Saturday, 2 June 2012

Norway 0-1 England; England 1-0 Belgium; what the friendlies have taught us.

First up, a win is a win, is a win. Unless it's a win. Or it's two wins like we've just had in the last week

As ever, WE'RE NOT GOING TO BE ONE OF THE MOST ENTERTAINING TEAMS TO WATCH, if these performances are anything to go by. More like old school Italy holding on to a 1-0, than a Spain or Germany taking teams to the cleaners.

WE CAN SCORE WITHOUT ROONEY. Welbeck's opened his account. Young's banged in a few recently, and I expect Gerrard, Terry and Defoe to make telling contributions, given the chance.

WE HAVE A TOP KEEPER. That wasn't the case in the last World Cup, when James and Green were vying for a top spot that probably should have gone to the man who has it now.

OUR DEFENCE IS STOLID. Ashley Cole never lets you down, Terry and Cahill should start in the middle, and Johnson on the right, giving an all-Chelsea (at some point in their career) look to the defence.

WE LACK FLAIR IN MIDFIELD. The major stumbling block. Not since Gascoigne have we had a player who can take others on. Not since Beckham have we had an awesome set-piece threat. Parker and Gerrard are stolid, but is either going to frighten a defence with the ball at their feet. I mean, really frighten?

WE WILL PROBABLY DO BETTER THAN I PREDICT. I'm being super-cynical about our chances. We're not a bad team, just an average team. But just look at what Greece achieved in 2004. If Roy can get them playing, make us hard to break down, sneak us some One-Nils, we could emulate that unexpected success of eight years ago. COULD.

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