Page 5 of 6 FirstFirst 123456 LastLast
Results 101 to 125 of 149

Thread: [STORY] The World of Football Management - Chapter 5 - Pride of England

  1. #101
    Join Date
    31-10-11
    Posts
    21,464
    vCash
    4500



    There was only a month until the next fixture for England as we have another friendly lined up against Belgium which will be the second time we'll face them in my 6th game in charge although this time, it'll take place in Belgium. As always, the games taking place in that period had an effect on player's form which led to some changes in the squads named at both senior and under 21 level.

    Senior Changes
    Karl Darlow (Bournemouth) > Joe Hart (Man City).
    David Stockdale (Norwich) > Jack Butland (Stoke).
    Eric Dier (Tottenham) > Joe Mattock (Colchester).
    Kyle Walker (Tottenham) > Alfie Mawson (Burnley).
    Michael Bostwick (Sunderland) > Sam Byram (West Ham).
    Jack Robinson (Leeds) > Carl Jenkinson (Everton).
    Raheem Sterling (Man City) > Nick Powell (Hull).
    Wayne Rooney (FC Bayern) > Danny Welbeck (Arsenal).
    Wilfried Zaha (Crystal Palace) > Tom Carroll (Bournemouth).
    Jonjo Shelvey (Galatasaray) > Mark Davies (Birmingham).
    Charlie Austin (Southampton) > Benik Afobe (Bournemouth).
    James Vaughan (Birmingham) > Tom Hopper (Scunthorpe).

    Some surprising changes for the first team as Michael Bostwick gets a first call up along with James Vaughan. Wayne Rooney and Jonjo Shelvey have impressed abroad and come into the squad which loses Benik Afobe and Nick Powell to injury whilst Joe Hart, Jack Butland and Danny Welbeck have seen their form dip recently.

    Youth Changes
    Matt Furlong (Arlesey) > Tom Hadler (Crawley).
    Luke Shaw (Man Utd) > Matthew Simmons (Ashton Utd).
    Joe Gomez (Liverpool) > Michael Marney (Tiverton).
    Darnell Furlong (Q.P.R.) > Hayden White (Weston-super-Mare).
    Jassem Sukar (Blackburn) > Spencer Hamilton (Corby).
    Taylor Moore (Lens) > Christian Maghoma (Dulwich).
    Reece Burke (MK Dons) > Steven Whitehouse (Southport).
    Rob Holding (Bolton) > Liam Slade (Plymouth).
    Ruben Loftus-Cheek (Aston Villa) > Ted Guppy (Hucknall).
    Patrick Roberts (Celtic) > Tom Conlon (Stevenage).
    Jack Grealish (Aston Villa) > Ademola Lookman (Charlton).
    Jordon Rossiter (Liverpool) > Ellis Brown (Worksop).
    Solomon Sambou (Aldershot) > Harry Lee (Welling).
    Will Randall (Chester) > Jermaine Anderson (Peterborough).
    Jason Williams (Southend) > Jerome Mellor (Lincoln).

    The Under 21's saw the return of some big name players as the likes of Joe Gomez, Luke Shaw, Patrick Roberts, Jack Grealish and Ruben Loftus-Cheek were drafted in as part of 15 changes to the squad.

    The match itself took place in Brussels and we lost Rob Holding and Reading left-back Jonny Connor to injuries without being able to call up replacements. Darnell Furlong, Jack Grealish and Jason Williams had joined the party late after playing Football League fixtures and weren't fit to participate.


    Kieron Wolland, Tobi Adebayo-Rowling, Taylor Moore, Lewis Cook, Will Randal and Alfie Crooks were all making first appearances for the under 21's. I had my eye on 19 year old centre back Moore in particular who currently plies his trade in France. The inclusion of Dele Alli and Luke Shaw hopefully adds some experience to the team against Belgium who have lined up with David Henan and Youri Tielemans as ones to watch.

    After 3 minutes, Leeds midfielder Lewis Cook gave us an early lead to continue an impressive season where he's scored 7 in 35 starts in the CHampionship. But Colwyn Bay's Kieron Wolland was injured after 20 minutes, leading to a second appearance for St Ives' Brendan Brown in between the sticks.

    Brown though, was superb as we went into the break 2:0 up after Alfie Crooks scored just before the whistle. Luton's striker had scored 24 goals in 46 in League Two and it was great to see him find the net again. Ironically, Dele Alli had been the quietest player on the pitch so far!

    Shaquille Hunter, who was once rumoured to be monitored by Liverpool but currently plies his trade at Mangotsfield, made it 3:0 after the break, shortly after Marcel Barrington and Mark Beech replaced Crooks and Will Randall.

    With Belgium restriced to just the one chance on target, I'm very happy with the performance with the blemish of Wolland being injured added to by a 90th minute red card for Moore who I had earmarked before the game. He'd gone into a tackle with 2 feet with seconds on the clock. A very inexperienced mistake to make!


