FABIO CAPELLO has a thing or two to ponder over the next seven easy before reducing his 30 down to 23 – but he certainly would have learned a thing or two from last night’s display at Wembley.
Firstly, Aaron Lennon showed in one brief burst into the Mexican box late on why he should be the No1 choice on the right ahead of Theo Walcott.
Yes, Walcott has explosive pace, but his decision making is not yet of international standard, while Lennon is just that little bit more mature than Walcott.
Gareth Barry’s fitness is key. Michael Carrick showed last night how and in-and-out season for Manchester United has not stood him in good stead, while James Milner, as good as he is in centre midfield for Aston Villa, is not yet international class in that position.
For me, I would go 4-3-3. A fit Barry would hold the midfield three with Steven Gerrard and Frank Lampard working either side and given licence to drive forward, ensuring Gerrard is not wasted out on the left. Then, I’d have Lennon on the right of an attacking three alongside Wayne Rooney in the centre and Adam Johnson on the left.
Adam Johnson is a special talent who has grown in stature in perfect time for this World Cup. He walked into a star-studded Manchester City side mid-season with ease and has the confidence and self-belief to take on players on a create situations.
With those six, backed by a defence of Glen Johnson, Rio Ferdinand, John Terry and Ashley Cole, I would sleep at night happy that I have plenty of legs and bodies in the midfield, bags of pace up front and goalscoring threat.
Mr Capello, it’s over to you.