England Fall Out Continues As Capello Weighs Up Options

14th June 2010 | World Cup Betting category: World Cup Betting & Odds
World Cup Betting & Odds

There naturally has been significant fall out after England’s failure to beat the USA in their FIFA 2010 World Cup opener. Has the magic of Capello and his relationship with the English media, and the English game itself started to fade already? Or is everyone again just naturally hitting the panic button after watching England stumble through yet another unimpressive World Cup outing? It was, after all, nothing but a fluke goal that found parity for the USA, but is that the easy answer when England should have done a lot better in closing out and wrapping the game up in the first place? For the first time in his England tenure, it has to be said that there have been some big gambles made by Capello, who you would usually associate with playing it tactically safe. The inclusion of Ledley King was a huge gamble right from the off, given the problems which he has with his knees. Was it even the right decision to take him to South Africa? Why pick him ahead of fitter, more mobile options, such as Matthew Upson, who has filled in competently, if not spectacularly before at the back?

Now England are left with the pairing of John Terry and Jamie Carragher, who was probably lucky to still be on the pitch after his lack of pace was exposed. England can probably get away with the pairing over the next couple of matches, but if they are to run into Brazil and Spain as expected, then that half of yard of pace that the England back line is missing, will certainly hurt them. England sealed 58% of possession against the USA, whose midfield went missing in the second half, and England had their chances to sneak another goal, but the match should not have been that close. The USA goal should never have happened, and with a little more flair and composure, England should have been out of sight. So while we await Rooney to do what is expected of him, the main worry is over the defence. Is there better cause to throw the less inexperienced Michael Dawson into the mix against Algeria, who are the weakest side in the group, and keep Carragher as a back up? If Capello is still worried about Gareth Barry, then Carragher could do that job as holding midfielder, and then move captain Steven Gerrard further forward to play off Wayne Rooney, which leads us to another question.

Was it right to pick Heskey? Yes, he has some nice flicks ons, but the glaring miss when bearing down on goal with only the keeper to beat, was even more of a bitter pill to swallow that Rob Green’s gaff. If that had been Rooney, it would have been game over. If that had been Defoe, it would have been game over. If that had been Peter Crouch, you would have fancied your chances of seeing the Robot dance goal celebration at the end of it. With Wayne Rooney not having scored a competitive England goal since last September, England need someone who can ease pressure and put the ball in the back of the net. Will Capello stick with the big man, or shake things up for the Algeria match. While he is limited only by the players he has with him, he still does have some good options. Crouch would be one, if he is going to stick to the 4-4-2, or Gerrard playing behind Rooney with the defensive midfielder in place would bring a lot more balance to the side, and let Rooney do the role he loves best, playing as lone striker. That really would get the best out of him.

It is a must win game for England, but realistically, Wayne Rooney and Jermaine Defoe could play as the centre half pairing and England should still keep a clean sheet against the North Africans. As mentioned, Capello has options, but will he bend, as he prefers his 4-4-2 over everything else? What if Barry is fit, then will he move Gerrard back out onto the left where he is wasted? Gerrard was the most impressive England player on the pitch, but the attacking Frank Lampard faded into a non-entity, simply because he didn’t have his usual freedom of knowing the holding and steadfast Barry was behind him. There is a way to accommodate Barry, Gerrard and Lampard if Capello is brave enough, but that leaves the left midfield spot open, which leads us to yet another question. Why James Milner when he had been ill? Why Shaun Wright-Phillips as a replacement when the impressive Joe Cole was sat on the bench? The final products of Wright-Phillips and Aaron Lennon left a lot to be desired.

What now for England? Do they keep faith with Robert Green? Do they go for “experience” with David James, or throw rookie Joe Hart into the fire? It’s hard to see the latter happening, and for England’s sake, the best option will be to let Green play through it, because the law of averages stats that he should redeem himself. So it is on to Algeria on Friday, with a lot of questions still being asked of the England coach. This is most pressure he has been under since taking over the job, and now we should see the master tactician that he is. There really is no need to panic for England fans, as there is room for improvement, and we all know England can play better under Capello. We have seen it, and we just hope that it happens again very soon.

To Start in Goal Against Algeria
Robert Green: 11/10 at Coral
David James: 7/4 at Paddy Power
Joe Hart: 8/1 at Paddy Power

Match Odds
England to win: 1/4 at SkyBet
Draw: 11/2 at Bet365
Algeria to win: 12/1 at BetFred

England To Win World Cup: 17/2 at Bwin

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* All mentioned odds were valid at the time of writing. Betting odds are subject to fluctuations. Please check the current odds with the respective bookmaker!

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