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Your team must be quite physical. Chasing the ball uses more energy and allows less recovery time than keeping the ball. When you retrieve it, keeping it can be challenging because you may have a physical disadvantage and making decision making can be slower as your focus has recently been on retrieving it.
This isn't an attempt to criticise your coaches tactics because it may suit your side's strengths, as you indicated.
England will be in a different climate to usual, meaning they could struggle to deal with the heat and humidity. It doesn't help that their first game, against Italy, is in Manaus, over eight hours flight from the training camp, with over 90% humidity projected.
Italy and Uruguay are both naturally hotter, more humid countries, and are better at ball possession, so I would count them as favorites for the group, as much as that upsets me. Neither are world-class teams, but each have impressive players and have an established set-up.
England also have impressive players, but also rely on individuals. Somehow it's tough to foree Wayne Rooney putting in the same scillinating performances in such tough conditions.
If they get through, I couldn't imagine them progressing beyond the quarter-finals. I predict Brazil to win.
Could you give me an idea of your school team's tactical setup?
In other words, how does your coach set you up to win games? Do they simply encourage you to win and give you positions, or go into more detail?
Apologies if this is too much to answer, but I have no real idea of the type of football coaching school children of your age get. I would be very interested if you had an answer.
England were very poor in both of those games and really worry me ahead of the World Cup. We don't seem to have a playing style or philosophy that we carry out consistently; we lack cohesion and belief whenever we change tactics or personnel.
Chile made several changes for the England game: they started without Arturo Vidal, David Pizarro and Jorge Valdivia, among others. They still managed to pressurize England all over the pitch and attack quickly in numbers, through Jean Beausejour, Alexis Sanchez and Eduardo Vargas.
Meanwhile, England wholly failed in their attempts to play a high back line, play Lampard instead of Gerrard in the regista role and include no proactive midfielder with the stamina and physicality of Chile's. This is particularly worrying because the whole point of having a high back line is so that you can win the ball high up.
Hodgson tried to rectify this against Germany by playing Tom Cleverley in midfield. He clearly has neither form nor confidence at the moment, and should have not been in the squad. In fairness, he was strong off the ball and did add energy and physicality to our midfield, but his mindset was so bad that he didn't seem to even want to receive the ball. Suffice to say, whenever he did receive it he tended to lose it.
Jordan Henderson should have received much more playing time than he did. He is invaluable for Liverpool providing the energetic, physical presence constantly winning the ball and making interceptions next to Lucas and Gerrard, who are not the most mobile players. Why can't he play in that same role next to Gerrard at International Level? Right now, he would be in my starting XI for the World Cup.
England were better off the ball against Germany,as shown by the score line. This had a lot to do with Gerrard and Cleverley's presences in midfield. But in a way the misery was complied because of how poor England were on it.
No England player higher up than Steven Gerrard wanted to keep the ball. Whenever one of our full-backs received the ball, our winger was way too far up the touchline to receive it. We didn't have any width our chemistry because all Townsend wanted to do was cut in, which is surprising considering how well the Walker-Townsend combo worked against Montenegro and Poland. Rooney seemed to want a few No.10 role but usually ended up running into blind holes, sometimes into Lallana's position. Sturridge was just wasteful, selfish and lazy.
England also conceded a very poor goal, losing out on three aerial duels in a row.
You would have had a point a few months ago but English media and fans are not at all like that anymore. There's hardly any hope in our country for next year's World Cup. I'm grateful that we're in it, and the very highest we can aim for is quarter-finals. The positive aspect of our national team is that we are introducing a lot of the younger players to our set up, which should help us in the future.
I'm not quite sure what you meant by the last sentence of that paragraph.
I am massively looking forward to the World Cup. There are so many great teams, if you include the likes of Belgium, Switzerland and Colombia. Before any concrete ideas or predictions are formed, I would like to know the draw, but I'm looking forward to it nonetheless.
I felt devastated after our draw against Chelsea because we deserved to win, should have won and luck went against us. I can only review it as two points lost.
