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Adam Easy Wishes

The Official World Cup 2010 Thread

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i'm liking the look of the group with brazil and portugal in, that mad bloke from north korea might have the team shot when they fail to qualify from it mind!

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This is getting close. I'm getting that giddy summer tournament feeling. The adverts have started, th cheap beer offers are getting rolled out in bars.

I dunno who my money is on. Part of me thinks it is set up perfectly for England. A few Spanish players are struggling for fitness, Argentina are a shambles under maradona, brazil are a threat but a bit lightweight and Italy are too old. There's always Germany though.

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This is getting close. I'm getting that giddy summer tournament feeling. The adverts have started, th cheap beer offers are getting rolled out in bars.

I dunno who my money is on. Part of me thinks it is set up perfectly for England. A few Spanish players are struggling for fitness, Argentina are a shambles under maradona, brazil are a threat but a bit lightweight and Italy are too old. There's always Germany though.

Ah now come on, if you're going to talk about Germany you have to say "I don't think Germany will win it but you can never count them out in a major tournament" like Alan Shearer will when he's asked about it.

I'm getting all excited about it 'n' all. 5 and a bit weeks to go, get in.

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I reckon Spain will win. Plus I drew them in the work sweeper so hoping they do me a favour. I did read that Xavi has torn a calf muscle mind you but they've a lot of quality in their midfield.

For the outsiders, I reckon England have got as good a chance as they have had for a long time although there are sure to be a few metatarsals broken and half the defence have probably done a "Ribery" so scandal shall be just round the corner. I was thinking of sticking a bit of cash on Holland and/or Portugal as they are something like 18/1 to win. Not sure either will have it in them to win but might be worth a punt.

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Guest Gladstone

What's the point in discussing it?

That German scientist dude has already proven that Germany will win the World Cup.

It's a SCIENCE FACT.

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Let's take a look at England, shall we?

No goalkeeper. No right back, and an unfit wanker at left-back.

Two centre-halves who have been dodgy this season, one of whose private life is a disgrace. The other is a drugs cheat.

A bunch of 'promising' wide midfielders who have pace and very little ability to actually cross a football.

Steven Gerrard, who has had a disappointing season. Frank Lampard and Gareth Barry have been good.

Wayne Rooney has been excellent.

A bunch of lumps of wood to partner him, none of whom are first team regulars.

Don't believe the hype, people. England have glaring weaknesses all over their team. Is this the first of XI of World Cup winners?

James

Brown Ferdinand Terry A. Cole

Walcott Gerrard Lampard Barry

Rooney Heskey

Methinks not.

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Guest Gladstone

From now on when putting Ashley Cole into a team line up as above, please type this instead:

A.Hole

Thanks.

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Put 5 in for a sweep stake, drew Greece and Denmark; Greece from pot 1 and Denmark from pot 2.

Pretty grim really.

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I think that England's best system could be a 4-3-3. The obvious faces make up the back four. Frank Lampard at the top of a central midfield trio, playing just in front of Michael Carrick and Gareth Barry. Rooney up-top on his own, supported by two wide forwards (Steven Gerrand and Lennon/Milner/Shite-Phillips/whoever).

Carrick has his detractors (mostly armchair fans and people who can't come up with anything more insightful than "MESSI IS AMAZIN'!"), but his range of passing is exceptional and his positional sense is very strong too. England don't have an out-and-out ball-winning destroyer, so they'll have to compensate against the better sides. Playing Gerrard and Lampard alone together against the likes of Spain and Brazil is suicide because they're both defensively poor (note that I'm not jumping on the "Gerrard and Lampard can't play together" bandwagon at all). Carrick's not the strongest tackler in the world, but he makes up for that with his superb positioning. Playing him gives Barry and Lampard a license to roam and also gives the full-backs more opportunities to get forward.

Out wide isn't Gerrard's favourite position but he's played there plenty of times in his career and has always done a fine job. Rooney can cope up front on his own and is by far England's best striker (none of the others even come close), and he's operated very effectively in that role at club level this season.

GK: Hart (or James/Green)

DR: Johnson (or a more defensively-minded option against sides with better wingers)

DL: Cole

DC: Ferdinand

DC: Terry

CM: Carrick

CM: Barry

AM: Lampard

AMR: Lennon

AML: Gerrard

ST: Rooney

On an player-by-player basis, I don't think that's as strong an XI as Spain's, but it's an excellent one on-paper. Of course there are huge doubts over the back four's fitness and the goalkeeping situation is far from certain, but this team could outplay anyone if fully fit and in-form. I think that they have an excellent chance (certainly a much better chance than they have in recent tournaments), and anyone who thinks that they don't have enough quality in their squad is kidding themselves.

