England thumped Moldova 5-0 last night as they kicked off their journey on the road to Brazil 2014.
Roy Hodgson said the scoreline didn’t flatter his side. Is this the truth?
Let’s not get carried away here. The opposition was Moldova. A minnows in terms of the football world. Can you name any famous Moldavian players? A side of England’s stature should be beating these types of teams by this scoreline; anything less is a bit of an embarrassment.
But was the win that convincing? Sure they scored five goals, but three of the goals were a bit dodgy.
The penalty was one of those were the referee could have claimed the player was too close to get out of the way. James Milner surely wouldn’t have had that chance to shoot against a better team. Moldova were scrambling this way and that, chasing and diving after the ball instead of covering the unmarked England men around the box. And the free kick took a wicked deflection that no keeper could have kept out.
Don’t get me wrong, England certainly bossed the game and deserved the win. But the scoreline is flattering. I think Moldova had a few chances of their own too.
My main concern is keeping faith with the old guard. I don’t want to seem like AVB, but I believe it’s time for them to step aside and let the new younger talent emerge. Hodgson did start the Ox and Cleverley, but this isn’t enough.
While Lampard, Gerrard and Terry had good games last night, will they still be good in 2014? This week, it emerged Chelsea are unwilling to give Ashley Cole a long term contract due to his age. While the old guard may be good enough just now, England must look to the future and in particular Brazil in 2014.
Giving the younger players a chance to develop and grow on the international stage is of the utmost importance on the road to and at the World Cup. The qualification stage is the perfect time to do it too; England’s group is far from difficult. Giving younger players the experience of the pressure of representing your country will stand them in good stead not only Brazil, but for future tournaments.
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