As England prepare to face Algeria tomorrow in the second World Cup group game, Fabio Capello’s men will be looking to finally make a proper start to their World Cup campaign. However in order to do so Capello is going to have to make some changes, here are three that he needs to make:
3. Play Joe Cole
The midfielder’s inclusion was a surprise to some due to his limited playing time for Chelsea last season. However now that he is in the squad he needs to be used for a game like this after England’s disappointing start. James Milner who started the game against the USA was disappointed and seemed to be overawed by the occasion of playing in a World Cup. Shaun Wright-Phillips came on in his place and although he got into some good positions, had a disappointing impact on the game.
Therefore Joe Cole needs to be given the chance to shine and whilst he may not of had too much an impact for Chelsea last season he is a quality player. He also has the experience of playing in a World Cup and won’t falter because of the occasion, against the USA England were lacking a spark and Cole could be the man to provide it. It’s only fair that Cole gets his chance against Algeria as England’s other options for the left hand side have been tried out and haven’t done the business.
2. Play Michael Dawson
The Tottenham defender is only at the tournament because of Rio Ferdinand’s injury, so he has had a slice of luck on his part. However now that Ledley King looks likely to be out of the World Cup as well, Capello needs to decide on a new partner for John Terry at the heart of England’s defence. Michael Dawson despite his fortuitous inclusion is the best centreback in the squad after Terry. Jamie Carragher hasn’t had a great season for Liverpool and looks to be past his best and the same can be said about Matthew Upson. Dawson in contrast has had a fantastic season for Tottenham and was even awarded their player of the year, without a doubt Dawson is who Capello should go with to partner Terry.
1. Switch to 4-5-1
Although it may not be the most exciting formation around, 4-5-1 is the formation that suits England best and allows them to play to their strengths. England are blessed with a whole host of talented midfielders and this formation would allow England to accommodate them all. Gareth Barry can be the lynch pin in midfield and England will still have the drive of Steven Gerrard, and Joe Cole and Aaron Lennon would offer some good width. As for Frank Lampard, he has plenty of critics but you cannot argue that he has had a great season for Chelsea and is a class player.
Sadly England do not have enough quality strikers, Wayne Rooney is England’s only world class striker and the rest are decent by not up to his standards by any means. Rooney has played upfront on his own several times for Manchester United this season and has thrived on being the main man for his club so why can’t he do it for his country? Emile Heskey got his chance against America and despite setting up the goal didn’t do anything else, Peter Crouch is similar to Heskey and Jermain Defoe despite having scored 18 league goals for Spurs, the majority were several goals in one game against inferior opposition so he hasn’t shown any real quality.
Rarely do sides play a flat out 4-4-2 anymore and if England play 4-5-1 they can switch to a 4-3-3 when in possession and it could be deadly against their opponents. Rooney will be able to thrive off service from Cole and Lennon and then it will leave Lampard, Gerrard and Barry to run the midfield as a three and it could be a masterstroke from Capello if he chooses to employ it.
What changes do you think Capello needs to make?