance from one of the world's best left-backs. Leighton Baines is a decent, hairy understudy but we're a lot happier with Cole in the side, thanks.


4 (3) - Jack Wilshere
England beat both Spain and Sweden without the golden boy but we missed his touch of quality and drive in midfield. You can't help but think we would have had a tad more possession against the world champions if Wilshere was slotted in beside Parker, as he presumably will be in Polkraine.


5 (2) - Ashley Young
Drops down the rankings because James Milner and then Stewart Downing did rather fine jobs against Spain and then Sweden in his stead. But still England's top scorer of 2011 and - barring a rotten run of form that sees him lose his Man United place - he will be on the plane.


6 (5) - Wayne Rooney
'The further he drops down this ladder, the healthier for England' was last month's verdict. Is one place enough of a drop to take any kind of comfort? We're no nearer to knowing his striking replacement than we were before the friendly double-header. This is worrying. And that is an understatement.


7 (6) - John Terry
He claims he doesn't see himself as 'undroppable'. He probably is.


8 (8) - Steven Gerrard
Assuming he's fit and assuming he's in any kind of form, Gerrard will be in the middle of the '3' in a 4-2-3-1 at the European Championship. And whoever is the '1' in that formation will be very pleased indeed with Gerrard's willingness to get beyond as well as service a striker. Watch Phil Jones' performance v Spain and imagine Gerrard in that position. You wouldn't have seen Darren Bent gesticulating that the ball was played too late for him to stay onside.


9 (11) - Stewart Downing
The only outfield player to feature in every England match this season and he saved his finest performance for the Sweden friendly, when he delivered for the only goal and could have had several more assists if his teammates' finishing had been better. Roy Keane wondered aloud whether he had the 'heart'. We're more inclined to wonder whether he has the 'legs'. Capello clearly believes he has both.


10 (12) - Glen Johnson
One of the things listed in our 'Fabio's Five Questions For England v Spain' feature was whether Johnson was still his first-choice right-back, having held that position for three years. He played. He was was quite decent. There will be those who splutter 'but Kyle Walker was brilliant against Sweden', to which we answer 'Sweden didn't really turn up'. For now at least Johnson remains the only specialist right-back likely to make the cut.


11 (13) - Frank Lampard
He'll definitely go. He might not play.


12 (9) - Theo Walcott
Like him or find him utterly, utterly infuriating, Walcott does tend to start whenever he is available as England's one-and-only out-and-out pace merchant.


13 (10) - Gareth Barry
Nick Miller was aghast on Tuesday night that Gareth Barry wore the No. 10 shirt. Don't worry Nick, he won't be wearing the No. 10 shirt in Polkraine. But he will be wearing the No. 17 or something similar, causing half of a nation (and Henry Winter) to throw their arms in the air and bemoan that he was chosen ahead of Jack Rodwell and the rest of us to point out that Barry is a key part of an all-conquering City side and actually, you know, he's much, much fitter and faster than he was in South Africa. Capello has named him in every single squad since he took over in early 2008. He's going. Get used to it.


14 (15) - Darren Bent
Rooney's replacement by default. Capello always seems less than convinced by Bent and we're inclined to agree - he thrives on balls behind the defence and barely takes part in the possession-based football Capello is trying to foster. Play the ball towards Bent and he will either score or miss - it's unlikely that you will retain possession. It's difficult to shake the notion that Capello would much rather have him as an option off the bench if a goal is required.


15 (16) - James Milner
Another one of Capello's favourites - he's been in all the Italian's squads for which he's been available since autumn 2009. Lacks the class of Wilshere in the middle, the speed of Walcott or Young out wide and the drive of Gerrard behind a striker, but he can do a decent job in all those positions. And - as we saw v Spain - as a very, very defensive winger.


16 (14) - Gary Cahill
Started four out of five England games this season. Unfortunately for Cahill, the fifth saw England's finest defensive performance in recent times. Whether Cahill starts in June may well depend on where he is on the final day of January. Relegation would not be the ideal pre-cursor to an international tournament.


17 (17) - Phil Jones
We expected him to start at least one England game at centre-half this week but perhaps Capello is working on the theory that he already knows he's a decent centre-half and right-back - what he needed to know is whether he can fill a midfield role if required. The answer is a tentative 'yes' and that means Jones provides back-up for Glen Johnson, Scott Parker and the centre-halves. That sounds like the recipe for a Euro 2012 squad place to us.


18 (40) - Scott Carson
In the absence of Robert Green at least, he's Joe Hart's No. 2. Pray to whoever you believe in (God, Allah, Lady Gaga) that's what he remains.


19 (22) - Leighton Baines
Firmly extablished as England's second-choice left-back. And we quite like his hair. That is all.


20 (34) - Joleon Lescott
Dropped from the squad altogether for the Montenegro game and then recalled to the team for the Spain match - and he was absolutely phenomenal. Barring a car crash of a post-Xmas season, those 90 minutes will probably earn him a place on the plane. Oh and he's rather good for the Premier League leaders.