I feel sorry for the referee because he had an excellent game otherwise, but that was a terrible decision and he deserves the criticism he is getting for that. If referee decisions went our way this season, we would be fourth; we have lost points to Southampton, Arsenal, Stoke and Chelsea to referee decisions ranging from slightly harsh on us to unforgivable.
Ramires was clearly looking for contact and there was simulation involved. It's just a shame that it turned out so positively for Chelsea. Diving should be looked at retrospectively by the FA and committers should face an automatic one-match ban and possibly more depending on the severity.
If I were a Chelsea fan, I would not have cheered Ramires or the consequent goal. I hate diving and it's only due to not tough enough refereeing and flaws with the rules that it is benefitting the top teams. I think it's embarrassing to have the audacity to blatantly cheat with so many million viewers watching. It damages the reputation of the player, the club, the country and the game.
We should have one anyway. We were by far the better team, looking extremely confident and competent from the start, troubling Chelsea's back line much more than they did to ours and looking like the sturdy, resilient team when defending of a few weeks ago.
Shane Long was by far the best attacker on the pitch, which bodes well for him and his future. Both McAuley and Olsson had fantastic games in central defence, while the former also caused a lot of problems for Chelsea on set pieces.
It typified our luck that our only moment of bad defending throughout the match led to their goal. I can't understand why neither Amalfitiano nor Reid challenged Hazard in the build-up to his shot, McAuley and Olsson were nowhere to be seen on that occasion, Myhill may feel that he could have done better with the parry, and Ridgewell made the biggest mistake by not clearing the ball when it was parried in front of him. It was a complete mess from our perspective but we were still unlucky that it was so ruthlessly exposed.
We always had a lot of men behind the ball, as you would expect. Despite having only 32% possession, our attacks were far more dangerous than theirs. Shane Long gave Chelsea's back line and in particular, John Terry an absolute nightmare with his rapid bursts of acceleration off the ball. He won us a lot of free kicks, orchestrated a lot of our counter-attacks and was unfortunate not to have two goals, considering he hit the post. Plus it is always a bonus when you have such fast, direct and skillful outlets in Sessegnon and Amalfitiano, and an accomplished set-piece taker in Chris Brunt.
All England games are shown on ITV. They are free to watch for anyone with a basic TV signal.
I disagree with your opinion on the FIFA Rankings. They are ranked on form and not reputation. Switzerland deserve to be in their current position because they haven't lost since May 2012, and have beaten big countries such a Germany, Croatia and Brazil in the last 18 months. Colombia also do because the qualified for the World Cup with alarming ease, considering Argentina, Chile, Ecuador, Uruguay and Paraguay were paired with them. They have also done extremely well in friendlies, winning three out of three this year, including a comfortable 2-0 win over Belgium recently. Recently, these two countries have been far more successful than England and Brazil.
Thank you for reading my articles. I was planning to write one today about Mauricio Pochettino and Southampton but I don't think I'm going to get any time. I'll possibly write it tomorrow. I'd love to write for a paper like that but I'm not sure I'd have the time to write as regularly as they like. This is one of the reason that I haven't reapplied for Bleacher Report recently.
Thanks a lot again for the compliments.
I try to watch England youth teams whenever I can. I watch nearly every U-21 game, watched both the U-21s and U-20s in their respective summer tournaments and have watched the U-19s before.
England U-21s play nice football, but they just need to be a bit more brave and ruthless. At the moment, the team miss plenty of chances each game and their play is not as sharp all-round as you would expect. They tend to only score goals from individual skill or when other, lower teams are worn out. They have been doing well enough but I'm not convinced the problems that plagued them in the summer have been eradicated.
They need to improve as a team.
I am never a fan of stereotypes, and I think there are several fantastic English players, older and younger: Wayne Rooney, Steven Gerrard, Frank Lampard, Jack Wilshere, Phil Jones and Ross Barkley are prime examples, as well as plenty of others.
