A point is not enough
Last updated at 21:49, Thursday, 14 June 2012
A point against France is only a good result if England beat Sweden tonight.
Easy, some may say, but the Three Lions have just one win in 13 games against their old foes - a horrendous run dating back to the days of Bobby Moore, the Charlton brothers and Alan Ball.
If England are going to win in Kiev, pace beats power.
Danny Welbeck must start ahead of Andy Carroll with Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Ashley Young providing the legs behind.
I’d play Theo Walcott ahead of Scott Parker with James Milner dropping into the centre with Steven Gerrard.
There’s nothing sinister about leaving Parker out. He was running on empty as England clung on to a draw and Milner can put in a shift in the middle, freeing Walcott to do his worst down the Sweden left.
Roy Hodgson must be brave and go for broke. Another point is not good enough with the co-hosts last up.
Sweden are a big unit, so matching power for power would not work.
The line-up I suggest has terrorised defences all season in the Premier League, with every player representing a top four side.
Hypocrite Mark Lawrenson tore a strip off Poland-born Germany international Lukas Podolski for not representing his country of birth.
That’s the same Lancashire-born Lawrenson, who earned 38 caps playing for Ireland.
Remind me, what part of Ireland is Lancashire in?
The comments by the dourest man in football are typical, downbeat Lawrenson, but why he chose Podolski’s 98th cap to comment seems strange.
If Newcastle were buying Mathieu Debuchy before the Euros kicked off, they aren’t now.
The right back’s stunning performance for France stole the show against England, and will have alerted the attention of far bigger clubs.
That’s no disrespect to Alan Pardew’s men who, in Graham Carr, have one of the hottest scouts around. But realistically, if Debuchy continues to impress in the absence of Barcary Sagna, then he’ll be plying his trade at a higher level.
First published at 19:24, Thursday, 14 June 2012
Published by http://www.timesandstar.co.uk
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