Young To Seize Dutch Chance?
AS usual with any England friendly there has been much talk in recent days of the value of Wednesday’s trip to Amsterdam.
Premier League managers have been left fuming by the absence of key players at such an important point of pre-season and already Fabio Capello has seen Ben Foster and Steven Gerrard pull out of his squad due to injury.
But for the Italian there will be no doubting the importance of the clash with the Dutch, especially as his team are just one month away from potentially securing their spot at South Africa when they meet Croatia at Wembley on September 9th.
England’s World Cup qualifying campaign has been faultless. Seven wins from seven games have put them firmly in control of their own destiny and a trip to next summer’s tournament looks all but assured. But in their last friendly against high class opposition they were comfortably seen off by Spain and Capello will be looking for a much improved display against the Dutch.
Ball retention will be key, against Spain it was given away far too cheaply and if England are to achieve anything in South Africa they must learn quickly how to keep hold of possession. The loss of Gerrard will have come as a blow, the Liverpool skipper is a vital cog in the centre of midfield alongside Gareth Barry and Frank Lampard. David Beckham could come in to a central role to fill the void but Gerrard’s absence will certainly hit England in an attacking sense.
One man who could really stake a claim for a regular spot in the starting XI is Ashley Young. The Aston Villa winger has been consistently overlooked by Capello who seems to favour Stuart Downing on the left-hand side but with Downing injured Young could well get his chance on Wednesday. Many remain unconvinced by Downing and there have long been calls for Young to get an opportunity. He certainly has the talent as he showed during the first half of last season and despite a disappointing end to the campaign his pace and direct style will cause the best teams problems. If selected Young will see this a real chance to cement his place in the side, Downing will not be fit in time for the Croatia game so a good showing for Young on Wednesday could put him in pole position for a spot in South Africa. Try telling him this game has no value.
Possible England team: Green, Johnson, Terry, Ferdinand, Cole, Young, Barry, Beckham, Lampard, Walcott, Rooney.Tags: England, Holland, International Football