England squad v Serbia

Interesting news from the FA : Danielle  Buet has been called up to the England Women’s squad that will face Serbia on Wednesday 23 November. She replaces Eniola Aluko from Sky Blue, who has withdrawn from the squad due to her legal studies

The firs thing that comes to mind is why replace a center forward by a central midfielder ? Then you look at the squad :

Goalkeepers – Karen Bardsley (Linköpings, on loan from Sky Blue), Rachel Brown (Everton), Siobhan Chamberlain (Bristol Academy)

Defenders – Sophie Bradley (Nottingham Forest, on loan from Lincoln), Alex Scott (Boston Breakers), Casey Stoney (Lincoln), Dunia Susi (Birmingham City), Rachel Unitt (Everton), Fern Whelan (Everton)

Midfielders – Laura Bassett (Birmingham City), Dani Buet* (Chelsea), Jess Clarke (Lincoln), Steph Houghton (Arsenal), Jade Moore (Birmingham City), Jill Scott (Everton), Fara Williams (Everton), Rachel Yankey (Arsenal)

Forwards – Karen Carney (Birmingham City), Natasha Dowie (Everton), Kelly Smith (Boston Breakers), Ellen White (Arsenal), Rachel Williams (Birmingham City)

Obviously with the 4-3-3 used by England there is still 4 center forwards available to Hope Powell for that 1 center forward position on the pitch ( White, Dowie, Williams and Smith ).  So it does make sense to call up another midfield especially as Houghton and Bassett are regulars in defense with Arsenal and Birmingham also with Clarke and Yankey being wingers, there were not many regular central midfield in the squad. It is also interesting to notice that Anita Asante has been overlooked

Coming back on the game against Netherlands, a question needs to be asked about the center-forward position.  Ellen White started up front and ran her socks off for 90 minutes to no avail and she was not given any proper service. Then the options on the bench were Houghton who came on for Clarke, Bassett, Whelan, Susi and Rachel Williams.  So why, when you main center forward is struggling to get involved, not replace her by someone who could help the team in a different way by holding the ball and bringing other people in ? Defense would be able to play higher on the pitch and soak less pressure from the opposition. It would also give the team more chances to win the game actually.

Instead of being conservative and try to save a point, why not try to win the game. At the end of the day, Netherlands will come in April and the possibiltiy of them grabbing another draw and send England to the play-offs is very real.  But no, the player with the right tactical profile was sitting in the stand. So can someone explain why England had 3 centre forwards with exactly the same profile on the teamsheet and the one that could have brought something different and useful in the game not in the 18 ? I don’t understand that logic at all.

Published by Sylvain

women's football fan since 1998

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