    After the Under 21's won at Stade Roi Baudouin, the seniors played on the same pitch the following evening. We'd recorded a 1:1 draw at Wembley in our previous meeting where Marouane Fellaini had been sent off after Christian Benteke's opener which allowed Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain to tie the game. On balance, we should have won that game so it'd be interesting to see how things pan out this time, particularly as I had lost once and won once in my only away games so far.

    The team selection saw Karl Darlow and Luke Hyam handed their debuts whilst Leighton Baines, Ben Gibson and Tom Ince kept their places after our last game, the 4:1 win in Bulgaria. Eric Dier, Wilfried Zaha and Charlie Austin were also handed a first appearance under my tenure whilst Wayne Rooney made his first appearance since my first game in charge! Harry Kane and Kyle Walker were expected to start but hadn't recovered from a Monday night game for Spurs just 48 hours earlier. As a result, Nathaniel Clyne keeps up his 100% selection record in my 6th game.


    Wayne Rooney captained the side once more against a Belgian side that surprisingly omitted the likes of Thibaut Courtois, Eden Hazard, Christian Benteke and Vincent Kompany.

    A five goal thriller was the result but we were on the losing side. Zaha marked his 3rd cap with the opening goal which was his first for England after 15 minutes but the game was level once more at half-time thanks to Alex Witsel.

    Jonjo Shelvey took over from Fabian Delph in the 57th minute but substitute Jelle Vossen was the one who made an impact instead, making it 3:1 with a brace after just 12 minutes on the pitch.

    On came Marc Albrighton and Jesse Lingard in place of Zaha and Rooney and we soon pulled one back thanks to Shelvey, also his first international goal.

    All in all, we just about edged the statistics but it wasn't good enough on the day. Some of the players seemed to struggle a little bit, especially Ben Gibson. That was a bit of a shame as there are not many natural left footed centre-halves out there for me to choose from.



    We now have under two months until the season finishes and we'll then take on Slovenia in a World Cup Qualifier. It'll be interesting to note how the players will end their seasons and if any of them will have also earned any transfers up the ladder following their involvement with us.
    The Alphabet Game #3
    Try your luck at winning any trophy in your game but you must go in order from A-Z in the alphabet!
    Click here to find out more and join in!

  2. The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to Mark For This Useful Post:


  3. #102
    Join Date
    02-03-12
    Posts
    4,538
    vCash
    1
    The main squad definitely looks stronger (goalkeepers aside) following the changes, and going by the club sides of the u21 players that has significantly improved as well.

    Shame about the Belgium result but even with their missing players they still have a great squad, no such trouble for the u21's though.

  4. The Following User Says Thank You to AMC For This Useful Post:


  5. #103
    Join Date
    31-10-11
    Posts
    21,464
    vCash
    4500
    Yeah, not sure if there's been a sudden upturn in form by the U21's players that's seen the 'bigger name' players included. Although I did use a rule that if players have played in at at least 50% of their teams games so far, they get included. I must have been a lot stricter before!
    The Alphabet Game #3
    Try your luck at winning any trophy in your game but you must go in order from A-Z in the alphabet!
    Click here to find out more and join in!

  6. #104
    Join Date
    03-03-12
    Posts
    14,549
    vCash
    5103
    What's his about in latest update?!

    Eight players were handed their debuts against Bulgaria Under 21's with Dele Alli surprisingly named on the bench. Lincoln's Jerome Mellor was one of those starting, keeping Alli on the bench after a fine run of form. The team was captained by Weston-super-Mare's right back Hayden White



    Anyway - fine result for the yoof and a good effort from Seniors va very good belgium side

  7. The Following User Says Thank You to Redknapp69 For This Useful Post:


  8. #105
    Join Date
    31-10-11
    Posts
    21,464
    vCash
    4500
    What do you mean? The selection policy means the most in-form players are selected for the games, no matter who they are.
    The Alphabet Game #3
    Try your luck at winning any trophy in your game but you must go in order from A-Z in the alphabet!
    Click here to find out more and join in!

  9. #106
    Join Date
    03-03-12
    Posts
    14,549
    vCash
    5103
    I mean I think you copied the Bulgaria game commentary in last update

    I.e - prob copy and pasted and forgot to remove/amend this bit

  10. The Following User Says Thank You to Redknapp69 For This Useful Post:


  11. #107
    Join Date
    31-10-11
    Posts
    21,464
    vCash
    4500
    Ah, good spot! Thanks for that, removed it now
    The Alphabet Game #3
    Try your luck at winning any trophy in your game but you must go in order from A-Z in the alphabet!
    Click here to find out more and join in!

  12. The Following User Says Thank You to Mark For This Useful Post:


  13. #108
    Join Date
    31-10-11
    Posts
    21,464
    vCash
    4500



    The English season came to an end with the Premier League title being claimed by Manchester City, 4 points ahead of their Manchester rivals. Swansea, Sunderland and Brighton were the unlucky trio to be relegated and shall be replaced by Newcastle, Norwich and Hull and the FA Cup was won by Tottenham who defeated Chelsea.

