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England vs Ireland, International Friendly: Open Thread

England plays the Republic of Ireland today in an international friendly at Wembley, the first time these countries have played each other since 1995.

Here are the starting lineups:

England starting XI: Joe Hart, Johnson, Cahill, Jagielka, Cole, Lampard, Carrick, Walcott, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Rooney, Sturridge.

Ireland starting XI: Forde, Coleman, O’Shea, St Ledger, Kelly, Walters, McCarthy, Whelan, McGeady, Keane, Long

For viewers in the United States, the match is being shown live on FOX Soccer at 3pm ET. The match will also give us the opportunity to see England play in their new Nike kit for the first time.

Ashley Cole will be England’s captain today, where he’ll receive a commemorative gold cap to honor the recent milestone of reaching 100 caps for England. For England, I’m looking forward to seeing how the pace and attacking threat of Walcott, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Rooney and Sturridge will do against a sturdy Irish defense. Robbie Keane, meanwhile, has recovered from injury to start for Ireland after scoring a hat-trick for LA Galaxy last week.

Before, during or after today’s match, join the conversation with soccer fans from around the world in the comments section below.

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  1. The Gaffer

    May 30, 2013 at 1:44 pm

    Another person to add to the list who deserves more of a chance on the England team is Wilfried Zaha.

    The Gaffer

    • ElectricBoogalo

      May 30, 2013 at 2:07 pm

      Now you’re talking. A guy who’s hopefully got the ability, AND is still young.

      Sure, he *might* turn out to be a complete flop, but you’ve gotta assume SAF’s judgment is pretty sound.

      I’d rather see youngsters integrated into the squad – even if naysayers are too quick to write them off (e.g. people already dismissing Ox-Ch).

  2. Smokey Bacon

    May 29, 2013 at 10:48 pm

    Final thoughts on England. It’s obvious hodgson’s plan A is to make us tough to beat in the hope we can nick a goal. You can’t really fault the approach given the lack of quality available. But I do wish he would widen the search and try some new players. There have been too few new caps given out by Hodgson. Tonight’s game would have been a good opportunity to try a few of the lads from Southampton and some of the teams that never get a look in. We can’t be limited to the top 4. There just aren’t enough available with all the foreign players.

    I still maintain that England need to do what the cricket and Rugby teams did. Go with youth now. Forget Brazil. Have a long term strategy. It turned our other much maligned international teams into world beaters. Unfortunately Hodgson is not the man for the task.

    • The Gaffer

      May 29, 2013 at 10:54 pm

      I agree. Players that I’d love to see get an England call-up include Rickie Lambert, Wayne Routledge, Nathan Dyer and Leon Britton.

      The Gaffer

      • ElectricBoogalo

        May 30, 2013 at 10:27 am

        @Gaffer – but those players are already mostly a generation too late, IMO (Lambert = 31, Routledge = 28, Britton = 30).

        Turning to them would hardly represent a youthful new start – it would be merely turning to guys of the same age as the current team, albeit guys who have spent most of their careers as unspectacular 2nd div journeymen.

        • The Gaffer

          May 30, 2013 at 11:50 am

          My suggestions were focused more on the short-term than long-term. Picking England footballers doesn’t always have to be with the youth in mind. Sometimes picking quality will help the team now.

          And I would not categorize Routledge as a second division journeyman. That’s completely disrespectful to his career at top flight clubs. Plus, Lambert, Britton and Dyer have all proven that they can compete in the Premier League, so – again – calling them “unspectacular 2nd div journeymen” is not appropriate or fair.

          The Gaffer

          • ElectricBoogalo

            May 30, 2013 at 1:39 pm

            True, there can be a good reason to turn to short-term options, but that still leaves the team up sh*t-creek a couple of years down the line. These “journeyman” might have proven that they can compete in the Premiership, but so what – the existing players are already capable of at least that, and it’s not got us very far!I just don’t see why any of them are a better option than the players already being picked.

