England v Hungary preview

Posted by - August 11, 2010 - England, Games, International, Ranting and Raving

Time for the Three Lions to Roar

The England football revival supposedly begins tonight in what is possibly the most important international friendly in our history. Steven Gerrard’s open invitation to boo the England players will be met with more enthusiasm and swiftness by the England faithful than Sven putting himself in the frame for the Villa job.

Nothing less than 100 per cent from each and every World Cup player, particularly, will suffice tonight, and even then it will take more than one good performance against the mediocre Magyars to begin to rebuild the broken relations between the fans and the team.

The man who used to be respectfully dubbed ‘Don’ Fabio rather than how he is now commonly mocked as ‘Postman Pat’ has a tough, if not impossible, task of rebuilding his reputation and long-gone Mourinho-esque aura of invincibility.

His new squad has already been hit by the somewhat humiliating, but unsurprising retirements of Paul Robinson and Wes Brown, combined with Michael Carrick’s withdrawal due to ‘injury’. This new age of national football seems as though it will be largely reliant on most of those World Cup flops – 10 of those under-performers have been selected in the squad for tonight’s game and, realistically, most of those will be expected to carry England through the European Championship qualifiers that begin against Bulgaria next month.

The future, for me at least, does look quite bright. Our next generation of players that we dream of taking us to that elusive second World Cup victory (or final appearance would be a start) boasts a number of exciting prospects such as Jack Wilshere, Kieran Gibbs, Jack Rodwell (not in the squad tonight) and Adam Johnson, the latter who has already been capped at first-team level and who was both unfortunate, and wrongly, left to watch the World Cup at home.

All things considered, I expect the starting eleven tonight to compromise most of the players who ‘played’ in South Africa, if not to prove they deserve to be there and are worthy of wearing the Three Lions shirt, then to take the criticism that they deserve.

Probable starting XI: Joe Hart, G. Johnson, Dawson, Terry, A. Cole, Barry, Lampard, Gerrard, A. Johnson, Rooney, C. Cole

The second half will provide the opportunity to mix the team around, and I hope to see a team that actually resembles a ‘new age’, though I suspect most of the first-half players will be substituted:

Joe Hart, G. Johnson, Dawson, Cahill, Gibbs, Walcott, Wilshere, Gerrard, A. Johnson, Rooney, Zamora

What would be your starting XI for tonight and who would you like to see be given a chance?

  • Chris

    I don’t know that tonight is really that important, and it’s a no win situation for the England team. They win, and it was to be expected. If they lose or draw the grey clouds will still be there, the papers will have a field day and Capelo will still be in the job.

    Having said that, I am genuinely excited about seeing some of England’s fresh new talent, most notably A. Johnson and Wilshere. I don’t see the point in calling up Zamora, it’s a bit like saying, you’ve played well so here is a cap, and very Sven like. Honestly, it’s not like he is going to be around for our next major championship so what is the point?

    I love to see a mix of youth and experience, and with the squad picked we might see it, but doubt it will happen.

    I would select – Hart, G. Johnson, Terry, Dawson, A.Cole, A. Johnson, A. Young, Milner, Gerrard, Wilshere, Rooney.

  • Jeremey

    I wish Agbonlahor would get a look again. He’s not the greastest striker in the world, but he’s quick, and is certainly better than carlton cole or zamora.

  • Mainhood

    hahahhaha postman pat! quality. im going tonight – i hope to see the second half line up you posted mate – def sounds exciting or is it a kop out? dun dun dun!

  • Will

    I would like the young boys to get a run out from the start but I know that he is going to stick to the old formula of Stevie G and Fat Frank.

    I hope Wilshere does well and ends up playing a big part in the Euro Qualifying and Champioships coming up.

  • Roman

    I think the inclusion of youngsters such as Wilshere is a diversion tactic on the part of Capello and the F.A. Although Gibbs, Wilshere et al. may be promising prospects it is a seemingly desperate act to get excited about players who, in Wilshere’s case, have not started a league game for their club! In support of this claim a certain Mr Wayne Rooney was (‘was’ being the operative word) the future of English football not so long ago, and we all know how that has dissappointed!
    The English media’s insistence on hyping up and over-rating individual England players is detrimental to the performance of the team and the media seem to be about to do the same with the youngsters included in this evening’s fixture versus Hungary.
    England need to give a chance to some proper team players who have a solid work ethic in the mould of Scott Parker of West Ham, for instance. England’s downfall for too long now has been the inlcusion of too many big name individuals who cannot mould into a successful team. After the woeful performance by the England ‘superstars’ in the World Cup of 2010 I don’t think too many would disagree-not the sane ones anyway!

  • Hooker

    Definitely like the look of your second half line-up; except, of course, Zamora. I have to agree with Chris there. The future does look bright to me too although I wonder how much of that is down to us being fans. Can Dawson and Cahill really compete on an international stage? They sound a bit like made up ‘English’ players from a Japanese software company – think: Italia ’90 or ISS Pro. You mention Rodwell and I think he’s probably a good pick, adding a bit more pace to the ‘future’ defence. Speaking of which, what’s happened to Micah Richards?
    In reality, I reckon we’re probably somewhere in between the fans’ bright hopes for a new dawn and the British media’s grim outlook. Capello would be a brave man to entirely revamp the team with youth and as much as I’d love it, he’d probably be stupid to. With the never-ending programme it’s pretty difficult to be ‘completely re-building’ unless your Wenger. And look how it’s turning out for him. (Come on you Spurs!) I’d keep Terry, either Fat Frank OR Stevie G and Rooney as a spine and get rid of everybody else (except Glenn Johnson). I think Roman’s got a point too. International teams can do well with a few workhorses thrown in. Look at Holland. Kuyt most average ever to play in a World Cup final?

  • Magid

    I wish my opinion on all things football related was as learned as Jame’s

  • will t

    Great piece king.

    I agree on the younger players been brought in as its england future and without them will will be stuck for another god no how many years with out a decent title behind us. Bringing in Parker would be great and Milner who is doing very well at the moment.

    I would drop Lampard who seems to perform well for club but never for country and should not be in the team for pure merit.

    We do have some real workhorses for england and really do go out there and fight for it but with so many who played in the world cup it just seemed to me that it was just another game that they had to play, and unless that attitude is stamped out England will never have a chance, and for those who do try its always going to be an up hill struggle…… it should be a previlage not a chore.

    Regarding Capelo i still give him a chance just down to what he has done before England but what happened in the world cup was beyond belief, how a team can go from one of the best to near enough the worst is crazy. I understand he was struck with some very unfortunate mistakes made by players and injuries that cost him two captencies he should have been able to still settle the squad to work with each other.

    I think overall that if this ‘ new age ‘ is not brought in and the squad do not fight for it England will be forgotten for what it truely is…….One of the best