It's a pretty basic assumption to make, considering the level of the Premier League compared to the England national team. However, we all know the flaws with the National Team- not producing enough players of enough quality, not focusing enough on youth academies to enable them to develop, not having enough stability in our set-up over a number of years to cement a playing style, develop any specific philosophies or keep reasonably consistent squads
While we are in need of more world-class players, which we are hopefully developing, that stereotype is lazy and bullshit.
I'm sorry but I really don't know what type of class my friends are from. You can tell which ones have been brought up better than others, but I do know know enough about their backgrounds to make any informed assumptions to why this is. The few I do have an idea of have middle-class, working families, on decent incomes but not the wealth of my family.
As there are 63.23 million and 8.174 million people living in the United Kingdom and London respectively, there will naturally be some concerns over the welfare and equality of all people. Despite this discussion relating more to relative than absolute poverty, it has risen to prominence over the last 20 years.
In London particularly, the wage differences are very high and jobs are becoming reasonably hard to come by. Other causes could be personal problems, such as: social exclusion, lone parenting, disabilities or discrimination. This is one of this government's primary issues and they are trying hard to solve it.
It was a very big risk putting him on after Billy Jones's injury, considering it meant that Amalfitiano had to shift to right-back. It was a very bold substitution and it worked, but it also epitomises our squad depth in attacking areas compared to defensive. In his post-match interview, Steve Clarke referred to putting a defender on at that point "a risk".
I am 100% sure that Berahino will play for England and I believe that Roy Hodgson will call him up in our upcoming friendlies. He said that he wanted to get some of our young players involved in these friendlies, and I don't think that he will ignore such a promising player in such good form. I agree that it's a bit early to suggest that he should definitely be in the World Cup squad.
He would be a very good signing for United. I think he would make the transition to the Premier League seamlessly because he is good enough and mentally very brave. I predict that he will be highly sought after in January.
Sorry, but I have not followed, or watched the U-17 World Cup. I simply have not had the time. Have you seen any of it? If so, who's impressed you the most?
I really prefer to refer to people's skin colour and heritage as little as possible. Although we are all free to carry out our own traditions or practises, I like to feel that we are regarded as a whole society, over any of this.
For this reason, I rarely ask people of their race or heritage. However, I know that two students, Oliver Chu and Kevin Liang both have Chinese decent, while there are plenty of others around my school that I believe may.
As far as I'm aware of, no country in South Asia is a very prominent footballing country. The most prominent sporting country, India, put all their focus on cricket. South Asia are also the poorest region in the world after Sub-Sahranan Africa.I don't think that it's a matter of bias; I just haven't seen anything leading me to believe that these countries produce the required quality of player. Even if they did, it would still be extremely difficult to legally get them over here.
It would have been hard to help our thrashing against Liverpool because they were so efficient with their chances. Four goals in 18 shots is almost world-class. It would have been five bar a fantastic point-blank save by Boaz Myhill from Luis Suarez.
For an inexplicable reason, Clarke chose to start Nicolas Anelka, who has been our worst player this season, up front, and Victor Anichebe on the left wing. We needed players that were going to disrupt Liverpool's back five and stretch them as far as possible off the ball. Berahino or Sessegnon would have been better options.
I would have also started Morrison in the center as an extra man defending; he is a player that has excellent pace and stamina, and will cover every blade of grass. Clarke's team section was flawed.
We were pretty poor in the first half, as we struggled to get passes together and were not as compact as we have been in our last few games off the ball.
We were better in the second half when we moved Anichebe to center-forward, as a target man. He won almost every aerial duel against the Liverpool center-halves, pre-occupied them with his movement and frame, and held the ball up well. We were much better in possession mainly because of this. It was hard to fault us too much for the rest of the goals; our center-backs are just a little slow and immobile compared to Sturridge and Suarez.
Yet again, Nicolas Anelka did nothing to merit his selection. He had once chance when he was through on goal and totally scuffed it. That has been a recurring theme this season.
Norwich have been awful so far this season and I would not be surprised if they were relegated, along with Crystal Palace, Sunderland, Stoke and Fulham.