    What happens next in the Summer will be intriguing, especially as I wait to see if those players that I have selected based on their form in the past season will be rewarded with lucrative transfers. Most importantly, will they be making a move for the benefit of their career or will they be left with reduced game time which could then cost them their place at international level?

    In comparison to previous squad selections, there were minimal changes to both the senior and youth squads that were announced to face Slovenia. The under 21's selection at Smartno saw debuts handed to Tom Hadler (Crawley), Andrew Cartwright (Stevenage), Nathan Smith (Portuguesa), River Allen (Crewe) and Jason Williams (Southend).


    There was certainly an expectation that the young lads would do well in Slovenia and that proved to be the case in a 2:0 win with goals in either half, even before Slovenia were left with 10 men following a 54th minute dismissal.

    Patrick Roberts scored his second goal in his third U21 cap after fine work from Cartwright on the right. The 21 year old Cartwright was a free signing for Stevenage last year and had helped them to a 5th placed finish in League Two although they lost in the playoffs.

    The second goal came from Jason Williams who was assisted by Jordan Flores. Southend striker Williams has reached double figures for the first time in his career this season, scoring 18 goals. Despite being at Southend for 3 years, he'd never scored for them before and only had 2 goals to his name after a loan spell at Welling! Unfortunately, Southend were relegated from League Two so there may be no surprises to see Williams move on.

    Tom Conlon was one of three players to come on as a substitute and it was a first cap for the Stevenage winger, who has notched 5 times and chalked up 9 assists from the wing.

    A good performance in all, particularly from Jordan Flores who plies his trade at League 1 Wigan. He's scored 14 goals as forward for Wigan who finished 5th.


    The senior squad were hoping to repeat a 3:0 win over Slovenia in their earlier qualification game. Ryan Bertrand, Chris Cohen and Mark Davies were three players who'd been recalled to the squad following their efforts in the conclusion to their domestic seasons and were all handed a start, taking over from Leighton Baines, Ben Gibson and Wilfried Zaha.

    Other changes to the starting eleven that lost 3:2 to Belgium also saw Kyle Walker, Chris Smalling, Jonjo Shelvey and Harry Kane start in place of Nathaniel Clyne, Eric Dier, Fabian Delph and Charlie Austin. Smalling in fact earns his first cap under my management whilst Clyne looks to have lost his 100% selection record for me as well.

    The only players to keep their spots were Karl Darlow, Luke Hyam, Tom Ince and Wayne Rooney.


    The game got off to a perfect start with Mark Davies scoring after just 3 minutes on his 2nd cap. The 29 year old is now at Birmingham having been signed for 750K from Bolton. His 6 goals and 9 assists have helped Birmingham to stay up in the Premiership following promotion last year, finishing 16th.

    But Slovenia soon equalised, Dejan Lazarevic converting a free-kick after Kyle Walker had been booked for fouling Kevin Kampl.

    Then disaster struck after 17 minutes as Smalling failed to make the most of his first appearance in an England shirt in this tenure. A reckless challenge on Lazarevic earned him a red card and I was forced to take off Wayne Rooney to bring on John Stones in his place.

    Robert Beric made it 2:1 shortly afterwards and Kampl scored a 3rd for Slovenia after half-time. Harry Kane scored a 5th in 6 caps for me but we crashed to defeat which allowed Austria and Belarus to draw level on points.



    The Alphabet Game #3
    Try your luck at winning any trophy in your game but you must go in order from A-Z in the alphabet!
    Click here to find out more and join in!

  14. #109
    Join Date
    31-10-11
    Posts
    21,464
    vCash
    4500


    Naturally, I was disappointed with the defeat in Slovenia. We'd actually ended the game with more chances which arguably should have won us the game but that's football for you. I'd now lost 3 of my 7 games in charge and they'd all been 3:2 defeats in which we'd been the better side. The defeats to Belarus and Slovenia had also seen us lose a man to a red card after Fraser Forster had been sent off after 38 minutes in Belarus as well as Chris Smalling being sent off after 17 minutes in Slovenia.

    I could not afford to dwell on that though as we have two games coming up which are both vital to the prospects of qualification. Belarus at Wembley and then away in Austria in September, both teams who are 2nd and 3rd yet on the same amount of points as England.

    There were three months until that game and I had a keen eye on the transfer market to see whether any of my selected players so far have moved on to pastures new, hopefully for the better of their careers.

    Benik Afobe was certainly one of the most high profile deals to be made as he completed a whopping 11.5M switch to Stoke from Bournemouth who had missed out on promotion from the Championship by finishing 3rd, despite Afobe scoring 28 goals. Afobe, who has 1 goal in 2 caps for me, will be joining a Stoke team that finished 15th.

    Also leaving Bournemouth after failure to secure promotion is Karl Darlow who has played in the last two senior games. He joins Fulham for 1.1M which was an odd move as he is in fact dropping down a league after Fulham were relegated from the Championship.

