Thursday, March 02, 2006

News and International games

News first....

Rumours linking us to Curtis Davies keep surfacing. He seems like a good player, but, again, he's young. As a long term replacement for Sol, I think he'd be great - but I'd rather we broke the bank and stole Ledley King from Spurs. I think defence is one of the areas that a team really needs experience, and we've really paid this season by, basically, not having any there. It would be nice to have a few new english players though.

Fulham are justifiably excited about our visit on Saturday. We must seem like lambs to the slaughter to every team we play away from home at the moment; especially to Fulham who have an excellent home record this season. I went to our 4-1 win over them back in August; this now seems like a long, long time ago, almost like last season. I'd say a win on Saturday is imperative if we want to take anything positive from this season. I'd suggest giving Theo a run about at some point. Given the way we're playing at the moment I really don't see what harm it could do.

As for the Internationals (particularly those featuring our boys)....

England struggled against a poor Uruguyan side, who took the lead through an incredible volley in the first half. There are still highlights on the BBC website if you haven't seen it. After having no chance with the goal, Robinson seemed determined to make an impact in the game, and did so by accidently scything down Wayne Bridge in the area. Poor old Wayne sustained ankle ligament damage, so he could be out for a while. Carragher came on and did ok at left back, but i should imagine that, even more so, we're all praying Ash gets fit soon, if Bridge now looks like a doubt for the world cup as well.

I didn't see much of the game, but Joe Cole was meant to be outstanding throughout. Could this have been due to the presence of a defensive midfielder - Carrick - and not Lampard, at his side? I think playing Cole-Gerrard-Lampard-Beckham actually constrains them all by not having a more defensively minded midfielder playing. Still, this will be, bar injury, the midfield Sven plays in the world cup though, so I don't know why its even being debated in the press. Sven is always about a year behind everyone else on the uptake of what changes should be made in the side. I wish we'd had Hiddink for the last year.

Although credit to Sven for giving Peter Crouch a chance, who continues to defy belief. Personally, I laughed when i saw Liverpool had paid £7m for him in the summer. But, considering we've now done exactly the same - Adebayor - maybe we should have gone after Crouchy as well? As soon as he comes on, his sheer presence unnerves defences. He can score, he's good with his feet, and his link up play is great. I think he's gone from a fringe player to one that's 'on the plane to Germany'. I wish Sven had played him and Rooney together though: it would have been really interesting to see how they combined. I have a feeling Rooney would much prefer to play with Crouch than Owen, much like he prefers to play with Saha than Van Nistelrooy. Few strikers of Rooney's calibre like playing with pouchers. I should imagine Owen would also love someone like Crouch to play with.

That England battled through from behind is very encouraging. I wish Arsenal could show the fight that England have shown recently. However, this should have been a game England won more comfortably, and if they regularly have last minute victories in the world cup Valium sales in the UK will probably exceed those of lager.

Wales did well to get a draw against Paraguay, who are a considerably better team than Uruguay. I would be amazed if Arsene, and other Premiership bosses, aren't scouting Lewin Nyatanga, who looks like a real prospect. Scotland crashed to a depressing 3-1 defeat to Switzerland in which big Phil played most of the match, and Djourou came on at h-t.

France were beaten 2-1 at home by Solvakia with ex-gooner Slyvain Wiltord scoring. Despite this TH reckons France are still 'on the up'.Hmm. So that's why you had to call several players out of retirement to earn qualification to the world cup... Their new away kit looks naff as well.

Spain beat the Ivory Coast 2-1 in a match which little cesc and Jose both played. Indeed Jose not just played, but scored. Um, do you think you could possibly find your way to doing this for Arsenal as well? If it's not too much trouble.

Finally Germany were hammered 4-1 by the Azzuri. Poor Jens. That could do for his starting place which he richly deserves.

Finally, can someone explain to me why its meant to be the second day of spring, and yet it has been snowing for the last two days? This country.

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