England kicked off their World Cup campaign with a dire 1-1 draw against the US, then (this past Friday) put their fans through despair once more as England performed abysmally against Algeria which ended a 0-0 bore draw. So with 2 games played and 2 points accumulated so far, and the team not performing well, is it any wonder why England fans are upset?
Many fans and pundits alike have questioned the player’s spirit and unity, whilst some (if all) believe that Capello needs to change the system and stop being so stubborn for the good of the team.
This Wednesday’s clash against group C leaders Slovenia has become a must win, a draw may be enough but a win will no doubt see Capello’s men through to the last 16.
So, taking this all into consideration, and having seen the performances being produced by the England team so far, isn’t it about time Capello made some drastic changes.
In no particular order, here are 10 things that Capello must now do to keep England’s World Cup hopes alive:
1. Change the 4-4-2 to a 4-2-3-1
The 4-4-2 system is clearly hampering the likes of Stevie G, Frank Lampard and Wayne Rooney. The current formation is not working and has only managed to grab to draws so far, the formation needs to be changed for the match against Slovenia this Wednesday. A 4-2-3-1 is visibly the way to go.
My team to line-up against Slovenia would be Hart in goal, Johnson, Terry, Dawson, A. Cole at the back, Barry and Lampard in the centre, with Barry more of a defensive role, Lennon and J. Cole on either flank, with Gerrard just behind Rooney up front. Might as well give it a go Fabio, what’s the worst that could happen?
2. Utilize your captain in the right way
Steven Gerrard is not a left sided midfielder, so why Capello has decided to install him in this position remains a mystery to many English fans. Gerrard is undoubtedly one of England’s best players and is being wasted. Capello get your captain in the centre of the park behind Wayne Rooney and stop accommodating for your best 11 players.
3. Get Joe Cole involved
Joe Cole is probably one of, if not the most creative wingers England have to offer, so why hasn’t he got time on the pitch yet? More importantly why isn’t he starting for the three lions? Get Joe Cole in as he is a much better player than Shaun Wright-Phillips who can only run in one direction. England need more flair, creativity and diversity and Joe Cole can definitely offer this.
4. Enjoy the occasion
The players looked really nervous in their two opening games of the tournament, especially against Algeria the other night. Unquestionably there is a lot of pressure on the team to deliver, and with Capello reportedly treating their training sessions like a boot camp; this will no doubt enhance the anxiety amongst several players. Capello needs to tell his players to relax and enjoy their football, if he does this then the squad will certainly improve in performance.
5. Give Rooney what he wants
Wayne Rooney has not exactly hit the heights of this World Cup so far, but then again, the striker is playing in a formation he is not happy with. Rooney has expressed his desire to play up front on his own, but Capello has opted to partner the United man with Emile Heskey for both England’s ties. Its time to give England’s talisman what he wants, and see what he can produce…he can’t do any worse than he already has, right?
6. Get Lampard firing
Lampard was in great form for Chelsea last season, but has been unable to carry on his form in the red and white of England in this year’s World Cup. The Chelsea man needs to be firing on all cylinders and create and bag as much goals as possible for England to go all the way.
7. Name his team earlier
Capello needs to name his team earlier, 2 hours before kick-off sounds preposterous to many English fans, including me. It’s just like gathering a group of mates, head down to the local park and picking teams straightaway…it doesn’t look professional.
The Italian needs to announce his starting line-up a day or two before a scheduled match, this will give the players who are in the starting eleven more time to work, train and evidently gel as a unit.
8. Tell his three lions to be fearless
England are known as the three lions yet they look nothing more than pussycats on the pitch. Capello needs to tell his squad to go out and be fearless. The England team possess a cluster of talented players, but if they don’t believe in themselves then they will get nowhere and that is a fact. Time to stand up and be counted for guys and remember you are not nicknamed the three lions for nothing lads…let’s see you start acting like some.
9. Tell Aaron Lennon to stay wide
Aaron Lennon is potentially a major threat to any team club or country. However, the Spurs winger needs to stay more wide than he has been as of late. Capello needs to trust in Lennon’s ability and give the speedy wide-man more freedom to take on full-backs like he can has done in the past.
10. Keep team spirit high
Reports suggested that there was trouble within the England camp following the 0-0 draw against Algeria last week. However, John Terry and Frank Lampard have since come out and squashed these rumours, everything seems to be fine. Nevertheless, team spirit and unity will have to be at its maximum for the crucial match against Slovenia this Wednesday, and of course this will be down to the England coach to do.
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