The Away Goals Rule Football Blog

A blog from the Members of

England 5-1 Kazakhstan – The Review

Posted by Kieran H on October 12, 2008

First off, the one thing we can take from this game is that Steven Gerrard and Frank Lampard do not work together in the same midfield.  This has been obvious to all but one man in the country for several years now, unfortunately the one man has happened to be the England manager at the time.  Although we did win 5-1, the fluency in the midfield was, particularly before the Kazakhstanis tired, dire.  One of these two players must be dropped, Gareth Barry was hailed as a revelation after putting in fairly average performances for England, simply because of the huge gap in quality between “average” and “Gerrard and Lampard together”  For me, Lampard and Barry, Carrick or Hargreaves should start in the centre of midfield, Lampard is simply one of the best midfielders in the world, criminally underrated in England though, due to a few bad games at the World Cup, and while a defensive player is not required next to him (Exemplified by his performances next to Ballack and Deco) he does play best next to one.

Another thing which one can learn from that match is that Wayne Rooney is not a left winger, he is a second striker.  Again, this has been obvious to many people for years, but managers seem to miss it.  Gerrard argues that his versatility is the reason that he is not the greatest England player, I would argue that Rooney’s versatility is the reason he is not in the running for World Player of the Year.

Due to his versatility, he is often played out of position to accomodate inferior players (Tevez for Manchester United, a multitude of players for England, today Gerrard)  While in itself, accomodating players is not necessarily a bad thing, in the case of Rooney it is – Rooney is potentially one of the best forwards in the world, while when played at left wing he is merely slightly above average.  Playing him as a first striker can be succesful (Manchester United ’08) but you need the players around him to make it work, players it appears England don’t have.  Rooney must play in his position or not play at all.

With regards Ashley Cole, the treatment he received was, to put it mildly, a disgrace, it makes me wonder what sort of complete idiots go to England matches that they roundly boo their own player after he makes a big mistake.  Even heard the excuse that they did it because he is a bad person and cheated on his wife.  Mentalists.

Agree?  Disagree?  Want to shower me with Pladuits/Abuse? My username is Kie99.


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