World Cup 23-My Opinion

Posted on June 2, 2010

So the all the auditions are over, and they really were auditions as Theo Walcott has discovered to his cost, and England are down to 23 players to embark on a World Cup journey. Fortunately the elimination of the seven players was not done in an X Factor manner with Simon Cowell having the players lined up before saying “Sorry Theo you’re going home” backed by some dreary and pretentious Coldplay track. I made my starting 11 prediction on this Blog in December, and it still looks like it may come true. Click here

Here is my own opinion on the squad


Robert Green:
Age 30
Caps 10

Fighting for a place with David James for the starting spot Green has been ever present for West ham this season, but he has still failed to convince Cappello he is the real deal. The first ever England Goalkeeper to be sent off.

David James
Age 106
Caps Too many

You just know that despite his shot stopping abilities “Calamity” has in him a high class cock up waiting to happen. Something in him, boredom perhaps, inspires him to a rush of blood that may well cost his team at some point, probably in the quarters.

Joe Hart
Age 23
Caps 3

Potential to be great keeper will not be enough for Cappello this time round, unless injury to others forces him in to becoming an unlikely hero in a penalty shoot out perhaps.


Steven Warnock
Age 28
Caps 1 (8 minutes as a sub)

You would not know him if he passed you in the street, but after the World Cup……………………you still won’t know him if he passed you in the street. Unless the far superior Ashley Cole gets injured Warnock’s role will be as a tourist. Has the potential to miss a shoot out penalty if required.

Jamie Carragher
Age 32
Caps 36

Why is the self confessed member of the “We’re not English We are Scouse” even on the plane? At 32 years old and after an ordinary season in a shit team, Carragher is bound to get called upon when either Terry gets sent off, or Ferdinand gets injured, or both. Bad choice may haunt Cappello.

Ashley Cole
Age 29
Caps 78

Rarely has such a twat been such a good footballer. Cole is indispensable for England at left back and one of just a few world class players we have at our disposal. An injury lay off could turn out to be a blessing as Cole now looks fit and ready to repair his tarnished reputation. A potential star of the tournament. Still a twat though.

Glen Johnson
Age 25
Caps 22

Oh no not Glen Johnson! There is something about him that makes me fear the worst, he just looks so cumbersome sometimes and could be a major contender for England’s scapegoat of the tournament award. High potential to get caught out and concede a penalty, please don’t let him take one.

Ledley King
Age 29
Caps 20

Oozes class, but also oozes fluid on knackered knees. Will feature when Ferdinand’s dodgy back gives way, and has the potential to become a Paul McGrath type hero for England before missing a penalty if required.

John Terry
Age 29
Caps 60

If arrogance, self belief and general cuntishness were enough to win The World Cup John Terry could take us all the way. However his lack of pace, and recent habit of unforced errors, could see him racing home to hide behind his “Mr Chelsea” tag bestowed on him by the Stamford Bridge half wits. That said, John Terry is nothing if not brave, and don’t be surprised to see him smash home a Pearce style penalty followed by “Ruddy Marvel” headlines in the newspaper that tried to ruin his life.

Matthew Upson
Age 31
Caps 19

Why Upson ahead of Michael Dawson who has had an impeccable season at Spurs? Upson is an average centre back who will not do much wrong but won’t inspire either. Bad choice and hopefully just another tourist, as he is a nailed or certainty as a penalty shoot out failure.

Rio Ferdinand
Age 31
Caps 78

Was the classiest central defender in the business, but he is now undeniably nursing injuries that will not stand up to successive matches, perhaps Cappello is planning on swapping between him and King, a gamble that will backfire badly, because if England progress to the latter stages, they are both likely to be injured, enter Upson or Carragher. Alarmed? You should be.


Michael Carrick
Age 28
Caps 22

Shit all season for his club, and shit for his Country too. Kneel on you mats and pray to the west for no other midfielders to get injured, before it dawns on you that Steven Gerrard will get injured and Gareth Barry is unfit already. Accident waiting to happen.