Ricky Van Wolfswinkel has been poor; he does not not add anything to the teams build up play, misses most of his chances and is poor off the ball. Johan Elmander does not look anywhere near the standard of a Premier League player. How Gary Hooper has only started two games in the league is inexplicable.
The defence is really ageing and Michael Turner is a liability. Young Ryan Bennett is a much better central defender. The midfield in general are poorly organised and poor on the ball, although Leroy Fer is a terrific player.
Some of their younger players, like Fer, Bennett, Nathan Redmond and Josh Murphy are starting to look like some of their better players. They should really get a chance.
I would be very surprised if Cardiff went down. They will improve, because they have a lot of money and they have not completely finished their ever-improving squad yet. They are struggling to score goals right now, but remember that their £8 million signing Andreas Cornelius has been injured all season and Peter Odemwingie, who is a winger, has been playing up front for a significant proportion of it. Saying that, it is always a worry when your top goalscorer has only two goals in all competitions.
They look well organised generally off the ball, but have made too many individual mistakes this season. I just think that they are too good a team with too good a manager to go down.
I still worry about Manchester United. They look very vulnerable and at times, lacking a lot of nous and quality in midfield. It's a team effort though, not just individual players. Fellaini is a player that I like, but he hasn't yet settled. Kagawa has perhaps understandably on played out wide so far. he wingers are rotated so much right now because they have yet to find the right combinations with the right balance.
My preferred two would be Valencia and Kagawa, although Januzaj is due a run in the team right now because of how well he has played recently. Valencia can be the direct threat, who stays back when Rafael or Evra bomb forward, while Kagawa can make space for himself and others, interchange with players around him and produce moment of real quality when needed.
I am a fan of wingers swapping depending on which side you are targetiing. Those two could work very well as a duo in that sense.
Onto midfield, I also slightly doubt Carrick's familiarity with a 4-4-2, as a central midfielder needs to cover a more yards than a defensive or deep-lying midfielder, but I think that he is still vital to Man Utd and will massively improve when Fellaini does. Fellaini can be that physical presence that comes out on top in those tight situations.
I don't think Tottenham will finish in the top four. I wouldn't rule you out right now because to me, there is no squad and team that is perfect yet. I think that Chelsea are the most likely, but they have a few weaknesses like having too many similar players, a lack of completely orthodox wingers, no world-class center-back, a possibly ageing goalkeeper and not world-class striker. Lukaku could have been that striker if he wasn't loaned out.
I also think that you have a good chance of being in the top four. I expect to see four out of Chelsea, Manchester City, Arsenal, Liverpool and you to take those spots.
Jack Wilshere has the potential to be one of the best midfielders in the world. He has had a lot of injuries and personal problems in his career, but I hope and think that he can bounce back from them.
He is such an all-rounded perfectionist on his day that you wonder how highly acclaimed he would be if he played like that consistently. It is difficult for him at Arsenal at the moment because he is having to recover from numerous setbacks and Arsenal have a lot of competition in attacking places. I believe that he is still at least two years away from his best.
He is such an all-round player because he can play well in every midfield role, despite his best role being attacking midfield, and displays all the qualities needed for each to an extent; he has a high work-rate, has the stamina to cover every blade of grass, is very intelligent and efficient on the ball, has an expansive range of passing, is not afraid to 'get stuck-in', has a lot of technical qualities, is an outstanding dribbler and can at times be a leader on the pitch.
His performances have been rather poor recently, but it's hard not too see him making it to the very top. He has a very determined mentality, which only reaffirms my take on him.
Overall, our qualifying campaign has been at least satisfactory. It was a little last-minute, but we went unbeaten throughout the whole campaign, with Hodgson being reactive in changing his tactics and personnel when needed.
England played free-flowing attacking football against Montenegro and Poland, which was not a complete surprise considering the occasion, but it was surprising how well we played in this fashion.
Wayne Rooney and Daniel Sturridge both played as true No.9s which is strange at this level. Neither played as deep-lying striker or false No.9s. Having the extra number of players and the extra quality that this provided us put us above our opponents.
