It’s only a game
I missed the game versus Slovakia on Sunday, although from what I hear it sounds like I didn’t miss much. But what I did hear from the game is that Wayne Rooney was playing deep in midfield, and then the next day I saw a quote from Sam Allardyce saying it’s not for him to tell Rooney where to play…
Really? Really Sam? It’s not your place to tell Rooney where to play? As the manager, I think it bloody is mate!
And this brings me on to my main gripe, as I feel like we’re going around and around in a constant never-ending loop when it comes to Rooney, regardless of the manager.
I’m not knocking Rooney. I think he’s a great player and when his career is done people will look back and think of him as a class player BUT he shouldn’t be shoehorned into the side, which at the moment is how it feels. It feels like the manager, be it Hodgson or now Allardyce, are scared to drop him if they can’t find a place in the team for him.
I’m not saying Wayne should be dropped. But if you play him, play him where he’s playing for his club, where’s he’s been so effective for over a decade, where he can do most damage to the opposition, as a number 10. If he doesn’t fit in there, then drop him. Don’t put him in a deeper midfield role where you’ve got players who are in much better form there like Danny Drinkwater and Delle Alli sitting on the bench.
Why is the manager so scared to drop him if need be? What do they think will happen? Do you know what happened the last time an England side played without Wayne Rooney? They came from 2-0 down to beat Germany on their own patch! We’ve got the players to form a very good team. But at the moment it seems like one player is prioritised over the team.
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I was listening to the radio the other day and the various presenters/guests/pundits were going through who they’d pick for their England squad for the Euros if they were Roy Hodgson. Now I’m normally quite a cool and calm person but within ten minutes of listening I was screaming at the radio such things as “How the hell can you take him?!”… “But he’s been shit this season!”… “Why you being a bellend for?!” So I thought I’d share my 23-man England squad for the Euros if I were Hodgson (minus the space monkey jokes)… What do you think?:
*ONLY if Jack Wilshere is fit. If not replace him with Fabian Delph or James Milner.
**ONLY if Wayne Rooney is fit. Otherwise replaced with Andy Carroll or Troy Deeney.
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So last week there was lots of gossip on Twitter (which means it’s definitely true right? I mean Twitter and Wikipedia are the most reliable sources on the web) that Liverpool striker Daniel Sturridge was going to retire, at the tender age of 26.
Obviously I don’t believe it, and I wish Sturridge a speedy recovery from this injury nightmare that’s been so bad even Darren Anderton and Owen Hargreaves would go “Dyam!!!” On his day, a fit Daniel Sturridge I believe is the best No.9 Roy Hodgson has at his disposal – yep, that’s right I said it. Better than Kane, Rooney, Vardy. Even better than the greatest England No.9 in football history… Michael Ricketts.
But I was thinking, what IF Sturridge were to retire? Then what? What would he do? What would be his next career move? I’ve come up with a few ideas…
- Sturridge becomes a judge on Strictly Come Dancing.
- Sturridge releases a series of Keep Fit videos… Can you imagine, “How To Keep Fit with Daniel Sturridge”? The irony!
- He’s brought back out of retirement… By Manchester United!
- He becomes the face of the Children’s books Where’s Wally?, which are appropriately renamed ‘Where’s Danny?’
- Sturridge decides he wants to pursue acting… His first role is a part on Casualty.
Any other suggestions?
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No, the above title is not a sarcastic quip, but a genuine question. Is Pep Guardiola really all that? Don’t get it twisted, I’d love to have him at Brentford FC (Anytime you like Pep. You’ll enjoy the West London lifestyle). His achievements since swapping the playing boots for a manager’s blazer should definitely be admired and appreciated, which they are. But how good is Guardiola really? How good a manager is he? In my personal opinion, I don’t think we really know yet.
Yes, he’s got his teams playing lovely beautiful football on the way to trophy after trophy, but let’s look at the teams he’s managed and the environment they’ve been in…
Barcelona in La Liga; In the Spanish top flight you have Barcelona and Real Madrid (with Atletico in the last few years) dominating proceedings, steamrolling teams week in, week out. La Liga is so predictable it makes the Scottish Premier League look like the English Championship! Then, look at the players he had at his disposal at the Camp Nou. A team consisting of Carlos Puyol, Xavi, Iniesta, Eto’o, Henry, Messi… How much managing do those guys really need? I’m sure my grandma could be in charge of them and still get them to into the Champions League. I can just imagine her pre-match team talks…
“Alright people, listen up! Dis is mi tactics for today’s game. You in goal, chuck de ball to de bwoy with de shaggy hair. Wha you name is? Pu-what? Puyol? Ok. Chuck de ball to de Puyol bwoy. Den you pass it to either Xavier or X, whatever you name is. Or pass it to Ini-essay. Den you bwoys pass it to de men by de goal. Dats de Messi bwoy, de Va-Va-Voom one or de African bwoy. Ok? You all understand? If you nah follow mi tactics me coming on de pitch with mi belt and lashing you in front of all de fans! No go and play!”
There’s been a similar situation at Bayern. Guardiola took over a team who had just won the treble. He took over a team who had been dominating the league (along with Dortmund) for time! And again, look at his players; Lahm, Neuer, Alonso, Robben, Ribery, Muller…
It can’t be too difficult to be successful when you’ve got such talented players to work with – although Louis Van Gaal is doing his best to disprove this theory.
Now Pep is saying that he wants a fresh challenge in England with Manchester City looking like the likely destination. Another club littered with talent, competing at the top. It’s like he’s playing career mode on FIFA with all the cheats. If he really wants a “challenge” head to the Midlands and take over at Aston Villa. Then we’ll find out how good Pep Guardiola really is.
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So here’s my Premier League team of the year for 2015 – that’s calendar year, not 2014/15 season. See what you think? Agree? Disagree?
Jack Butland (Stoke): He’s really stepped up to the plate in the last 12 months. Joe Hart, watch your back! There’s competition for that England keeper shirt.
Seamus Coleman (Everton): So consistent it’s unreal. Unlike so many right-backs who like to bomb forward, he can actually defend too.
Chris Smalling (Man Utd): LVG hasn’t done a lot of things right at Old Trafford. But one good thing he has done is turn Smalling into a rock at the back.
Laurent Koscielny (Arsenal): Any defender who can make Per Mertesacker look good is in my team!
Ryan Bertrand (Southampton): Solid and dependable left-back. Chelsea should have never let him go. Deserves more opportunities on the international stage.
Dele Alli (Spurs): Think about it. He was playing in League 1 for the first part of 2015 and helped them to promotion and then stepped up to Premier League football like it was “no thing but a chicken wing!”
Yannick Bolasie (Crystal Palace): I feel sorry for any defender who’s had to mark him in 2015. His skills are so dirty they have me screaming “Where are your manners?” at the TV.
Mesut Ozil (Arsenal): The player we saw at Real Madrid and playing for Germany has finally come to fruition at The Emirates.
Jamie Vardy (Leicester): Chat shit, get banged! … Need I say more?
Harry Kane (Spurs): At the start of the season it appeared that Harry Kane was just a one-season wonder… How wrong we were. Where would Spurs be without him?
Odion Ighalo (Watford): Top scorer in league football in 2015. Fired Watford to promotion and then continued the scoring as the hornets sit in the top half of the table.
So, what do you think?