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All Things Footie | Monday, November 12 | Jordan

Left Wanting

The way I see it, England's problem is two fold. Firstly there's the ominous left wing problem—I like Trevor Sinclair, and perhaps some of his uncharacteristically heavy touches and ineffective runs were down to nerves. This cannot be an excuse however, for someone who has done it for years in the Premiership there was something missing, that something that sets aside international performers from your better than average league player.

The second problem is England's lack of cover in key area's. If anything happened to Steven Gerrard (and let's face it, it's hardly unlikely) then we're left with a situation in which Nicky Butt will probably start. This will not do, for Mr. Butt has all the style, poise and panache of a wet weekend in Bognor Regis (no offence to Bognor Regis). Jamie Carragher makes Chris Powell look like Maldini and I've seen deserted cars in Belfast look safer than Nigel Martyn's hands.

It is probably no coincidence that of those three only one (Butt) was substituted before supporters were leaving the ground, Sven Goran Eriksson wanting to give their game a thorough assessment. It's not all bad. However much I dislike the dirty thug, Danny Mills certainly impressed in his half hour cameo. His directness and willingness to attack (and abandon all defensive duties) was entertaining if not a little cavalier.

It is also worth noting Rio Ferdinand's excellent performance and I thought Gareth Southgate was encouragingly steady if not spectacular. Danny Murphy was also a positive but if taken to Japan and South Korea-probably not likely tp be included on matchday.

A Goo'Dunn

I've thought it for some time, and anyone who saw Friday's match between the England U21's and their Dutch counterparts (1-1) must surely agree that David Dunn is ready for the seniors. After a blindingly impressive start to the season including a couple of match winning performances against top class opposition (Arsenal being one of them), he has impressed the right people and is definitely worth a call up. My only worry is that like so many talents before him (Joe Cole, Steve McManaman) he will be deployed out of position on the left wing, when I think he would be much more influential on the game. He can play out wide, as he did on Friday and as he has done on a number of occasions for Blackburn, but his tendency to cut in on his right foot coupled with his top class work rate and energy suggests that a place alongside Gerrard or Scholes would serve the country best.

Speaking of Scholes did anyone else notice that he wasn't passing to Beckham on Saturday? There were three or four occasions to my knowledge when the best, and sometimes easiest ball to play was to his United counterpart and captain. But each time the ginger dynamo swung a ball to someone else. It would be all to easy to dismiss these as just poor decisions from Scholes, and given his recent form not all that unlikely—but I suspect that after the row with Ferguson last week the two may have had a falling out.


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