I'll be keeping up my tradition of supporting the nation that takes the most Newcastle players, which looks like being Argentina (Jonas and maybe Coloccini) or Slovenia (Haris Vuckic) this year. I think that Spain will win the tournament, though.

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Your analysis is good, but falls down on a couple of points. Firstly; the eleven you select is far from excellent; there is no goalkeeper, no right back, and a few players out of position. It is a million miles off Spain/Brazil/Argentina. In fact, I'd rank Italy and Germany's first XIs ahead of that one.

Also; playing Barry in the role where you have selected Carrick would be a better bet in a 4-5-1. That way, Walcott / Lennon / Downing could play in a natural position, as could Gerrard.

In a 4-3-3, the best lineup imo would be:

Traffic Cone

Brown Ferdinand Terry A.Hole

Gerrard Barry Lampard

Walcott Rooney J. Cole

I still think this is a pretty gash lineup. Can't see them troubling the semi finals.

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Your analysis is good, but falls down on a couple of points. Firstly; the eleven you select is far from excellent; there is no goalkeeper, no right back, and a few players out of position. It is a million miles off Spain/Brazil/Argentina. In fact, I'd rank Italy and Germany's first XIs ahead of that one.

Also; playing Barry in the role where you have selected Carrick would be a better bet in a 4-5-1. That way, Walcott / Lennon / Downing could play in a natural position, as could Gerrard.

In a 4-3-3, the best lineup imo would be:

Traffic Cone

Brown Ferdinand Terry A.Hole

Gerrard Barry Lampard

Walcott Rooney J. Cole

I still think this is a pretty gash lineup. Can't see them troubling the semi finals.

I don't really think that you can play Barry as a holding midfielder, to be honest. England have done it with good success against lesser teams, but Barry isn't a particularly defence-minded midfielder (despite the fact that he started his career as a centre back). He's definitely not an all-out attacking midfielder, but he likes to roam forward and he doesn't really have the positional discipline to disrupt play. He's sometimes played ahead of two holding midfielders in the Manchester City midfield this season, for example.

Gerrard is out of position but he operates very well in a wide role (and really, it's not too different to the role that Rafa has often employed him in over the past few seasons) and he links-up well with Rooney.

It's all about finding a balance. England have a large amount of midfielders who are almost holding players, but not quiet. I feel that Carrick would be a better choice as he is far more effective at operating in a deeper role than Barry is. I'm a big fan of Barry as a player and I definitely think that he deserves a play in the squad, but I don't think he's a good choice as a holding player. Things would be so much easier if England had a Makelele or a Gattuso.

I think that GK and RB are definitely England's problem positions. For me, Joe Hart has been excellent this season but his inexperience may see him cast aside. David James is declining and Rob Green looks increasingly error-prone. Who else have they got? Robinson? Kirkland? Meh. At RB, Johnson is great going forward but terrible defensively. I actually think that Wes Brown is a pretty solid player but he's far from excellent.

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Personally I don't really rate Carrick as good enough for the top level, I wouldn't have him in the team if I was Capello. I am a hargreaves fan but he's too big of a gamble after the long term injury. King has worked well as a holding midfielder for them before and there will be just about enough days rest between matches for him.

Heskey's continued presence in the England team is completely bizarre. Zamora this season has done for Fulham this season what Heskey's fan(s?) claim he can do for England, Bent has scored over 20 premiership goals for an average to poor Sunderland side, Crouchy unlike Heskey does do the business when called upon for England and Defoe.....well he's better than Heskey!!!

Defence should be England's strongest area but Ferdinand and Terry are either not playing or playing like chumps and Capello appears too scared to use the alternatives in good form.

Ashley Cole however is the best left back in the world (and yes yes I know he's a cock)

David James can be ridiculous but he is also capable of stringing 7 fantastic performances in a row together.

Anyway I don't know why I am putting so much thought into England tactics, I can't wait for them to be knocked out so I can enjoy the tournament nerve free.

