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RobbertJan

football: the beautiful game

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don't know what Arsene said to Theo at half time, but what a change!

It was that no football brain jibe at young Theo in the Egypt friendly that stoke his fire and made him realise he must stop mucking around if he wants to go to South Africa.

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JrilcyYTWQ8

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gerrard gets off the hook.... further proof that fifa funnelled all the goal line technology research money into the forcefield protecting the g14

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no world cup for beckham. suuuucks.

Yes replace him with adam johnson. That lad is awesome man. Check out his goal against Sunderland yesterday night. A supersub for Mancity. If he could maintain his form, I think he has no problem getting into capello's squad

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Yeh I feel a bit for Beckham... I'm sure he'd rather have the opportunity and get rejected rather than be forced out due to an injury.

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Yes replace him with adam johnson. That lad is awesome man. Check out his goal against Sunderland yesterday night. A supersub for Mancity. If he could maintain his form, I think he has no problem getting into capello's squad

NO way. AJ's though quick and athletic is at risk of becoming another Micah. His crosses are all all over the place in his earlier matches for Man City and I wonder why Manc picked him over SWP until I heard SWP, Ireland and others quarrelled with Manc over his training.

Compare AJ to Flo Mal in the West Ham match terrorising them. If Manc did not quarrel with SWP and Petrov is fit, I will pick them over AJ.

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Yeh I feel a bit for Beckham... I'm sure he'd rather have the opportunity and get rejected rather than be forced out due to an injury.

Bet Capello would have picked Becks and use him as a supersub. He cant run but he can get into position and his crosses are lethal and he can galvanise the squad like in Mclaren's last match.

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Watching him at Milan this season I'm not sure Becks has it anymore, and I'm relieved that we're to be spared the undignified sight of his lost influence. Surely Lennon is a far greater loss to the squad? On present form Theo looks a much better supersub, what with his pace and directness, than AJ, who looks good but far from consistent.

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Watching him at Milan this season I'm not sure Becks has it anymore, and I'm relieved that we're to be spared the undignified sight of his lost influence. Surely Lennon is a far greater loss to the squad? On present form Theo looks a much better supersub, what with his pace and directness, than AJ, who looks good but far from consistent.

With each passing game Lennon miss, his legend grows. I recall Lennon being shut down and become totally ineffective in some matches including against Chelsea.

But anyway with Becks gone, Bridge gone, Ashley probably gone, there are more slots to fill. Maybe Ashley Young and Gabby Abby will finally get their shots.

Think Becks still got something to offer. Sheva despite being washed up, is still a legend and is feared and from that, he can score goals, in the Italy qualifier.

But at 36 at the next Euros and 38 at the next WC, think it is way too late for him.

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I think this exemplifies exactly why England haven't a hope in hell of winning SA. When you look at the quality of spain's first choice eleven, and then the quality of their back up, and consider which English player would make that squad, I would say only Cashley, and maybe Rooney, though Torres and Villa are better out and out strikers. Since it looks likely that the left back spot will be occupied by Leighton Baines, I would see this as further evidence that the England squad is some way below world class. I would also argue that while Lennon's crossing is erratic, his pace provides an exciting outlet otherwise absent in the squad, and his delivery is certainly better than Theo's.

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^^that was mainly lennon's second season and under ramos that he suffered - since redknapp came in he's been superb, and his crossing has improved considerably. just watch his games this season, no myths.

regardless, we would never win even if we had our full-strength team, as our forward-line is possibly the worst we've had in years.

Sure, Rooney is fantastic (almost finished article tbh, doesn't just score but creates for others almost at the same ratio - seemingly), but he isn't the kind of forward that supports Defoe (probably a sub) well. Leaving Crouch who is flukey and inconsistent, and heskey won't try to score; who else is there? zamora's already booked his holiday lol

if campbell is in contention to make the squad, then that says it all really. Bridge better man the fuck up and return to the squad.