    Adam Lallana was also in the news after making a switch from Liverpool to Chelsea for 8.5M, following the footsteps of Nathaniel Clyne and Daniel Sturridge 12 months ago. He'd only managed one cap for me and wasn't getting enough game time to fight his way back into my plans. Only time will tell if that'll change at Stamford Bridge!

    Chris Cohen, who'd recently earned a second cap as a left sided centre-back, also made a short move across the Midlands as he joined Birmingham from Nottm Forest for 2.9M. Nottm Forest had finished 7th, just missing out on the Championship playoffs but Cohen would get to play in the top flight anyway after Birmingham had finished 16th.

    Another surprise move was the departure of Ryan Shawcross to Newcastle for 8.75M. Shawcross had been involved at the start, earning 3 caps for me but soon lost his place. Perhaps Stoke's 15th place finish had persuaded Shawcross to move on although Newcastle have only just been promoted after winning the Championship title.

    Of those who have featured in the Under 21's, Cauley Woodrow left Fulham to join Bury for just 200K. Fulham had been relegated in a season in which Woodrow managed just 3 goals but he remains in League 1 after joining Bury. The 22 year old only featured twice without scoring for the youth side.

    Steven Whitehouse only appeared once for the youth team but caught my eye as a centre-half capable of playing on the left side. He'd joined Southport for free and has earned himself a 140K move to Wigan which is a big jump from the non-league to League 1.

    A new season will also bring about an obvious change in terms of form and who will feature in the all-important clashes against Belarus and Austria. By the time the deadline arrived to select the squad, the Premier League campaign was only one game old so any Englishman who'd started the season well enough would be selected.

    England Under 21's

    Goalkeepers (Name - Age - Club - Apps/Con - AvR)
    Sam Howes - 19 - Fleetwood - 2/5 - 7.00.
    Brendan Pearson - 20 - Newcastle - 1/1 - 8.00.
    Charlie Crawford - 21 - Charlton - 2.5 - 7.50.

    These three are all new faces after decent starts to the season. Sam Howes is on loan at League 2 Fleetwood from West Ham and could be one for the future whereas Brendan Pearson was surprisingly handed a first start for Newcastle after their return to the top flight. Charlie Crawford was added as the third choice despite conceding 5 with Charlton bottom of the Championship.

    Defenders (Name - Age - Club - Apps/Gls - AvR)
    Darnell Furlong - 21 - Q.P.R. - 2/0 - 7.50.
    Jassem Sukar - 20 - Wolves - 2/0 - 8.50.
    Rob Holding - 21 - Bournemouth - 2/0 - 7.50.
    Arlen Birch - 20 - Brighton - 1/0 - 7.00.
    Jonny Connor - 19 - Reading - 1/0 - 7.00.
    Mark Kitching - 21 - Northampton - 2/0 - 7.00.
    Taylor Moore - 20 - Lens - 2/0 - 7.50.
    Nathan Smith - 20 - Portuguesa - 23/0 - 7.52.
    Lewis Banks - 20 - Fylde - 3/0 - 8.00.

    Luke Shaw no longer comes into consideration at this level having turned 22 years of age which is part of a revamp in defence where only Furlong, Sukar, Moore and Smith have featured before. Furlong is very much the senior player and is currently attracting interest from Stoke. Sukar is doing very well at Wolves having moved there for 2.2M last season and Holding joins the squad on the back of a 550K move to Bournemouth from Bolton. Both are left sided defenders who could well be the future of England. Arlen Birch was bought by Brighton last season whilst in the Premier League and has made a good start in the Championship, as has Jonny Connor for Reading at left-back. Mark Kitching is a loanee at Northampton from Middlesbrough, as is Lewis Banks for Fylde from Stoke. Taylor Moore is a regular at Lens but hasn't impressed in his solitary under 21 cap to date whilst Nathan Smith is another Englishman abroad who is doing well in Brazil following his release by Port Vale.

    Midfielders (Name - Age - Club - Apps/Gls - AvR)
    Adam Armstrong - 20 - Newcastle - 1/1 - 7.00.
    Ruben Loftus-Cheek - 21 - Aston Villa - 4/0 - 7.25.
    Josh Onomah - 20 - Tottenham - 1/0 - 7.00.
    Jack Grealish - 21 - Middlesbrough - 2/1 - 7.50.
    Jordan Rossiter - 20 - Liverpool - 1/0 - 7.00.
    Ricky Watkins - 18 - Newcastle - 1/0 - 7.00.
    Jordan Flores - 21 - Wigan - 2/2 - 7.00.
    Joel Logan - 21 - Rochdale - 2/0 - 7.00.
    Tom Conlon - 21 - Stevenage - 2/0 - 7.00.
    Christopher Radcliffe - 17 - Morecambe - 1/0 - 7.00.
    Ryan Quinn - 21 - Cambridge Utd - 2/0 - 7.50.

