Thursday, April 10, 2008

Don Fabio, Mortal?

I have never been a fan of Brian Glanville, but for once I agree with what he has written in last week's edition of the Sportstar. Fabio Capello's selection decisions for England's game against France were nothing short of ludicrous. Sentiments apart, I cannot see any reason for the choice of David Beckham for the outside right position, especially when England are blessed with the talent of David Bentley of Blackburn Rovers who at the moment is one of Europe's finest wide right players.

I am not trying to undermine Beckham's great talents or his contribution to the England outfit, but he quite simply does not have it in him to play a starting role for England. The move to LA Galaxy has resulted in him not playing against quality opposition day in, day out and someone who is not doing that cannot be picked to play for England. No doubt Beckham still has the ability to bend the ball whichever way he pleases, but when the quality of Bentley is available there is no place for Beckham in the England football team, at least not in the first eleven. Bentley is blessed with good pace and the ability to dribble past defenders, both of which are qualities that Beckham has never possessed, not even in his prime. And to add to that he has a wonderful right foot which is evinced by the superb free kick he scored at Wembley, whilst playing for the Under 21s, which incidentally was the first goal by an English player at the new Wembley.

Some might argue that Beckham was picked for the friendly against France so that he could have his 100th cap and that it was only fair to someone who has been a magnificent servant to English football. However the post match statements of Capello, lauding Beckham's performance suggests that he is going to be a regular feature of Don Fabio's teams. I believe Capello as Brian Glanville comments may just join the group of several successful club managers who have failed to make the cut at the international level.

Having said this I must add that I am not in complete agreement with Glanville as regards the other points he makes in his article in the Sports Star, particularly his criticism of the decision to play Rooney up front on his own. I for one do not see too much wrong in the decision especially considering the success that Rooney has had playing as a lone striker for his club side, Manchester United. I would however like to see Joe Cole being played in the 'hole' behind Rooney with Gerrard being deployed in a more conventional central midfield position alongside Carrick or Hargreaves. Although Gerrard is used in the 'hole' by Benitez, there is no doubting the fact that Gerrard's best position is in central midfield from where he can either make his powerful attacking runs or chose to play the raking through balls that we are so used to seeing from him. Gareth Barry or Stewart Downing must be played on the left wing with DB (the new and more effective one) being used on the right wing.

I think further disasters are waiting to happen for England if Capello continues to ignore players such as Bentley merely to accommodate heroes who are well and truly past their prime.


Unknown said...


You might enjoy reading this viewpoint on the team, which I discovered via, er, the Telegraph I think:

Suhrith said...

Thanks. I thought Capello would change his ways. But pairing Gerrard and Lampard together in the middle against the States was shocking.