            As for Routledge – he’s bumped around various teams in his career, so he’s the definition of a journeyman. And many of them have been 2nd div (Championship).

          • ElectricBoogalo

            May 30, 2013 at 1:43 pm

            In fact I just wiki’d him again: until his recent purple patch with Swansea in the EPL, his top level career has been distinctly underwhelming. He had only played regularly at 2nd div teams.

  3. Smokey Bacon

    May 29, 2013 at 8:06 pm

    Pointless end of season friendly. Only the Irish up for it. Only positive is the kit doesn’t look too bad on the field. Very subbuteo looking. Just wish we would start playing like Germany rather than looking like them.

  4. The Gaffer

    May 29, 2013 at 7:55 pm

    Disappointing performance from England, who were unable to break down a tough Irish defense.

    Rooney was another letdown, I thought.

    The Gaffer

    • Smokey Bacon

      May 29, 2013 at 8:43 pm

      Rooney needs an arm round the shoulder from Hodgson. So low on confidence.

      I think I’ve seen enough of Oxlade chamberlain to know he will never cut it at this level. Lennon is a better option.

      And Walcott is not a winger. He needs to be played through the middle or not at all.

      • ElectricBoogalo

        May 30, 2013 at 10:29 am

        Personally I think Rooney might need a kick up the backside rather than an arm around his shoulder. Like Hart, I think his form suffers from knowing there is no viable contender for his position.

  5. Jamie

    May 29, 2013 at 3:33 pm

    Another poacher’s goal by Lampard. England might push on to win this one but Ireland won’t make it easy.

  6. The Gaffer

    May 29, 2013 at 3:20 pm

    Ireland will be happy to hang on to a 1-0 win in this match. They can defend well, so it’s up to England to finish their opportunities to open up the Irish.

    The Gaffer

  7. Jamie

    May 29, 2013 at 3:19 pm

    What a header by Long. He outjumped Johnson for the goal. Just what the game needed.

  8. Jamie

    May 29, 2013 at 2:59 pm

    Hope this game is more competitive than the Ecuador-Germany one where Germany’s B team is running riot over Ecudor’s A team. 4-0 after only 23 minutes and Podolski has 2 goals.

    USA plays Belgium tonight at 8 on ESPN2 and that should be a good game if both teams are up for it. These friendlies at this time of year rarely are.

    That’s a strong England team so let’s see how they do.

    • The Gaffer

      May 29, 2013 at 3:14 pm

      It’s practically a third string Germany side, too, not even a B team. Fifteen of their stars are not available because of the Champions League Final.

      The Gaffer

  9. Mufc77

    May 29, 2013 at 2:36 pm

    Looking at the quality of irish team in paper just shows how much they have suffered over the last 20 years with the introduction of foreigners to the league.

    Gone are the days of Ireland fielding a team of players all playing at the top 5 clubs in the league who could compete with the best around. While the rivalry with England is still huge the gulf in class has become enormous. I was at the last game in 95 when it was abandoned hopefully this time we get a full 90 minutes

    • Pete

      May 29, 2013 at 2:58 pm

      Ireland doesn’t have a league of note and they are foreigners to the EPL too.

      • Mufc77

        May 29, 2013 at 3:12 pm

        Yes they are technically foreign what im saying is when all the money came into the game at the start of the premier league era it meant clubs would look to other European league for players which in turn meant the Irish, Scottish and Welsh players got less of a chance to impress. People talk about the amount of foreign players effecting the quality of the English national team but its had a even bigger impact on the other three home nations AND ireland.

        • ElectricBoogalo

          May 30, 2013 at 10:23 am

          “People talk about the amount of foreign players effecting the quality of the English national team but its had a even bigger impact on the other three home nations AND ireland.”

          Arguably true (on paper at least), but why has the influx of foreigners effected Ireland and the home nations more than England?

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