A View From Below

Sporting debate and opinion

Future looks bright for England as Capello finally favours youth

On the eve of England’s friendly at Wembley against France, it seems that manager Fabio Capello has finally shifted his focus towards the emerging talent coming through the ranks in this country.

In his press conference today, the strict Italian boss revealed how youngsters Andy Carroll and Kieren Gibbs, (both 20) and 21-year-old Jordan Henderson would start for England against Les Blues as they continue to put the pieces of the puzzle together after this summer’s disastrous World Cup.

So much has been made of England’s so called ‘Golden Generation’ but what have players such as Rio Ferdinand, Frank Lampard, John Terry and Steven Gerrard actually achieved for the Three Lions?
Aside from reaching the quarter finals of World Cup 2002 and 2006 and Euro 2004 (all under the stewardship of a certain Sven!) it could be argued that these talented footballers have flattered to decieve for their nation.

Whilst I am not suggesting we clear out the elder statesmen and experienced members of the squad, but with our key players pushing their 30’s, the time is right to plan for the future.

Capello has been taking steps in the right direction following England’s defeat by Germany in June by giving Joe Hart the number 1 shirt and offering flying wingers Theo Walcott and Adam Johnson chances to impress.
Arsenal’s Jack Wilshere and Gibbs have both been involved, as have Spurs’ Tom Huddlestone and Man United’s Chris Smalling. The re-introduction of Micah Richards of Man City shows that the door has not been shut on this progressing talent as well.

The game against France on wednesday should offer more youngsters an opportunity that will hopefully be grasped with both hands. Win or Lose however, it has to be hoped that Capello continues to look to their future as opposed to favouring the old guard in the hope they last to Euro 2012, when the former Real Madrid tactician’s contract expires.

Newcastle’s Andy Carroll will spearhead England’s attack against the French, with many suggesting he is ready for the step up despite his alleged lifestyle issues. At the end of the day, the Geordie striker is only young and will learn – but it is his ability on the field that has brought him to the attention of Don Fabio, something he will no doubt remind Carroll before his debut.

Jordan Henderson has had a superb start to the season with the impressive Sunderland, and played an instrumental role in their 3-0 crushing of Chelsea at the weekend. Gibbs starts due to an injury to Ashley Cole, but is widely percieved as the Chelsea full-back’s successor.

Outside of the current squad and including those who are injured, England really do look set up to form a strong team in the coming years. Two Jack the lads; Rodwell and Wilshere have the ability to compete at the highest level in midfield, Phil Jones and Chris Smalling are improving their defensive abilities every week at Blackburn and Manchester United respectively, and up top Under-21 prodigies Connor Wickham, Daniel Sturridge and Nathan Delfouneso just need more game time for their clubs to be knocking on the door for full caps.

If any England fan needs a bit of encouragement after the dire showing in South Africa, then this draft team for Brazil 2014 should offer a ray of light.

                                                            Joe Hart (Man City)

                            Phil Jagielka (Everton)              Chris Smalling (Man Utd)

Micah Richards (Man City)                                                        Kieren Gibbs (Arsenal)

                                                        Phil Jones (Blackburn)

                             Jack Wilshere (Arsenal)           Jack Rodwell (Everton)

Theo Walcott (Arsenal)                                                        Adam Johnson (Man City)

                                                      Andy Carroll (Newcastle)


November 16, 2010 - Posted by | Football


  1. Youth does not equal success(just ask Arsenal fans), especially when you consider who technically inept the majority of our youth is (Wilshire, Cleverly and possibly Johnson aside). England won’t win anything until they sort out the grass roots and stop just encouriging the likes of Carroll (gigantic and kinda pacy) and start looking for people who can play the ball. Also I will give you 50 of my great british pounds if Rooney doesn’t start. And why is Phil Jones not at CB instead of Jag? And do Welbeck or Henderson not deserve mentions after their weekend performances?

    Comment by Brian | November 16, 2010 | Reply

    • Thanks Brian for your comment, I’ll get to it;

      I am an Arsenal fan! look at Germany this World Cup, I’m not saying youth equals success but might make watching England more bearable than it was this Summer…

      How do you propose we sort out grass roots? People say that phrase all the time but it’s easier said than done.

      I think strikers like Carroll, such as Shearer – Target Men or classic British centre forwards are good if they are used in the right way.

      Appreciate your point about Rooney, but wanted to leave him out of this team, and Phil Jones will probably mature into centre back role – it’s just he’s playing defensive midfield for his club now. Think Walcott has more potential than Henderson although believe he will be a success and Welbeck also – although he hasn’t done an awful lot aside from performance vs Chelsea to impress me

      Finally, just think bit of edge and dynamism through young, hungry players is what this country’s football needs rather than rich, spoilt has-beens who perhaps think they are better than they are


      Comment by jdickenson100 | November 16, 2010 | Reply

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