    David Moyes at Newcastle is certainly doing a good job with the youngsters after Armstrong and Watkins are selected for the first time to make it 3 Newcastle players in the squad and Spurs have also selected Josh Onomah which sees him selected for the first time too. Loftus-Cheek, Rossiter, Flores and Conlon are players who have been involved before along with Grealish who has completed a 900K move to Middlesbrough and scored already. Finding wingers has been tough though, especially on the left where I have called up Radcliffe and Quinn who both feature for teams in League 2.

    Strikers (Name - Age - Club - Apps/Gls - AvR)
    Marcus Rashford - 19 - Man Utd - 1/1 - 8.00.
    Austin Lipman - 21 - Aston Villa - 1/1 - 7.00.
    Chuba Akpom - 21 - Chelsea - 2/1 - 7.00.

    For once, the under 21 have recognisable strikers after the selected trio have made good starts to their seasons to be included for the first time. Rashford scored only 7 goals last year in just 7 starts which saw him overlooked only to score in Man Utd's first game of the season. Lipman too makes a good start having joined Aston Villa for free and Chuba Akpom was released by Arsenal and gleefully snapped up by League 1's Colchester.

    England Seniors

    Goalkeepers (Name - Age - Club - Apps/Con - AvR)
    Fraser Forster - 29 - Southampton - 1/1 - 9.00.
    Jack Butland - 24 - Stoke - 1/2 - 8.00.
    David Stockdale - 31 - Norwich - 1/0 - 7.00.

    A broken toe rules Joe Hart out of selection which sees David Stockdale included alongside regular faces Jack Butland and Fraser Forster.

    Defenders (Name - Age - Club - Apps/Gls - AvR)
    John Stones - 23 - Everton - 1/0 - 8.00.
    Eric Dier - 23 - Tottenham - 1/0 - 7.00.
    Luke Shaw - 22 - Man Utd - 1/0 - 7.00.
    Calum Chambers - 22 - Arsenal - 1/0 - 7.00.
    Sam Byram - 23 - West Ham - 1/0 - 7.00.
    Ryan Bertrand - 28 - Southampton - 1/0 - 8.00.
    Chris Cohen - 30 - Birmingham - 1/0 - 8.00.
    Jon Flanagan - 24 - Liverpool - 1/0 - 8.00.
    Alfie Mawson - 23 - Derby - 1/0 - 8.00.

    On the face of it, the defence does look fairly inexperienced without the likes of Kyle Walker, Chris Smalling, Nathaniel Clyne, Leighton Baines and Phil Jones being included. Baines wasn't considered after starting to age, whilst Jones didn't fit in as others got the nod ahead of them whilst the others haven't started particularly well. Luke Shaw will be hoping to be the first player to come through from the Under 21's although he has a number of caps in his name prior to my appointment. Chambers, Byram, Flanagan and Mawson will all be looking for their first caps under me as well with Mawson being selected on the back of a 1.6M move from Burnley to Derby in the top flight. It's also good to see Cohen remain in the squad despite making a move to Birmingham which doesn't always work out.

    Midfielders (Name - Age - Club - Apps/Gls - AvR)
    Raheem Sterling - 22 - Man City - 2/1 - 7.50.
    Theo Walcott - 28 - Arsenal - 1/1 - 8.00.
    Wayne Rooney - 31 - FC Bayern - 1/1 - 7.00.
    Jordan Henderson - 27 - Liverpool - 1/0 - 7.00.
    Wilfried Zaha - 24 - Crystal Palace - 1/0 - 7.00.
    Marc Albrighton - 27 - Leicester - 1/0 - 7.00.
    Danny Drinkwater - 27 - Leicester - 1/0 - 7.00.
    Mark Davies - 29 - Birmingham - 1/0 - 7.00.
    Joe Mason - 26 - Wolves - 2/0 - 8.00.
    Conor Coady - 24 - Brighton - 2/0 - 7.00.
    Luke Hyam - 25 - Ipswich - 2/0 - 7.00.

    There's a definite lack of defensive midfielders in the top flight with Coady and Hyam, who have 2 caps each, once again included from the Championship. Likewise for the left wing with Joe Mason handed a first ever call-up on the back of helping Wolves into 3rd in the Championship. The remainder of midfield is fairly similar with all but Henderson and Walcott having featured for me last season whilst Raheem Sterling is another player yet to appear for me but like Luke Shaw, is hoping to be the first that has featured for the seniors having previously been part of the under 21's.

    Strikers (Name - Age - Club - Apps/Gls - AvR)
    Harry Kane - 24 - Tottenham - 3/0 - 7.67.
    Tom Hopper - 23 - Scunthorpe - 2/1 - 8.00.
    Nicky Maynard - 30 - MK Dons - 2/2 - 8.00.

    The biggest surprise of the squad announcement comes here as Maynard and Hoppper are included as Championship players who have never been capped before. The likes of Daniel Sturridge, Benik Afobe, Charlie Austin, Danny Ings and Jamie Vardy have either not started or haven't impressed in their first appearance of the season.


    The youth team should have gone into these fixtures with 9 defenders but instead, we had only 7 as Jonny Connor and Darnell Furlong both picked up injuries. I wasn't able to call upon replacements and so Lewis Banks and Mark Kitching were given their first bows at this level alongside Charlie Crawford, Joel Logan, Marcus Rashford, Jack Grealish and Ryan Quinn.