21 (25) - Danny Welbeck
Did enough in his half-hour v Spain to suggest that he is a genuine option in England's elusive search for a striker and it's a real shame we didn't see him start v Sweden. Now he's reliant on Sir Alex Ferguson giving him enough club football to justify an international place. Here's hoping fears from United fans about the reliability of his fitness are just fears.


22 (36) - Bobby Zamora
A goal would certainly have helped his cause but his Emile Heskey-style non-scoring striker performance was decent enough v Sweden to put him above Andy Carroll in this list. At least he moves.


23 (23) - David Stockdale
Clinging on and presumably hoping nobody spots him at the back.


24 (20) - Adam Johnson
Offers something a little different. But is it enough to justify a squad place if everyone is fit? Especially when his club manager has doubts about his attitude and workrate.


25 (27) - Phil Jagielka
We could show you a whole page of machinations but basically, we can't see Capello taking four dedicated centre-halves AND Phil Jones. If only Jagielka had put in that eye-catching display against Spain. Oh, and played Champions League football.


26 (19) - Chris Smalling
He sure chose the wrong time to get injured. Again. His time will come.


27 (18) - Robert Green
He needs new stitching on his gloves. Again.


28 (21) - Andy Carroll
"Yes, but that depends on him. Not on me," said Capello when asked this week whether Carroll had an international future under his management. I still believe that Carroll is the Italian's ideal choice as his spearhead but the Liverpool man continues to foil him by being all rubbish and statuesque (and not in a good way like Erin O'Connor).


29 (31) - Kyle Walker
As good as he was v Sweden, history tells us that England managers take one specialist right-back to major tournaments. He's got an awful long way to go to displace Glen Johnson.


30 (24) - Rio Ferdinand
Harry Redknapp says he would still be his first-choice cente-half. Has he not noticed the 'back knack' thing?


31 (NE) - Jack Rodwell
Henry Winter loves him. Henry Winter isn't picking the squad. Euro 2012 might just come just too soon for a player seemingly unfazed by his elevation. Except for that miss. That was sh*t.


32 (28) - Jermain Defoe
Simply doesn't fit into England's preferred 4-2-3-1 formation. Hell, he barely fits into Tottenham's preferred 4-4-1-1 formation.


33 (35) - Daniel Sturridge
Made the squad, came off the bench, looked uncomfortable.


34 (29) - Tom Cleverley
Curse those rioters (and injury).


35 (31) - Micah Richards
Curse Capello's utter lack of interest in his exceptional form.


36 (33) - Gaby Agbonlahor
Injury once again robbed him of his chance, though realistically it's difficult to see who he would displace as he's ill-suited to a lone striker role and there's oodles of competition on the wing.


37 (32) - Owen Hargreaves
We can dream. We will.


38 (38) - Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain
Established in the England Under-21s and really rather good.


39 (36) - Joe Cole
We hear he's doing well in France. Does he have an outside chance, peut-etre?


40 (37) - Peter Crouch
Out of sight at Stoke, out of mind.

41 (48) - Steven Taylor
42 (42) - Martin Kelly
43 (39) - Michael Carrick
44 (41) - Michael Dawson
45 (RE) - Joey Barton
46 (NE) - Danny Simpson
47 (43) - Aaron Lennon
48 (47) - Jordan Henderson
49 (45) - Stephen Warnock
50 (50) - Phil Neville

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 Post subject: Re: The Euro 2012 England Ladder
PostPosted: Wed Jan 18, 2012 12:41 pm 
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The squad is a 23 man squad.

With Rooney's suspension do you think we'll take 5 strikers?

At this moment in time who do you take?

Rooney - Without a doubt. Though I think he's possibly the only striker definitely guaranteed a place.
Bent - Probably Englands best goalscorer but he isn't producing it this season.
Defoe - Can't get in the Tottenham first 11 when everyone is fit will he decide to leave?
Crouch - His goalscoring record for England is excellent but for me he just isn't an international striker.
Welbeck - Playing regularly with Rooney probably gives him the upper hand on his rivals.
Sturidge - He played brilliantly for Bolton last season and continues to impress at Chelsea
Agbonlahor - I actually really like him and he seems to have rediscovered that yard of pace he was missing last year.
Heskey - Surely he wont go this time round? But Capello liked him at the world cup.
Zomora - He would have gone to the world cup had it not been for injury, can he force his way in to the England side?

I'm sure i've probably missed someone out as well.

Who do you take?

If it's a 4 man strike force i'd be going

Rooney Bent Welbeck Sturidge

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Last edited by idontfeardeath on Wed Jan 18, 2012 1:12 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: The Euro 2012 England Ladder
PostPosted: Wed Jan 18, 2012 12:51 pm 
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i'd still take Defoe over Sturridge as exclusively a striker.... but Sturridge playing RF & RW/RM is in his favour



Take Grant Holt :D

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 Post subject: Re: The Euro 2012 England Ladder
PostPosted: Wed Jan 18, 2012 1:11 pm 
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I'd agree with your four idfd but because of Rooney being suspended I'd be tempted to take five and add Crouch. He does a job and would at least be a plan b if needed. A better plan b than Heskey anyway.


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