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Saturday, June 05, 2010

Group C - England

Nickname – The Three Lions


If Eredivisie Champion and Netherlands coach of the year Steven McClaren did a mess out this same squad for the qualifying of Euro 2008 loosing bit time against Croatia, Fabio Capello introducing new methods trashed in fashionable way Croatia this time 4-1 away and 5-1 at home. Scoring staggering 34 goals and having only 6 goals against, 9 wins of possible 10. Couldn’t done best as they topped the group to qualify to this summer World Cup.


Jun 12 Rustenburg England v United States - Here’s a intriguing encounter. Why? Because England won 7 times against USA having lost just twice, but here comes the interesting part -> England Scored 35 and conceded 8 goals which is remarkable, but that comes out of friendly matches, because even though it was back in the 1950’s World Cup, the only true competitive match they played against each other USA won 1-0 against England. That’s why this is the most important match of the group C. Will the World Cup record prevails and give Obama’s boys the victory or will England trash the Americans as they did often in away games with results like 0-5, 0-10, 1-8, 3-6? Seems like we are into playstation mode.

Jun 18 Cape Town England v Algeria - Never Played. England never lost a game against an African Nation.

Jun 23 Pt Elizabeth Slovenia v England - England played once against Slovenia having won for the narrowest margin of 2-1. World cup decisions are in favor of the Capello’s side.

Goalkeepers: Joe Hart (Birmingham City), David James (Portsmouth), Robert Green (West Ham United).

Defenders: Jamie Carragher (Liverpool), Ashley Cole (Chelsea), Rio Ferdinand (Manchester United), Glen Johnson (Liverpool), Ledley King (Tottenham Hotspur), John Terry (Chelsea), Matthew Upson (West Ham), Stephen Warnock (Aston Villa)

Midfielders: Gareth Barry (Manchester City), Michael Carrick (Manchester United), Joe Cole (Chelsea), Steven Gerrard (Liverpool), Frank Lampard (Chelsea), Aaron Lennon (Tottenham Hotspur), James Milner (Aston Villa), Shaun Wright-Phillips (Manchester City)

Strikers: Peter Crouch (Tottenham Hotspur), Jermain Defoe (Tottenham Hotspur), Emile Heskey (Aston Villa), Wayne Rooney (Manchester United)


Fabio Capello is defined by his 4-4-2 formation playing direct football with a fantasista, Rooney and an anchor-man, Gareth Barry or James Milner. Switching from an anchor-man to a winger can easily see Wright-Phillips or Lennon making England to operate their game through the flanks. James, Ashley Cole, Glen Johnson, Terry, Ferdinand; Barry, Gerrard, Lampard, Adam Johnson, Rooney, Defoe.


John Terry is undisputedly one of the best central defenders in the world if not the best at this moment. The Chelsea’s skipper may have lost captaincy to Ferdinand due to problems of the field but on the pitch he is somehow close to perfection when it comes to defend whether it is on the marking or tackling action. The loss of the armband won’t change the commitment Terry has or the way he calls the shots on England’s last third. He is the commander of the Britain’s ship. A season with 62 matches played will give him the consistency to lead the squad in the centre of defense with Ferdinand case Rio gets fully fit.

Steven Gerrard distracted by all season’s transfer rumors but still managed to keep his composure this season even when he did not perform at the levels he was used to. Nonetheless, his goal scoring label from long range makes him one of the most dangerous midfielders worldwide. Adding depth to Liverpool and England’s game through his vision and wonderful break-passes will unquestionably make Gerrard the focus of opposition’s marking. Stats illustrate Steven’s season with 48 matches, 13 goals and 12 assists enough to take Liverpool to semis in the Europa League.

Frank Lampard had the best season ever with Chelsea hopes to have the same impact in this World Cup. 32 years old but still doesn’t seem to getting into the twilight stages of his career and au-contraire he seems to be like the wine, older the better. Taking into account that he is the organizer of Chelsea’s game meaning he is a central midfielder, his season consisted of 59 matches, 34 goals, 17 assists. Likewise to Gerrard, Lampard has a ferocious shot and insightful passing delivery making him another of England’s threat. Started as a defensive midfielder in West Ham ranks and then moved to Chelsea where he started to develop the no.10 position which makes of him a box-to-box and well rounded top midfielder.

Wayne Rooney was highly rated to be this season best player in the world, but succumbing to injuries made the other football pearl Messi take the advantage but still Rooney has recovered to make a final wonderful season and to be nominated Premier League Player of the season. 50 matches, 40 goals, 7 assists was the overall stats of Rooney and even England’s performances stand out with 9 matches, 9 goals and 5 assists. Powerful, strong, individually motivated he incisively motivates the squad and surely he is a wonder in the green fields. From distance or close to goal, wherever he runs into will be a player to follow. Superb Work-rate levels, passion, thriving dribbles are some of the characteristics that the English starlet has.


The surprise omissions are Beckham through injury even though he will be involved in the squad matters requested by Capello. Ashley Young failed to make international impact as much as he delivers in Aston Villa’s shirt.


"I think we've put the record straight, to some extent. Since the manager arrived, there has been nothing but hard work, our confidence has come on a million miles in the way the team is playing. Today typified everything about us in this campaign. It is the first step and we've qualified now but there's still a long way to go." England midfielder Frank Lampard, following the 5-1 home win over Croatia which sealed qualification for South Africa 2010.

- Fabio Capello –

1 Champions League – Milan - 1994;

1 European Supercup – Milan - 1995;

5 Serie A – Roma 2001/ Milan 1996, 1994, 1993,1992.

4 Supercoppa – Roma 2001/ Milan 1994, 1993, 1992.

1 Primera Division – 1997, 2007

Career made of 764 matches with 55% Win, 28% Draw, 17% Loss, GS 1,68 GA 0,84


Strength – England is compiled by the best range of players and managerial staff. The ability to have a resourceful squad to compete is a plus, because even when they have a world-class starting XI, there are other outstanding players on the bench ready to come in and perform. Having the best defensive line in the World Cup they also have a massive best global midfield alongside Spain, Netherlands and Brazil. Rooney’s rated to be Top Scorer aligned with the likes of Torres, Villa, Drogba, Messi or Ronaldo.

Weaknesses – Penalty-Kicks is a major concern for the England’s squad whether if you talk about luck or lack of ability. Rooney’s passion can sometimes have negative effect on the player’s actions and he does not want to take another red card to jeopardize England’s position. Against major nations England seems to fail to deliver less brilliant performances, the friendly matches have showed that, will competition change this path?

Opportunities – Finishing top of the group can introduce England to Ghana in the second round and if we take into account that England has never lost against African opposition that for sure is a must. England has the chances that some other nations won’t have to qualify to the second round as they belong to the easiest group on paper.

Threats – Slovenia’s back line that can bore to death Capello’s side and might even take them to a draw. USA climbing up the charts and even though they lost almost every time they played against England, for competitive purposes such as the World Cup, they have not lost.


England lies on the 8th position ahead of France and Greece but behind of Argentina, Germany, Italy and Netherlands.


1 FIFA World Cup – 1966;

2 Olympic Gold Medal – 1908, 1912;


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