    Captained by Ruben Loftus-Cheek who was enjoying a fine start to the season and would surely be a shoe-in for the seniors when he turns 22, the team raced into a 3:0 lead by half-time with a debut goal from Joel Logan along with Rossiter making it 3 in 3 for me and Grealish also scoring on his first selection. Belarus did pull one back after the break but Logan scored twice more to register a hat-trick. The only blemish was the performance of Loftus-Cheek of all people and Jassem Sukar who took over as captain. Sukar has now played 5 times for the Under 21's which is the most anyone has managed so far.



    The senior squad lost Jon Flanagan to a thigh strain which saw Nathaniel Clyne called up as a replacement having started Chelsea's next two games at right-back. Clyne had been overlooked initially because he'd been a substitute in their first fixture. As it happens, Clyne didn't make the squad anyway with Sam Byram (and Mawson) handed their first caps in defence. There were also two more caps given for the first time as Nicky Maynard and Joe Mason had done enough to start. Luke Shaw was also officially the first player to be picked at both levels since I took over England.


    The selection of Maynard raised some eyebrows, particularly with Tom Hopper on the bench too instead of Harry Kane. Maynard, although MK Dons were bottom of the Championship, had scored 5 in 5 and it was he who scored after just 4 minutes. Danny Drinkwater doubled the lead but Koshel pulled one back in the 27th minute. The second half was a riot though as the seniors managed to replicate their young counterparts in beating Belarus 5:1, with Drinkwater scoring another goal along with Mason on his debut and also Walcott who came off the bench to play for the first time.





    After the youngsters did so well against Belarus, you'd be forgiven for thinking that I wouldn't make any changes. However, Jassem Sukar lost his place for Rob Holding who made his first appearance at under 21 level. Loftus-Cheek though, kept his spot for the game that takes place in Wien.



    There would be no heroics this time from Joel Logan but Jack Grealish certainly carried on where he left off against Belarus in opening the scoring in Austria. It was a tight game though in truth Austria rarely threatened the youth side as they wrapped up victory with Marcus Rashford's first goal.



    Having lost Jon Flanagan shortly before the Belarus game, the seniors have now lost Ryan Bertrand after he stubbed his toe in training. Rather than manning up, Bertrand had to be sent home and we were allowed up call up a replacement. That man was Aaron Cresswell who'd done well so far with West Ham. Once again, Cresswell didn't make the side for the game anyhow as only one change was made as Theo Walcott replaced Wayne Rooney which meant the captain to face Austria was Fraser Forster.

    The win over Belarus had put us 2 points clear of Austria so avoiding defeat at Ernst Happel was the priority. We did just that, taking the lead twice through Marc Albrighton and Danny Drinkwater but had to settle for a point when Atdhe Nuhiu struck twice despite spending three seasons without a single appearance for Sheff Wed!

    Victory would have seen us qualify for the tournament but instead, we must wait a month to finish off the job against Bulgaria.




    The Alphabet Game #3
    Try your luck at winning any trophy in your game but you must go in order from A-Z in the alphabet!
    Click here to find out more and join in!

  15. The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to Mark For This Useful Post:


  16. #110
    Join Date
    31-10-11
    Posts
    21,464
    vCash
    4500


    "I can't stand here and say that I'm not disappointed with the result in Austria" said Mark Henderson, speaking to ITV following the 2:2 draw. "I'm pleased that we remain at the top of the league table and we fully understand that our qualification for the World Cup is now firmly in our hands against Belarus. We'll be playing at Wembley so hopefully I can keep my unbeaten record going there with the full support of the crowd."

    Pressed as to whether the supporters can yet look on with pride on the England team, Henderson responded "I would like to think that they've understood the concept behind the work we've done so far. It's true that some of the supporters of the bigger sides may have been disappointed to see certain players overlooked but the majority will surely appreciate that we're truly building a team out there on merit. The likes of Nicky Maynard, Karl Darlow, Sam Byram, Mark Davies, Luke Hyam, etc would surely never have gotten a look in under the likes of Capello and Hodgson."

    After concluding the interview, the England kept himself out of the media spotlight in the coming weeks as he prepared for the squad to be decided to face Belarus. The Premier League was now 6 games old for most teams and with that in mind, the squad included only players who'd started at least 3 times so far. It led to a number of changes as some players started to step up their efforts whilst others couldn't quite keep up their season opening effort.

    David Stockdale (Norwich), Eric Dier (Tottenham), Calum Chambers (Arsenal), Sam Byram (West Ham), Aaron Cresswell (West Ham), Raheem Sterling (Man City), Wilfried Zaha (Crystal Palace), Nicky Maynard (MK Dons) and Tom Hopper (Scunthorpe) were all dropped from the squad for a variety of reasons. Sterling had picked up an injury whilst Dier, Chambers and Zaha had all lost form. Stockdale, Byram, Cresswell, Maynard and Hopper were unfortunate to be dropped as they'd kept up their performances but others had overtaken them in the pecking order too.

