Monday, March 28, 2011

Better late than never for Scott Parker

Wales were so abysmally poor on Saturday it is hard to give too much praise to England but considering so many are quick to criticise when they lose they perhaps deserve positive word when they win.

For Capello he finally seems to be picking a formation that suits his players. Gone is the 4-4-2 and in comes a fluid 4-3-3 formation that suits the roving tendencies of Wayne Rooney and Ashley Young. In midfield Frank Lampard, not before time, plays in an attacking role he is comfortable with while Jack Wilshire – who was more defensive minded in his last England appearance – looked a better player in a more advanced role.

But it was Scott Parker who caught my eye. The West Ham midfielder is a talisman for his club and has been putting in consistently excellent displays for years, as anyone who has bet on Premier League action will know.

But whether it is because he plays for an 'unfashionable' club I don't know, but England managers have been reluctant to give him a run in the side, a move that has baffled those looking to bet on Premier League winner.

Instead the endless, tedious Gerrard/Lampard combination is forced upon us even though we know it will never work. Gareth Barry then briefly stepped into the breach, providing a barrier in front of the back four that allowed others to attack. But his decline has been stark, in fact he appears half the player, especially at international level, since signing for Manchester City and his dreadful World Cup (he wasn't alone) confirmed my thoughts that he just isn't up to international football anymore.

So I was delighted for Parker to finally be rewarded for his patience. His commitment to the cause is well known but his tenacity and measured defiance in front of the defence gave the platform for Rooney et al to wreak havoc at the other end.

I seriously hope Fabio Capello doesn't revert to the Gerrard/Lampard combo upon the Liverpool man's return. The past two games against Denmark and Wales suggest he has found a system that works, but only with the right players. Now he seems to have found them it a disaster if he went back now.

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