ome ways, England’s fresher, livelier performance in Basel last night has left me feeling even more short-changed by the Fabio Capello reign.
It’s clear he has learned that international football is all about cutting edge and Capello has decided to go adventurous in this European Championship campaign as opposed to the ‘tried and tested’ method in South Africa which clearly didn’t work. He’s being rewarded for proper selection if you like.
All of a sudden with the likes of Theo Walcott, Adam Johnson and a confident goalkeeper in Joe Hart we have an extra sharpness to our game and it’s paying dividends.
One thing he should have learned from last night and Friday’s 4-0 win over Bulgaria is that the days of Frank Lampard and Steven Gerrard playing alongside each other are over, and here’s the reason why.
If Jermain Defoe is seen as the main finisher then that gives Wayne Rooney licence to drop off and play the area that both playmakers like to drift into. With Rooney there, Gerrard or Lampard would have to take up a more holding role, giving England extra stability in the middle of the park.
In short, there’s just no room for the three of them in the ‘hole’ and the best partnership for me is Gerrard protecting Rooney.
As for Rooney himself, it was nice to see him getting his head down and rolling his sleeves up despite the allegations surrounding his private life, but he is still clearly distanced and playing well below par.
It will be interesting to see how he handles the next few weeks.
ENGLAND | TREVOR’S RATINGS
1 Joe Hart 7
2 Glen Johnson 8
3 Ashley Cole 8
4 Steven Gerrard 7
5 Joleon Lescott 7
6 Phil Jalgielka 8
7 Theo Walcott 8 (Adam Johnson, 13, 8)
8 Gareth Barry 7
9 Jermain Defoe 8 (Darren Bent 70, 8)
10 Wayne Rooney 7 (S. Wright-Phillips 79, 7)
11 James Milner 8