Andros Townsend was everywhere is both of these games. Whenever he got the ball, we knew that something would happen. He has the speed, endeavor, strength and fitness to gain an advanatge against opponents. His runs, whether they were in wide areas to take advantage of the narrow shape taken by defending teams, when there are plenty of options in the center, like Wayne Rooney and Danny Sturridge, or cutting inside to adopt the spae left by these aforementioned players. You cannot underestimate the magnitude of his performances.
Gerrard was also particularly excellent in the last two games. His passing at all ranges was excellent, and he led by example. We have known he can step up to the occasion like this for a number of years.
I think that I've answered the other questions as well as I can on Facebook.
To be honest, there aren't many photos stored on this computer. I don't really want to change my avatar to something random, or completely out of the ordinary, so I think that I will keep it as this.
The player on your avatar is Adam Swandi.
I'm happy with our results in general, but I'm not entirely satisfied with our result against Arsenal. Just like the COC game, we were clearly better than Arsenal. yet did not win.
Mulumbu and Yacob dominated everything in central midfield; they never too much space between them throughout the game, giving an indication of how mobile they were, and I thought that they made some Arsenal attacking midfielders like Wilshere and Ozil look a bit weak.
This is the first game in which I have seen Olivier Giroud hardly get a sniff. Not much service was given to him, because of Mulumbu and Yacob's prowess and our deep back line, but his movement did not really stretch us at all, until one moment near the end in which Boaz Myhill had to produce a fantastic save to keep him out.
In attack, we were slightly less influential than we were against you. This was partially due to Arsenal providing more resilience and a better backbone; they have some very quick. aggressive and solid players like Arteta, Flamini and Koscielny.
Nonetheless, we more than held our own, Berahino and Amalfitano were impressive and we would have won if we did not have a penalty appeal turned down and Anelka did not miss two sitters.
With the squad and manager we have, we could be in for a very successful season. However, plenty of other teams have strengthened their squads, so I think that we are unlikely to top last seasons finish.
England must win these next two games or they will be unlikely to top the group. Both Ukraine and Montenegro have either San Marino or Moldova left to play, and England don't.
From the evidence of our previous games, however, it seems unlikely that we will do so. We're still unbeaten, yet seem to approach every match so cautiously, and duly draw nearly all of them.
I've never seen such a rigid 4-3-3 before. It seems like all three central midfielders are packed together as defensive midfielders and only Wilshere gets a license to go forward. This is very disturbing because Lampard and Gerrard hardly ever pass the ball forward, even though they are not defensive midfielder, and Wilshere keeps on losing the ball through going on headless runs instead of passing.
Against Ukraine, I only remember five times that any of our front three received the ball. As a team, we look completely incapable of keeping the ball and we look dysfunctional in an attacking sense. Defensively we are outstanding.
Roy Hodgson is under massive pressure right now and I'm sure that he will be fired if we fail to reach the World Cup. He has made some baffling decisions recently, and England should be performing better than they are.
I believe that Steve Clarke has the potential to be an elite manager, but his time at West Brom so far has been inconsistent, so before he moves onto better things, I would like it if he stayed until he consistently improved our results.
Saying that, Harry Redknapp's recent speech should rule him out of the job, and potential international managers are always difficult to speculate because we don't know who speaks English, or who would be interested in the post. I think that Clarke would be more in the running if this was postponed to this time next year.
I think that Joe Hart should definitely be dropped for Fraser Forster. He is a fantastic young goalkeeper who will probably move to a bigger league than the SPL in the not-to-distant future. He has great reflexes and agility.
If you have seen him in any recent Champions League match, you will see that his form is by far superior to that of Joe Hart. Teams have a pool of talent for a reason and on this occasion, I believe that Fraser Forster is most likely to perform. To become 'tried and tested' like Joe Hart, he needs a chance.
Saying that, talent-wise he is not the level of Hart.
For more insight, feel free to read my ruling over Joe Hart in this article: http://www.scribd.com/doc/173141141/Why-Joe-Hart-Deserves-to-Be-Dropped-for-Manchester-City-and-England