The Three Lions side have been working on the new system in training and it is expected that Aaron Lennon and Theo Walcott will be the men to support Rooney in attack.
Many critics are far from convinced with the likes of Emile Heskey, Peter Crouch, Darren Bent or Jermain Defoe as an attacking partner for the Manchester United man, so a change in Capello’s thinking could be refreshing and at the very least gives the side an interesting plan B.
Capello has favoured Heskey in the past as he brings Rooney into play, but strikers should be scoring goals and Rooney has scored plenty this season as a lone striker for his club. A few seasons ago it may have been a bad idea to start him as a lone striker, but he’s a different player now and has matured in the role. The 24-year-old has enjoyed his best season at United scoring 34 goals in all competitions and fans will be hoping that he can get over his recent injury problems and carry on his good form in South Africa for the Three Lions.
A change in formations wouldn’t just benefit Rooney either. Liverpool’s Steven Gerrard is set to support England’s main man from midfield in a similar way to how he operates with Fernando Torres for his club, which I’m sure he’d be delighted with as I believe he is wasted playing on the left in Capello’s side.
Some may argue that a change in tactics is far too late and unwise as Capello has persevered with a 442 formation over the past two years, but Heskey is inadequate and I believe there isn’t much point playing players like Gerrard out of position to accommodate such an individual. England have time in training to perfect the system and have room to experiment in their warm up games before the World Cup. England’s best attacking threats Rooney, Gerrard and Frank Lampard should be comfortable with a potential change in formation, especially the United man and Lampard who play in similar systems with their respective clubs.
There is only one problem with the prospected XI in my eyes and that is Walcott as I don’t believe he has done enough this season to warrant a starting role. James Milner and Adam Johnson are far more deserving and have each had a great season. It could be interesting to see Johnson played on the right with Lennon on the left so that they can cut inside, much like the role the former plays for Manchester City.
However, Capello said he will experiment against Mexico and players like Walcott, Johnson, Ledley King and Michael Dawson could get their chance to force their way into Capello’s thinking. But Chelsea’s Joe Cole will have to wait a little bit longer before he gets a chance to impress as the FA Cup finalists David James, Lampard, Ashley Cole and John Terry will be rested and will not feature in their first warm up friendly at Wembley.
It would benefit England if they can perfect a new system as I believe it will play to their attacking strengths and the players are good enough to adapt to the formation (most are familiar with it at club level). I suppose we will have to wait and see what Capello decides to do, but it is certainly an exciting prospect.
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