Spain and Brazil like others have said are the clear favourites for me. I think Spain have the best squad but the fact that Torres, Iniesta and Fabregas are all injured just now and Xavi is also a doubt must be a big worry for them.

Argentina have the squad to match those two but have the disadvantage of coach Diego.

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Your analysis is good, but falls down on a couple of points. Firstly; the eleven you select is far from excellent; there is no goalkeeper, no right back, and a few players out of position. It is a million miles off Spain/Brazil/Argentina. In fact, I'd rank Italy and Germany's first XIs ahead of that one.

Also; playing Barry in the role where you have selected Carrick would be a better bet in a 4-5-1. That way, Walcott / Lennon / Downing could play in a natural position, as could Gerrard.

In a 4-3-3, the best lineup imo would be:

Traffic Cone

Brown Ferdinand Terry A.Hole

Gerrard Barry Lampard

Walcott Rooney J. Cole

I still think this is a pretty gash lineup. Can't see them troubling the semi finals.

You're completely over-analysing the World Cup as a tournament whilst merely speculating on how England are actually going to line up. The clue is in the name. It's cup football. If this were a play-each-team-twice league, then England would stand little chance, but it's cup football. You can put the starting line ups on paper all day long, but when has that ever won a knockout trophy? Were Italy the strongest team on paper in 2006? Shit no. They probably weren't even in the top 5, but they set up well. They were robust and disciplined, very unattractive and down right lucky. On paper, Brazil should have walked through that tournament. Ronaldinho was at the peak of his career and Kaka was the most exciting emerging player since Fat Ronaldo, yet they went out in the quarters. France should have trounced the final, but didn't. etc. This time around, the Argies have a sensational squad, but Maradona doesn't know how to line them up, and has very little tactical aptitude, so it means nothing. Especially when domestic management goes out of the window, and a cup football approach is employed and especially when games can come down to penalties, which is like settling a football match via a game of Bingo.

Whilst the England squad has gaps where World Class players could be slotted in, there's going to be more counting on Capello's tactical insight than Wayne Rooney's metatarsal. It's all about how they line up, how they perform as a unit, and how disciplined they can remain. I understand there's no cemented goalkeeper, but to say England have no goalkeeper is preposterous. Joe Hart has had just a good a season than any of the 'Big 4's keepers, if not even better. David James has got the experience, but playing in a completely deflated team that came bottom of the league makes it difficult to judge his form. Then there's the dark horse; Paul Robinson, who you can on his judge his past until you're blue in the face, but the past 2 season, he has been solid. He's kept Blackburn in games numerous times this year. Unglamorous, but very reliable. I'd take him and Hart, for definite.

Carrick, as much as I don't really like him, is probably the only English midfielder (except for Hargreaves, who just won't make it in time) who can sit infront of the back four and keep things steady, which will allow Lampard to surge forward. If Lampard can get that attacking freedom, he will be just as crucial, if not more important, than Wayne Rooney. IMO, of course.

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No Gaz Baz in the 30 man squad, so I imagine extremely little chance he's going to Sarf Africa with Lampsy and Wazza.

Looks like if England are going to play a holding midfielder, it's going to be Michael Carrick. The US and A are going to be blown to bits by our sideways passing.

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Actually. Scrap that. The one on the radio is different to the one on sky sports.Now i don't know what to believe. The one on the radio included Zamora too.

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A lot of the squads coming through now. Chuffed Huddlestone got in, have always thought he could be handy for engerland.

Vieira, nasri and benzema out of the France squad. It's Domenech so I'm not surprised but Nasri? Seriously? He's awesome. Much better than that fat fuck Gignac.

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Unless something really odd happens I don't think Huddlestone will make it into the final 23. I'd like to see it, preferably in place of Micky Carricky but it's unlikely.

Gaz Baz is back in after they brought forward his injury progress check to a date before the cut off point for squad chops.

Zamora got the call up but had to turn it down, his achilles is knacked and needs an operation after tonight's big vase final.

I'm disappointed that Paul Robinson didn't make it into the squad, he's been in great form all season for Blackburn without any of the lapses of concentration that were getting him in trouble 2 years ago. He's really matured into a class goalie so I don't get why Rob Green is there ahead of him.

Adam Johnson is going to tear the World Cup up. I can't wait.

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Adam Johnson is an exciting prospect. For a young winger he's surprisingly robust and doesn't seem to get intimidated.

I think it'd be worhwile trying hudds out in the holding position.

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