    Joe Hart, Carl Jenkinson, Gary Cahill, Ryan Shawcross, Kieran Gibbs, Ross Barkley, Tom Cairney, Jamie Vardy and Andre Gray were the 9 to come into he squad. All but Hart and Shawcross had been selected before.


    Andre Gray gets a first call-up for Burnley after scoring 5 in 10

    GK: Joe Hart (Man City), Fraser Forster (Southampton), Jack Butland (Stoke).
    DEF: John Stones (Everton), Luke Shaw (Man Utd), Nathaniel Clyne (Chelsea), Alfie Mawson (Derby), Carl Jenkinson (Everton), Gary Cahill (Liverpool), Ryan Shawcross (Newcastle), Chris Cohen (Birmingham), Kieran Gibbs (Arsenal).
    MID: Theo Walott (Arsenal), Wayne Rooney (FC Bayern), Jordan Henderson (Liverpool), Ross Barkley (Everton), Marc Albrighton (Leicester), Danny Drinkwater (Leicester), Mark Davies (Birmingham), Joe Mason (Wolves), Conor Coady (Brighton), Tom Cairney (AMRC), Luke Hyam (Ipswich).
    FOR: Harry Kane (Tottenham), Jamie Vardy (Leicester), Andre Gray (Burnley).

    Meanwhile, the under 21's squad was also confirmed:

    GK: Hayden Middleton (AFC Wimbledon), Josh Vickers (Sheff Utd), Sam Howes (Fleetwood).
    DEF: Jassem Sukar (Wolves), Reece Oxford (West Ham), Jonny Connor (Reading), Andy Sheppard (Blackburn), Harrison McGahey (Sheff Utd), Ryan Johnson (Ipswich), George Smith (Barnsley), Lewis Banks (Fylde), Steve Watson (Stockport).
    MID: Ruben Loftus-Cheek (Aston Villa), Ademola Lookman (Charlton), Lewis Cook (Leeds), Jordan Flores (Wigan), Jermaine Anderson (Peterborough), Tom Conlon (Stevenage), Kevin Brannan (Kidderminster), Christopher Radcliffe (Morecambe), Ryan Quinn (Cambridge), Kamaron English (FC United), Matthew Legg (Brackley).
    FOR: Marcus Rashford (Man Utd), Chuba Akpom (Colchester), Jordan Bove (Oldham).

    Typically, Conor Coady picked up an injury which was a frustration given that defensive midfield is a problem position for me in the senior side. It says it all that his replacement is David Jones, the 32 year old from Burnley who I have already handed a cap to before. In saying that though, he's had a great start in the Championship, scoring 6 in 10 starts.

    I was let down by the scheduling of Premiership games taking place on the Wednesday before this fixture took place on the Saturday. It meant that Shaw, Clyne, Barkley and Walcott didn't look fit enough for a start although admittedly, I would have only started with the full-backs anyhow.

    Believe it or not, there were 5 players making their first appearances for me as manager of England although only Andre Gray was earning his first cap. The others were Jenkinson, Gibbs, Cahill and Henderson. The 31 year old Cahill in particular had done well to fight his way into the set-up after spending last year on the sidelines playing just 7 games for Chelsea before making a 3.4M switch to Liverpool.



    The team talk was simple. Just see the game through without losing! We knew that if Austria won, we needed just a point to secure 1st place via goal difference as they were currently on +3 whereas we had a goal difference of +9.

    Perhaps understandably, it was a tense game to start with as we took a while to grow into the game. Bulgaria though, rarely threatened as we enjoyed possession. Plamen Iliev, of Botosani, was having a fine game in the sticks to deny Albrighton whilst Henderson sent a shot off target.

    The key moment came just before half-time though so it couldn't have come at a better time and it was two Championship players who combined. Wolves' Joe Mason fed the ball in to Andre Gray and his low shot beat Iliev to hand us the lead!

    It was now just a case of seeing the game out and that we did in the second half as we registered more chances which Iliev kept out, earning himself the man of the match award. Bulgaria finally put together their first shot at goal in the 89th minute and thankfully Joe Hart hadn't fallen asleep and was able to deal with the danger,



    As it happens, Austria did win so the win was important to win the group by 2 points. We now have a friendly arranged in November while we wait to see who we'll take on at the World Cup!



    As for the youngsters, they cruised to a 4:2 victory! The team were already three goals to the good by half-time thanks to goals from Jassem Sukar, Matthew Legg and the appropriately named Kamaron English, who then added a second goal to cap a goalscoring debut besides Legg. I was quietly impressed with both goalscorers who are in fact non-league players whereas Sukar's strike comes in his 6th selection at this level, the most appearances a player has made for the under 21's so far.


    The Alphabet Game #3
    Try your luck at winning any trophy in your game but you must go in order from A-Z in the alphabet!
    Click here to find out more and join in!

