Date:Saturday October 12 2013
Like so many fans, watching England in recent times has become somewhat of a chore and prior to hearing the team selection last night, I was preparing to suffer my usual 90 minutes of hurt, as Roy's Boy's frustrated and to be quite honest, bored me to sleep, as I did my best to remain a footballing patriot. One thing changed my view and that was the surprise selection of our own Andros Townsend, a player that plays the game without fear himself, but terrifies the opposition at the same time.
His debut lasted 78 minutes, but in that time, it could be said that he alone, did more for the England cause than anyone else, and perhaps in doing so, will have made the apathetic England faithful, sit up and feel the first twinges of excitement at watching our national team in a good few years. Of course Andros could have a stinker against Poland next Tuesday and it will be another false English dawn, but he did offer something that no other young player has done for seemingly years, in taking on the opposition and also wanting to be a prominant figure in the team from his very first touch. That alone says everything about his character, as much as his ability.
Getting the balance right will now be Hodgson's problem now, but what a problem it will be. Can he play four attacking players as a default selection? If not, who makes way? Perhaps he simply needs to have more energy in the two midfield roles, which might be a problem for Frank Lampard, who for me struggled last night, but ever Steven Gerrard in the near future. Perhaps simply adding Jack Wiltshere for Frank against Poland and Phil Jones for the suspended Kyle Walker is all we need, apart from time to see this England team take some shape and purpose, but was it more by luck that good judgment?
Of course I seem to recall that luck over judgment happening under the late Bobby Robson in the 1990 World cup and he is of course now a footballing legend. Suddenly the the picture could look so much more rosy should England defeat the Poles. Sure England have a shortage of quality numbers, but with the developments of players such as Townsend, the potential of the likes of Morrison, Barkley, Shaw and dare I suggest Tom Carroll, just to retain some Spurs bias, are we really so short on quality and all we need is to develop the identity and style that Harry Redknapp has spoken about and I have been moaning about since I can remember.
Last night did excite me and I am now almost counting the hours to next Tuesday and England facing and beating Poland. I sincerely hope that Hodgson himself was inspired by our young players performance and we see much of the same next week. I for one, will be glued to the TV and hoping for more of the same from Andros Townsend, a player that I recently rather tongue in cheek claimed could be the saviour of English football and for once, I might just be right...
Date:Saturday October 12 2013
England's World Cup Record (Saturday December 7 2013)
Uruguay, Costa Rica and Italy (Friday December 6 2013)
Getting Into The Mind (Friday December 6 2013)
Judgement Day (Friday December 6 2013)
Continuing To Hope (Monday December 2 2013)
England Slide (Sunday December 1 2013)
No One New Jumping Out (Saturday November 30 2013)
Food For Thought (Tuesday November 26 2013)
Still Experimenting (Thursday November 21 2013)
Stats: England v Germany (Wednesday November 20 2013)