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If You Were McClaren, What Side Would You Pick?

agbonlahor If You Were McClaren, What Side Would You Pick?England’s next match is November 15th in a friendly against the Netherlands, and it’s a perfect opportunity for Steve McClaren to regain the confidence of England fans and determine which players need to be on the teamsheet for their next Euro 2008 qualifying match on March 24, 2007.

It’ll be a perfect opportunity to test new systems and players. Here’s who I would pick:

Robinson
Neville, Ferdinand, Terry, Bridge
Agbonlahor, Gerrard, Hargreaves, J. Cole
Johnson, Walcott

Robinson needs to play again to regain his confidence. The only change in the back four I would make is to drop the ineffective Ashley Cole. In midfield, I would give Aston Villa’s Gabriel Agbonlahor (pictured above) his national debut to add width to the England side, with Gerrard in the middle along with the holding midfielder Hargreaves (if fit), and Joe Cole to add a different dimension down the left wing.

Up front, it’s Arsenal’s Theo Walcott to add speed and unpredictability to England’s attack, and Andrew Johnson to rip the Dutch defense apart.

If you were Steve McClaren, what team would you pick against Holland?

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About Christopher Harris

Founder and publisher of World Soccer Talk, Christopher Harris is the managing editor of the site. He has been interviewed by The New York Times, The Guardian and several other publications. Plus he has made appearances on NPR, BBC World, CBC, BBC Five Live, talkSPORT and beIN SPORT. Harris, who has lived in Florida since 1984, has supported Swansea City since 1979. He's also an expert on soccer in South Florida, and got engaged during half-time of a MLS game. Harris launched EPL Talk in 2005, which was rebranded as World Soccer Talk in 2013.
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5 Responses to If You Were McClaren, What Side Would You Pick?

  1. Steven Gerrards Double says:

    Out of the Keeper’s there doesn’t seem to be much choice! Robinson, James, Foster, Kirkland and Carson are all really on par. out of the current keeper’s though it seem’s David James is really playing well.
    Right back is really still Gary Neville’s place, although Glen Johnson has started well at Pompey, Luke Young is great but he’s not playing with confidence as Charlton are in a bad way, Micah Richard’s has played amazingly for the under 21′s and club side Manchester City so far and has an amazing ability in the air.
    Rio Ferdinand, Terry, Carragher, King, Woodgate, Dawson, Anton Ferdinand are all great centre back’s, Sol Campbell is great at Portsmouth also. Left back, Well Gareth Barry deserve’s a shot, as doe’s Leighton Baine’s, Ashley Cole will come good and I think Wayne Bridge should move to get more regular footie so he can consistantly push for a place and be allowed to be there on form and merit, Paul Konchesky?
    Midfield I wouldn’t have Frank Lampard or Jermaine Jenas anywhere near the squad, Scott Parker, Kevin Nolan, Nigel Reo-Coker, Joey Barton, David Bentley are all good footballer’s and can play as a team! Downing hasn’t done anything to warrant another England start, our fixation on having wide player’s is annoying, why not play 4-3-3? Joe Cole, Andy Johnson and Wayne Rooney, in those three we have a creator, a goal poacher and a player who can do both, all three can work the channel’s, in midfield Gerrard and Hargreaves would be the engine room and i’m thinking a sitting player with quality passing ie: Carrick or even Beckham, controlling with a mixture of short and long passes, direct or into the channel’s, I think the five attacking player’s in J Cole, AJ, Rooney, Stevie G and Hargreaves would add amazing drive, energy, movement and flair in an extremely boring England side so far.
    That doesn’t exclude the like’s of Walcott (Who I think need’s more regular game’s yet) or Agbonlahor at Villa who both could be great addition’s to a 4-3-3 formation.
    I’d go for a line up of David James, Glen Johnson, Rio Ferdinand, John Terry, Gareth Barry, Owen Hargreaves, David Beckham, Steven Gerrard, Joe Cole, Andy Johnson and Wayne Rooney, this would be purely experimental, but I think it would be interesting to see England play to there strength’s.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Nothing personal, but in my experience of watching the beautiful game over the last almost 20 years, I can make the statement that England and Spain are the footballing idiots of Europe. Despite having the best domestic leagues, there’s a better chance of a Martian making an official visit at the White House than any of these two nations winning Euro or World cups. And this is not intended to piss off people, I am just being a realist. England will always cry at big tournaments. (I actually cheered for them against Portugal this summer, but it was yet another familiar story that ended in tears). England just don’t have winners on the team to lead it when it matters!

  3. Steven Gerrards Double says:

    Yeah, but what team would you pick? lol

  4. Anonymous says:

    Off the top of my head…
    goalie: they are all equally inconsistent, still : robinson
    defense: terry, rio in the middle, with carragher as a back-up…
    i agree that barry deserves a shot, and then, ashley cole as fullbacks…
    in the middle: barton, maybe, anybody but fat frankie who is the most overrated player in the world…and to think that mourinho said a year ago that he would take lampard any day before ronaldinho-that’s too funny…
    carrick is another legit option, then: gerrard and hargreesves when he recovers, and lennon and joe cole on the wings…
    rooney /crouchie up top(just one of them )…4-5-1…downing wouldn’t have a spot on my co-ed intramural team-he is that useless…walcott? why not-the kid has impressed so far, i just hope he is not another owen who reached his peak in 2000/01 and his career went downhill after that…
    and-the jury is still out on rooney-the guy hasn’t really done anything major in his career so far…but at least he plays football b/c otherwise he would be in jail for a long time(his IQ is close to negative 17-poor kid)

  5. Steven Gerrards Double says:

    Lol fair play, I like it and I agree anyone but Lumpard!!!!

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