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Saturday, 18 June 2016

Clyne problem solved, just cahill to solve now

Regular readers will remember several articles in the lead up to the European Championships where I outlined the defence as the weakest part of the England team, particularly at centre-back, where I felt Smalling was the best of a bad bunch and Nathaniel Clyne at right-back.

My beef with Clyne was with the ball at his feet he was easily closed down and constantly finds himself boxed in on the touchline, where he then humps the ball forward often simply giving away possession. At international level, you simply can't do that so I was delighted with the performance of Kyle Walker in the final warm-up game and felt he had easily done enough to prove he was a far better full-back option.

I'm not sure why it has taken Roy Hodgson so long to realise the obvious, but at least he has now done so and martin Keown was eulogising over Walker in game commentary quite rightly. He has been England's best player at the Euros in both games and those who haven't understood his qualities are doing so now. He is a machine, he is the best right-back in the tournament, the best in Europe, perhaps the best in the world Keown was telling us.

You feel far more confident seeing Walker and Rose on the teamsheet, although there is still the centre-back issue. Smalling for me has been our best so far, Cahill just likes to spend too long on the floor, he reminds me of Scotty Parker, always diving into a challenge. That isn't a pop at Scotty, he was excellent for us but defenders now have to stay on their feet, if you are on the floor you are out of the game.

Quite what he was doing in the last game on the edge of our box having won the ball I think or had it passed to him, he just stood there with the ball in front of him so a Wales player just came along and took it away, Cahil didn't even move, he clearly didn't know anyone was around!

We thankfully took Sterling off who has done nothing apart from missing the target from a couple of yards in keeping with his £45m price tag. Danny Rose has put in better crosses, one was Balesque across the 6-yard box.

Vardy to start up front with Sturridge on the left seems a sensible move. I found Hodgson's comments interesting and they again aligned with what I outlined before the tournament. sides play for 0-0 at half-time.

Roy has been talking about making changes to win a game in the second half, sound like Harry Redknapp stuff, he loved a 0-0 half-time scoreline. Liverpool finished second a couple of years back in the Premier League because they set out to win games in the first-half while everyone else was playing not to be losing at half-time. Roy clearly has the latter mentality, don't lose, before trying to win.

Is Hodgson right? I prefer to try and win a game from the start as opposed to hoping to win the game from the start and depending upon a second half.


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