08 May 2006

31 days! Let the complaints begin.

Four strikers, two teenagers, and Owen Hargreaves. That's who England's taking to the World Cup. Two of the strikers aren't fully fit -- though I think Owen will be back in time -- but your Plan B is Crouch and Walcott? I adore Peter Crouch, but even I have to admit that he's not the most consistent player around. He needs a very specific style of play to do well, and I'm not sure that England can get it down in the limited prep time they have. (I do think him serving as target man for Owen could be a good pairing, though.)

And Walcott. Really? I don't mind that he's 17. I mind that he's never had a Premiership start, or an international game, for that matter. I'm not sure what he has that Darren Bent (or hell, even Jermain Defoe) don't, besides youth. I mean, Bent didn't set the world on fire in the Uruguay friendly, but it's hard to argue with his Premiership scoring record. This makes it sound like I have some huge vendetta against Walcott, and that's really not the case. I'm just surprised that he's who they decided to go with. It must be hard to be the McClaren to Rooney's Scolari, so I hope he does well. It's just not the choice I would have made.

Also choices I would not have made: Hargreaves. A thousand times Hargreaves. I would have taken Shaun Wright-Phillips and Darren Bent, too. But this is why I'm not England manager, I suppose. I'm just glad Heskey didn't manage to work his way into the side.

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