Joe Cole
Age 28
Caps 54

Possible star for England, his late emergence gives us hope. An on song Cole can change a game with a dummy a shimmy a razor like pass or a dipping volley. Cole loves playing for England and loves the big stage, I am predicting big things, so expect him to fall flat on his face.

Steve Gerrard
Age 30
Caps 80

Another of the “We’re Not English We Are Scouse” brigade who Cappello prays he can get a big tournament out of. Running at defenders at pace Gerrard is unstoppable for Liverpool but always to edgy and restricted for England. If England have a good tournament Gerrard will have played well, but no one person is brave enough to predict it will happen. Could be a star, but more likely another flop.

Frank Lampard
Age 31
Caps 78

Expect shot after shot after shot, and little in the way of creative genius, for Lampard much of the above applies. If one of his thousand shots on goal actually goes in expect a nauseating prayer and a kiss to his late Mother as a form of celebration. Needs to do so much to get fans on his side, why can’t he transfer his Chelsea form to England???

Aaron Lennon
Age 23
Caps 17

A dazzling Lennon could be a match winner, but don’t bank on it, he lacks consistency and guile when under pressure and can disappear like you forgot he was playing at all. He will be a starter and will cause problems if he has awoken on the right side of bed, all you can do is hope rather than expect with Lennon.

James Milner
Age 24
Caps 8

I still feel that the adaptable Milner will emerge from this tournament a star. He is composed, skillful, has good feet and is a calm and effective reader of the game. Now I have said that he will miss a penalty.

Shaun Wright Phillips
Age 28
Caps 31

A likely sub when Lennon flatters to deceive, the unpredictable Wright-Phillips will either do something out of nothing, or nothing out of something. I have rarely seen an international who shows such an apparent lack of control of the ball, yet don’t be surprised if he scores an outrageous volley, even if it was meant to be cross.


Peter Crouch
Age 29
Caps 38

Crouch is an example of England’s lack of top strikers, yet his strike rate cannot be faulted (38 caps 21 Goals) so expect him to be a threat, if only to lesser teams in the vital group stages. Crouch could, (and no one would begrudge him) emerge to be an unlikely hero, but keep him well clear of Penalty shoot outs please.

Jermaine Defoe
Age 27
Caps 40

Fast deadly finisher at his best, awful at his worst, Defoe will be a substitute in desperate circumstances and is likely to fail in this role. His penalty ratio is awful, and I predict a tough tournament for the Tottenham striker.

Emile Heskey
Age 32
Caps 58

Must have the worst strike rate in the World Cup (58 caps 7 Goals) but Rooney seems to flourish in his company, so what is good enough for Rooney has to be good enough for every England fan, despite our reservations. A possible unsung hero.

Wayne Rooney
Age 25
Caps 60

I will be able to tell my Grandchildren I saw Rooney play when Reading flirted with the top flight, and what a player he is. Rooney is strong, brave, powerful and skillful, possessing the killer vision, passing, and finishing of a great striking predator. We all know England’s chances rest with an in form and composed Rooney, the only fear is that Rooney will be targeted, and must reel in his instincts, and smash the ball in the net rather than smashing in the face of a cynical Latin American or German, no matter how tempting that may be.


Fabio Cappello

The thoughtful, scheming, and tactically astute Italian will manage England with an iron fist and ensure discipline, though every England fan must appreciate you can only work with the tools you are given. I am afraid to say I can’t see a limited England progressing past the Quarters or at best the Semi’s. But I am just an amateur, so who knows.

1 Reply to "World Cup 23-My Opinion"

  • Trevor and Amy
    June 3, 2010 (11:45 pm)

    Excellent team appraisal Bob, I'll be referring to your penalty shoot predictions when we inevitably go out on penalties to France in the Quarters or quite possibly Ghana in the 2nd round!

    Can't believe how low-key build up is here – I'm almost missing those St.George cross flags on the car windows.

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