England v Egypt preview – just like that

by Dexy Longshot

Wednesday, March 3rd, 2010

Major quickie my bredren, I’m not in no fit state to ramble on about the plight of John Terry’s big I Am Untouchable shenanigans plus I deffo don’t want to pipe up about Ashley I’m Sooo Depressed Cole. It serves you both right. I want to dwell on the re-emergence of Leighton Baines, Warnock, Carlton Cole & Stewart Downing, even if my heads banging after watching the Paddys and Brazilians in a Guinness fuelled haze at the Emirates.

Who will be our left back if Ashley Cole doesn’t get fit in time? For me Leighton’s the man, ever since under 21 level, I’ve had a mincer on him and he has been a regular in my dreamteam this season. Granted, Everton weren’t clever with the clean sheets at the start of the season but over the past 2 months, the Toffees and in particular Baines have really excelled. He has something like 5 assists and a couple of goals too and I fancy him to get a few more before May. I know we ain’t exactly blessed in the fullback positions depth wise but I’d prefer Leighton over Warnock, he is a good player but looked a bit shaky on Sunday in the final against Valencia. He also doesn’t have the attacking threat that Leighton possesses which is the nearest thing we have to Ashley who is World Class on his day. Stewart Downing started the season without much to shout about either apart that his leg was giving him jip. Half a season in and he is flying and looking better than ever. He came in for some stick at Wembley a few times in the past but I wouldn’t bet against him being on the plane to SA now. He has quality as shown in the Germany game eighteen months back and I think the psychological effect of some of the numbskull boo-boys is a distant memory. I hope he gets a run-out tonight. Someone else in the same position, who I think may be the biggest WC shock inclusion, is Adam Johnson, another MIddlesborough product. In the short time he has had at Man City, I see someone who can attack defenders either side, put in crosses and as a eye for goal, he reminds a bit of a young Steve McManaman and if we are truthful, we haven’t got too many players like that at the moment, especially if Joe Cole is to be snubbed. Up front, there is a clamor for the striker roles: If Rooney, Defoe and Heskey are fit, I think they will all be on the plane, then there is 1 or possibly 2 places left. If 2 places, I’d fancy Theo to get one of them, partly because he can play both on the wing and up front (not that we have seen much him up there for arsenal but he has done for the U21s). Then there are a batch of players fighting for a seat up front. Carlton Cole, Bobby Zamora, Peter Crouch, Micheal Owen and Darren Bent. For me, it comes down to who is gonna be getting the goals in the next 2 months. I would say Crouchy but the games ain’t coming for the beanpole, even if he has got something none off the other players possess, that unorthodox extra height and an extraordinary fitter than fit missus! If Defoe goes, Owen doesn’t in my book, neither does Bent, we have the speed of Defoe/Walcott and Owen has lost his pace. I am also worried about his constant injuries. That leaves Carlton and Bobby-Z. People have critised both in the past but they have been playing well for their respective clubs and both deserve to be considered. Very similar in there style, big hold up players with a eye for goal, I’d personally consider them before Heskey if it went on club form and goals but you cannot argue with Heskey’s role alongside Rooney. The amount of goals we scored in the qualifiers proved that the big target man brings out the best in players around him and in Fabio I trust.

So, tonight’s opponents, Egypt, I know them well and they will be well up for it, I think it will be good game and expect there to be just 1 goal separating the sides at the end. The Africans came top of the pile again at the ACN for the 3rd time on the trot and are very disciplined side tactically. They will all know their jobs and who to nullify (Although anyone with half a brain cell will say stop Rooney getting his noggin on the size 5). They have some quality in their side and Zidan is a fantastic player, he’ll be giving Baines/Warnock a thorough test. Another who may get a chance against him will be Shawcross, he’s had a bad few days & is still really gutted about the tackle on Ramsey but I think Fabio may give him some minutes; I like him a lot and hope he has a good game. I also hope Gooners among the fans don’t start booing the lad, he doesn’t deserve that.

I foresee 2-1 to Fabio, 1 Rooney goal at least if he plays and lots of booing for the Chelsea Captain, it’s inevitable. I also foresee getting hammered wearing my Tommy Cooper fez; it looks the camel’s conkers!!!

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  • Stevie

    Eggypot, class act, a lesson in pass and move

  • Dexylongshot

    Yep I said they were a good organised side and threat with Zidan, I thank yoooouuu!!

    Typical England under Cappello, start badly, a few tactical changes at half time and romp home in the second. Gerard was a real disapointment, he kept coming in, why didn’t he try and zip a few across from the byline to feet, or even in the air once Crouchy was on. Shauan Wright and Milner exploded into the game and made the difference. Lamps wasn’t at his best either, 2 simple chances gone astray. I though Barry was our best midfielder by a mile, excellent. Up Back, mistakes by everyone in defence although I thought Baines was the best of a bad bunch, the ground didn’t help Upson either but the Pharoahs were not falling over. Rooney was well marked so not as handy as expected but he was better than Defoe who fluffed his line. Theo is nogo if he plays like he did after the first 5 minutes. Big John, boo central, the worst i’ve ever heard in an international. Anyway, roll on June! This was only a friendly and we had the upper hand in all departments by the finish against the 10th best team in the world coming of the back of the ACN triumph. Well done chaps.

  • Darren

    at times they made us look stupid. It was only when carrick came on we began to take control of the midfield, he offers so much more than Lampard, who by his own standards is having a poor season

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