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Nicole Carroll: A one woman mission to make a name in football

The future for the England squad?

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So, the calls for the manager out just didn’t work.

Today the FA have confirmed that they will be retaining Capello as England manager. I expected this to happen, and fully agree with their decision. England have left the World Cup, no amount of whining or moaning by pundits and journalists is going to change what has happened. We must move forward and quickly into a qualifying campaign for Euro 2012.

The big decision for Capello now is who he drops from his squad. England fans will no longer accept the same old faces turning out for England, and after this qualifying campaign, we will be expecting a new looking squad to be turning out for the Euro qualifying matches.

It’s inevitable that some of the squad will remain, at least for this tournament. It is perhaps too early to suggest that the whole of the England squad will be ripped apart. The older squad members should still be able to compete within the tournament, its just a case of now getting a balance of youth and experience to take us into the next tournament, whilst looking at a mid to long term plan to bed in younger, on form players into the squad in the future.

Younger players such as Milner and Rooney will be exempt from any cull, both are young promising player, and Rooney in particular holds valuable England experience. I think the key for the qualifiers is try and hold back any expectation on how Rooney is going to play. He was expected to be a top player at the World Cup after his blistering Manchester United form, yet failed to look sharp and perform to even an 1/8 of his best. England seem to struggle to find anyone to partner him with, and perhaps we need to find back up combinations of players who are fit and on form who can take the pressure off Rooney upfront. Personally, I don’t think we’ll see Heskey up front for England agan, and people like Darren Bent or dare I say it, Gabby Agbonlahor need to be seriously tried out up front for England.

In the middle, Aaron Lennon is the only midfielder in the current England squad who is under 28 (the same 28 year olds who will be 30 come Euro 2012). I think Capello shall retain some experience in this area, perhaps in the shape of Gerrard. Barrys abject performance in the Germany game would in my mind rule him out any future games. Other than Gerrard, perhaps Capello should be brave and simply try out as many England midfielders as possible until he finds a middle four who are good enough to compete with fellow young teams such as Germany.

The biggest change for England must now be at the back. Milk turns quicker than Terry, and we’re left with an injury prone Rio Ferdinand and Upson who looked positionally clueless during the Germany match. Ashley Cole is a fantastic player however, and perhaps with further coaching, Glen Johnson can somehow start to resemble a right back rather than a winger. It’s a shame that Micah Richards development has stalled somewhat, otherwise he’d be great to slot into that role.

Young defenders are a must have in any new look England squad. We need two new centre backs who are given time to form some sort of partnership, whilst working alongside a young, fantastic keeper. We’re quite lucky to have one of these in the shape of Joe Hart – the keeper who should have started for England in the World Cup. James will definately be too old at the next tournament, and Green has proven he is just as gaffe prone internationally as he was domestically last season. Joe Hart was the crux of the Birmingham squad that did so well, and somewhat even overachieved last season.

Lots of work Capello. England next play on home soil against Hungary on August 11th. A relatively short time between now and then – lets hope the work begins on choosing players for the future, rather than delaying any crucial work that needs to be done to the squad.

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Written by Nicole Carroll

July 2, 2010 at 3:20 pm

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