June 06, 2002

Owen wants Heskey moved back to usual position.: Michael Owen wants his Liverpool strike partner moved back alongside him, just as they play in the Premiership. I'm thinking anything that'll take the game to Argentina is good. Especially after Mr. "Hand of God" Maradona's latest bit of mouthing off. What do you think? Any other England strike combinations in mind?

posted by worldcup2002 to soccer at 12:59 AM - 10 comments

Heskey and Owen up front, Scholes and Beckham through the middle, Vassell out on the right, Ashley Cole on the left of midfield, Mills and Bridge as the two wide defenders, and Ferdinand and Campbell in the centre. Everyone on their favoured side, good pace throughout the team, and an attacking mindset to the whole thing. Not gonna happen that way though - looks like Scholes will do a fish out of water impression on the left.. Lets hope it isn't as bad as Heskeys attempt..

posted by Mossy at 05:51 AM on June 06, 2002

Looks like Vassell may play left ... left out. And Nicky Butt to replace him.

posted by worldcup2002 at 09:26 AM on June 06, 2002

Heskey looked awful in the first match. I am afraid. Very afraid. Vassell played very well though.

posted by kafkaesque at 11:16 AM on June 06, 2002

I think Owen has started to believe that he is so legendary that he doesn't have to do the hard graft anymore (the little ugly things in Ronglish). More to the point I have an irrational dislike of him. I wouldn't mind seeing Fowler and Heskey up front. Not the time to experiment I know, but it hasn't stopped Sven arsing about on the left. I wonder if Le Saux is having a little chuckle. Or, one of Owen, Fowler or Heskey, with Scholes in the hole. Scholes is a natural finisher and is wasted playing deep. Putting him wide left is barking, in my hapless opinion. Maradona is a nonenentity, making a living as talking head. His opinion is as valid as anyone elses, but ultimately vacuous. There is a good big brother style send up of Maradona on the ubiquitous Guardian site.

posted by Fat Buddha at 12:03 PM on June 06, 2002

Vassell played attractively, but not that productively, mainly because there was a chasm between the midfield and the strikers. I'm sure McManaman is sitting by the pool in his Madrid house, wondering how Heskey could be considered a better left-sided midfielder than him. (And yes, I do agree that Owen's become a bit lazy.) If England do play Butt and Scholes in the middle of the park, I suppose the idea might be to use the full-backs as wing-backs, or at least let them do a bit of running, create width that way, and compact the front-line. (Here we mourn the loss of the Gary Neville-Beckham combo, which is good at that sort of thing.) Somehow, though, I suspect the full-backs will have enough on their hands with Batistuta and co, which is where you'd have to wonder whether Sheringham and/or Fowler might do the business.

posted by etagloh at 12:26 PM on June 06, 2002

So what kind of formation are we talking here? 4-4-2? 3-5-2? I prefer 3-5-2 to crowd the midfield a little, maybe even plug that hole between midfield and attack. I must admit that I did think of the Fowler-Owen-Heskey combo (per Fat Buddha). Nice way to resurrect that Liverpool strike partnership, eh? Also, it's an intriguing way to pressure Simeone and crew. Give him a little more to chew on than Beckham perhaps. If we do the F-O-H attack, and play Butt-Beckham-Scholes in midfield, we'd have a Liverpool attack (Fowler's always a Liverpool boy) and a Man U midfield. Hmm. Nice thing to be said for cohesion. Maybe a 4-3-3 then. But I'm guessing that's a little too adventurous for Sven's blood.

posted by worldcup2002 at 03:02 PM on June 06, 2002

I agree, Sven's too chicken to play anything other than a 4-4-2. The Argentinians will be playing a 3-4-3 I reckon, with Ortega and Gonzalez slightly behind Batitistuta in attack. This could spell problems for the English midfield unless they have Butt back sitting in front of the defence and doing a holding job - Zanetti for one is a blindingly good winger. Collina (scary bald Italian dude) is the ref, so the English players should try and run with the ball as much as possible => Argentinian fouls => lotsa freekicks; the Argentine defence aren't the best timers of tackles in the world..

posted by Mossy at 04:50 PM on June 06, 2002

I saw Argentina play Wales in a friendly a couple of months back and the natural ability throughout the side was a wonder to behold. Man for man they are much better footballers than England, but the game is about so much more. I am hopeful.

posted by Fat Buddha at 05:00 PM on June 06, 2002

Gonna wake up in a few hours to watch this match. I'm predicting England 3-1.

posted by catatonic at 10:47 PM on June 06, 2002

catatonic: wrong score but right result! yes! and mossy called it on the "run with the ball" strategy: that's what owen did and that's how they got the penalty! And I think Ashley Cole should get the "most tackled and fouled" player of the match award.

posted by worldcup2002 at 12:46 PM on June 07, 2002

You're not logged in. Please log in or register.