*we've gotten into the problem that, many potential candidates are being touted left, right and centre (johnson, gabby, aston villa etc) but they have almost zero experience in terms of playing internationals, let alone in the biggest tournament there is.

In some respects, i'm quite happy all of this has happened (except for Beckham) as this could be the first tournament we play in without the almost unbearable expectations created by the media. Who knows what'll happen, France and Italy got to the final last time..

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i haven't been paying too much attention to england's lineup, but i assume with your embarrassment of riches in central midfield that you have enough goals /movement there to support / be supported by rooney - even without an ideal strike partner.

i would be much more concerned about your situation in goal...

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Lampard's in decent form, otherwise I'd hardly describe the midfield as an embarrassment of riches. Both Gerrard and Barry have had forgettable seasons, while Carrick's has been almost totally abysmal, and poor Joe Cole, that least English of the whole squad, has regressed steadily since the high point of his career at the world cup four years ago. Milner looks decent but not world class. Lennon looks the only threat, and along with Walcott the only player with the nouse and unpredictability to trouble well drilled defenses, who tend to sit back and soak up England pressure, and wait for the ball to be inevitably given away. England in my lifetime have never had the ability to retain possession, a feat which even the worst Italian and Brazilian sides of the last decade have mastered easily. I have yet to see evidence that Capello has instilled this understanding into his squad. Games at international tournaments do not have a home/away dynamic, and England are generally tactically outsmarted by supposedly inferior teams who allow them to dominate possession until they essentially run out of ideas and gift the ball away. This, added to the huge amount of media pressure behind the team, and coupled with the peculiarly English emphasis on ideas of passion and commitment over tactics and technical ability, mean that until the team can learn to hold on to the ball they will inevitably implode the first time they face challenging opposition. I'm hoping to get good odds on a victory for USA.

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Anybody else looking forward to Chelsea crashing out of the Champions League and cursing at more cameras?

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Anybody else looking forward to Chelsea crashing out of the Champions League and cursing at more cameras?
very much so, but i'm also ready for disappointment

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I never feel fewer patriotic stirrings than during major international tournaments. There's something so English about the team, the supporters and the whole media circus which crystallizes exactly why I feel so deeply skeptical about my own nationality. And I think it largely comes down to the graceless way they're unable to hold onto the ball, passing it round with ever increasing panic, as if it was a live grenade or something. To me it's entirely reflective of a deep strain of national anti-intellectualism, a suspicion of tactics and technical ability, a belief that 'passion' and 'commitment' (to kicking the more skillful team up in the air) are superior qualities. There are many admirable facets to English culture. These, however, are not they.

Also, Chelsea to win tonight. Though I dislike (but secretly admire) Chelsea, and though I admire (but secretly dislike) Mourinho, Inter were left pretty much outperformed at San Siro, and Stamford Bridge, while no longer the fortress it was under Jose, is way too much to ask of a team so obviously out of form, fitness and ideas. The death of Serie A, you read it here first.

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That Inter back four are really giving it everything. Interestingly, while they look overwhelmed by the industry and power of Chelsea's midfield, they look a lot more committed in defense, and I wouldn't put it past them to nab an away goal on the break. Also a pity that Eto's powers have so waned, that ball in from Maicon was a sitter, would have loved him to score that, especially since it would have been JT's fault.

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second half should be good. there will be blood and hopefully goals. sucks i'm leaving for some happy hour oysters now.

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keeping up with the game on yahoo so haven't been able to actually see the action. was that goal the first time turnbull was tested? either way, glad to see the rent boys crashing out! glory glory man. utd.!

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Anybody else looking forward to Chelsea crashing out of the Champions League and cursing at more cameras?

hahahaha. this year its stomping on ankles instead of cursing at the camera. drogba is such a cunt.

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DROGBA GONE! Love it.

Haha, he's such a classless cunt. The whole Chelsea squad really is, glad they've lost their chance at European glory another year.

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buncha thugs. i hate em all except for essien cause hes a badass in midfield(or was).

so when will roman sack ancelotti?

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