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England vs. Italy - 11pm tonight - BBC One


Magic
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So! England's first game of the 2014 World Cup is tonight, and it doesn't get an awful lot bigger than the 2006 World Champions.

 

Italy captain Gianluigi Buffon is a major doubt with an ankle injury, but their spare keeper, Salvatore Sirigu, is no mug so I don't think it'll affect them too badly. Unfortunately for England, Danny Welbeck looks to have made a full recovery from his own ankle injury.

 

So, thoughts? Predictions? Who would you start if you were Roy Hodgson? Who would you have left in London?

 

The only difficult question I'm pondering right now is how much to bet on Italy. Don't fancy England at all, but they might get a goal so I think Italy to win but both teams to score might be the best bet at around 5/1.

 

Failing that, 2-1 either way wouldn't overly shock me.

 

Anybody got any plans for the game tonight? I'll be ordering a takeaway munchie box around 10 pm!

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Did the physio honestly just get stretchered off? I haven't fallen asleep in a takeaway enduced coma and had a mental dream? Gary Lewin, England physio, has required urgent attention from the erm... physio. Amazing.

 

Really good goals by both sides. Happy for Sturridge, always been a fan, still fancy Italy though.

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Tell you what, if Costa Rica play as good as they did today, they are going to give both Italy and England a lot of problems.

 

England shouldn't be too hard done by with themselves. It wasn't a bad performance. But set pieces and finishing was very poor tonight. Balotelli showed tonight how finishing is done.

 

England should beat Uruguay if they show up like they did against Costa Rica. Italy won't underestimate them and will go to play smart footy to seal the win.

 

Also how frigging awesome was pirlos free kick!

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I know it was ultimately a defeat but England can take more positives from this than negatives. All three goals were excellent, and some of the individual performances were very good indeed.

 

Overall: good, promising, pleasing. Except for the result :P

 

Cheers!

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For all the people annoyed that Welbeck got a start, the lad did what he was supposed to do which is harass the living daylights out of the Italians when they had the ball and push them back on the left hand side. After a bit of a quiet start he did just that and played some nice little bits of football with Sterling and Sturridge.

 

The problem was our left hand side, Italy's right and the problem was Rooney. He was given a job to do, a job he had done 1000's of times in a United shirt which was play on the left hand side and he failed to do it bar one cross. He had issues tracking back because he was always tucking inside into a central role and was getting caught out of position and when he did track back Candreva the Lazio player made him his b**ch as Rooney tired in the heat and humidity.

 

The answer to this is simple, Rooney needs to be played as a striker or not at all. When he was younger, fitter, less stubborn and had less of an ego then you could put him anywhere in the team and he'd do a job no problem but as United fans will tell you, in recent years he has an idea were he should be playing and if he's not in that position that you are not going to get that same lung busting effort that earmarked his performances from 2007-2011.

 

Lallana needs to come in for the next game on the left where he plays well for Southampton and proven he can go forward, link the play and still protect his full back, Sterling for me keeps his place, Sturridge moves to the right to cut in on his left foot and Rooney plays up top.

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I pretty much agree with King. Lallana, Studge, Sterling and Welbz start for me next time. Defensively Lallana left and Welbeck right, but offensively they can do what they want.

 

I would also say that Rooney is capable of world class, however he's not a truly world class player anymore. He's capable of moments of brilliance, but that's in between the game generally passing him by. Sterling, for example, was miles ahead of him.

 

Cheers!

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The BBC's annoying boner for Barkley though is beginning to annoy me - they want him to be the next Gazza and even said in their match review he impressed when he came on but bar one shot he did nothing really as Italy smothered everything they could. The same went for Lallana when he came on as well as their wasn't much time and yet they barely mention him despite him, for me, doing just as well in the warm up games as Barkley did and having a better overall season beforehand.

 

I think though that Henderson at the moment is also more then justifying his place in the line up ahead of Wilshere.

Edited by Evil Gringo
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I pretty much agree with King. Lallana, Studge, Sterling and Welbz start for me next time. Defensively Lallana left and Welbeck right, but offensively they can do what they want.

 

I would also say that Rooney is capable of world class, however he's not a truly world class player anymore. He's capable of moments of brilliance, but that's in between the game generally passing him by. Sterling, for example, was miles ahead of him.

 

Cheers!

 

Roy is in a catch 22 situation now, does he drop Rooney and if they lose get hammered by the Rooney loving press, or keep faith in him and get beaten again and get hammered by the Rooney should have been dropped loving press.

 

Sterling was streets ahead of him last night, Roy has nothing to lose now, give the kids a chance, go balls out for the win and you never know what could happen.

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I'd drop Rooney too. I wouldn't even have played him last night. Sterling, Barkley, Lallana, Sturridge for me against Uruguay. If the Ox is fit he plays over Lallana for me. A front four of Ox, Barkley, Sterling and Danny should scare any defence with all that pace and flair. And uruguay's defence are pretty slow and immobile.

 

Uruguay also don't push their full backs on much and are pretty rigid so the need for constant full back protection from wingers should be less, therfore no Welbeck for me.

 

Agree with King as well on Rooney regarding his fitness. Starting his career so young, he's played so much football already. He's been a Premier League and international regular for over ten years now and I'm starting to agree with the people who say its had an effect on him.

Edited by Magic
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Ironically Rooney looks the fittest he's been since he was about 16. I knows he's a naturally rotund bloke but he's looking as fit as a butcher's dog for Brazil, so fair play, his desire is there. Same with Wilshere, when he came on last night I thought he looked leaner than he did late last season.

 

I wouldn't discard Rooney, but perhaps he is now the impact sub? Imagine Studgy, Sterling, Ox, Welbeck, Lallana, Barkley, Wilshere (etc...) running Uruguay ragged for 70 minutes and then bringing on Rooney. The Uruguayans would probably hang up their boots.

 

I would drop Rooney for Lallana personally, as I felt Rooney was decent enough going forward, but offered little defensive discipline. Lallana would be that guy. Him or Ox.

 

Cheers!

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