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Should Walker and Townsend be the England choices?

Posted on October 11, 2013 by Tony

England take on Montenegro tonight in what is a crucial fixture along the road to Brazil, any slip up and any one of three countries could take advantage of the slender lead England have earned, including tonight’s visitors to Wembley. After tonight it is the turn of Poland who visit on Tuesday and are another who could turn the table on it’s head. Unfortunately I have to admit that I was in the crowd all those years ago when “The Clown” so named by Brian Clough was in inspired form and was very instrumental in preventing England’s involvement in the World cup in 1974,  “Clough trod on my honour,” says Tomaszewski. “But what he said gave me extra verve and energy.” On that occasion England did not take part in the world cup in Germany and that came as a major shock to English football.

This time any one of  Montenegro, Poland and Ukraine stand in the way of England’s progression although the ball is firmly in England’s court, two wins and the formality of qualification is complete, but first things first Roy Hodgson must choose a team to complete the first part of the mission tonight and although there is the small matter of home advantage it is also fair to say that changes are essential as some regulars are not available due to injury.k walker

Andros Townsend in full flow. Is he about to earn an England call?

Andros Townsend in full flow. Is he about to earn an England call?

On the right England have mainly relied upon the services of Liverpool’s right back Glen Johnson and the midfield/wing play of Theo Walcott and perhaps Hodgson might regret not having used possible replacements during earlier friendly matches, Kyle Walker has had the occasional outing and must surely start, he is currently the player in form in the position while others like Smalling and Jones who have previously been preferred are not playing particularly well and are not really rightbacks.

Perhaps the most difficult choice that Hodgson must make will be who replaces Theo Walcott, the only obvious replacement is Andros Townsend as he has the pace of Walcott and perhaps a better ability to beat his man with, he also now possesses as much of a goal threat , the problem is that he has no experience of playing in such a crucial game let alone at international level. Should Roy Hodgson start with Townsend he will be choosing a player incredibly confident  in his own ability and a player who is the answer to England’s prayers. Should England manage to qualify for Brazil then Hodgson might have the the options of Walcott and Townsend at his disposal, with one or other coming off the bench, with their pace a tiring fullback might have more problems than he can cope with especially over the full ninety minutes and with Townsend also being left footed and also being able to switch wings he has more than one string to his bow.

For a game of such importance choosing both would be a huge decision for Roy Hodgson to make, probably a step too far having failed to blood more players in earlier games, my guess is that he will perhaps only go with one of the two at the beginning, if he wishes to maintain a similar pattern of playing then it probably should be Townsend as he has the pace of Walcott but he will probably start with Milner in what will be a negative move but a safe move.

My opinion on the subject would be to start with both as they have played several games together already this season and as we all know prior to the West Ham game Tottenham were defensively sound, England should consider themselves to have the beating of Montenegro at Wembley every time and that would suggest playing the best offensive players available.



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