Tuesday, 19 October 2010

Capello must right his wrongs on the left

For anyone with a memory of England's recent past the current obsession with playing left-footed players on the right and vice versa appears a little bit odd to say the least. The theory is that the players can drift inside on to their favoured foot, giving them the option of a strike at goal.

However the tactic isn't without its drawbacks and to see Fabio Capello jump on the bandwagon is somewhat disturbing and anyone who likes a football daily bet should pay close attention to it.

For years England fans cried out for a genuine left-footed winger who could beat his, get to the by-line and deliver quality crosses.

Steve McManaman, Darren Anderton and Kieron Dyer all piked up numerous caps, not necessarily because of their outstanding individual ability, but because England managers felt they might be able to do a job on the left.

And once we'd become tired of playing right-footed players on the left, we went right back to basics and gave Steve Guppy and Jason Wilcox a try. In fact, for a while, it seemed that so long as you were English and had a decent left foot, you could be pretty sure you'd get a cap.

In last week's game, Montenegro manager Zlatko Kranjcar came to Wembley with the sole aim of grabbing a point, and the simple plan of packing the midfield and defence in order to do so.

This made Capello's refusal to get at Montenegro down the flanks even more surprising, especially considering the aerial prowess and movement of Wayne Rooney and Peter Crouch.

Without a decent supply, Rooney was forced to drop deep to come look for the ball, leaving his strike partner isolated and further compacting the England midfield, something which forced Gerrard to pick the ball up off his defenders, and led to Barry being squeezed out of the game almost entirely. Anyone who placed a football bet on a home win would have been furious.

England fans expect them to beat teams ranked 40th in the world, but as football evolves and the so-called lesser teams become better organised, we shouldn't expect to run riot based on our reputation. If England want to qualify for Euro 2012 this is a fact Capello could do with remembering.