  17. The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to Mark For This Useful Post:


  18. #111
    Join Date
    31-07-15
    Location
    Nijmegen, Netherlands
    Posts
    376
    vCash
    10500
    A long wait now to see who will be in World Cup form at the end of the season...

  19. The Following User Says Thank You to Vrkh For This Useful Post:


  20. #112
    Join Date
    03-03-12
    Posts
    14,549
    vCash
    5103
    U21's are flying fair play

    Couple of didgy results v Slovenia and Austria but the spare game in hand and battering of Belarus was sweet

    Maynard always randomly does well in CM!

    Phew - nearly got superkeepered there in the final game but did enough. I think even if you drew you may well have topped the group

    Do U21's have any tournamets or just friendlies like League "reserve" teams

  21. The Following User Says Thank You to Redknapp69 For This Useful Post:


  22. #113
    Join Date
    31-10-11
    Posts
    21,464
    vCash
    4500
    Thanks guys, was beginning to wonder if anyone was following this after 3 updates without any feedback

    Quote Originally Posted by Vrkh View Post
    A long wait now to see who will be in World Cup form at the end of the season...
    Sure is but we do have a friendly against France lined up soon and I expect there'll be 1 or 2 more arranged after Christmas too.

    Quote Originally Posted by Redknapp69 View Post
    U21's are flying fair play

    Couple of didgy results v Slovenia and Austria but the spare game in hand and battering of Belarus was sweet

    Maynard always randomly does well in CM!

    Phew - nearly got superkeepered there in the final game but did enough. I think even if you drew you may well have topped the group

    Do U21's have any tournamets or just friendlies like League "reserve" teams
    Yeah, think our GD would have safely seen us qualify as long as we didn't lose!

    Nah, it's like reserve teams - You can only play whoever the seniors are playing in friendlies. Shame really but that's a 16 year old game for you!
    The Alphabet Game #3
    Try your luck at winning any trophy in your game but you must go in order from A-Z in the alphabet!
    Click here to find out more and join in!

  23. The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to Mark For This Useful Post:


  24. #114
    Join Date
    31-10-11
    Posts
    21,464
    vCash
    4500


    The pressure has certainly eased a little bit for me after ensuring qualification for the World Cup. We may have left it late in securing top spot in our final group game but perhaps that was to be expected given the overhaul that has taken place in the international set-up and the fact that I had actually played a total of 55 players since taking over (5 goalkeepers, 20 defenders, 25 midfielders and 5 strikers!). Good luck to all those pundits who like to predict what the final squad will be for the World Cup itself!

    It'll certainly be interesting from my own point of view as to whether there'll be any new faces joining the squad between now and the tournament itself. For now, all I could do was keep focused and there was certainly no chance of a break as we had a friendly lined up with France just five weeks after playing Bulgaria.

    The Premiership was now 11 games old for most teams so we were looking at a criteria of at least 5 starts which all in the last squad passed. However, the quartet of Gary Cahill, Chris Cohen, Carl Jenkinson and Theo Walcott had all dropped below 7.00 in terms of average rating which saw them removed from the squad. That meant at least 4 changes but it soon transpired that Ryan Shawcross, Kieran Gibbs, Wayne Rooney, Tom Cairney, Joe Mason, David Jones, Jamie Vardy and Andre Gray would also lose their spots in the squad as others had started to get their acts together and come into good form.

    Coming in were Eric Dier, Sam Byram, Moses Odubajo, Ryan Bertrand, Ben Gibson, Wilfried Zaha, Adam Lallana, Danny Welbeck, Jay Rodriguez, Conor Coady, Daniel Sturridge and Danny Ings. It's a first call up for Moses Odubajo who has hit the ground running for Hull after helping them into the top flight via the playoffs last year whilst Danny Ings is another who has yet to earn a cap for me.


    Moses Odubajo (right) is a surprise name in the England squad

    GK: Joe Hart (Man City), Fraser Forster (Southampton), Jack Butland (Stoke).
    DEF: John Stones (Everton), Eric Dier (Tottenham), Luke Shaw (Man Utd), Sam Byram (West Ham), Nathaniel Clyne (Chelsea), Moses Odubajo (Hull), Alfie Mawson (Derby), Ryan Bertrand (Southampton), Ben Gibson (Middlesbrough)
    MID: Jordan Henderson (Liverpool), Wilfried Zaha (Crystal Palace), Ross Barkley (Everton), Danny Welbeck (Arsenal), Marc Albrighton (Leicester), Adam Lallana (Chelsea), Danny Drinkwater (Leicester), Mark Davies (Birmingham), Conor Coady (Brighton), Luke Hyam (Ipswich).
    FOR: Harry Kane (Tottenham), Daniel Sturridge (Chelsea), Danny Ings (Stoke).

    As for the Under 21's, we lost Jassem Sukar, Andy Sheppard, Reece Oxford and Ruben Loftus-Cheek to injuries whilst Ryan Johnson, Sam Howes, Josh Vickers, Tom Conlon and George Smith were all cut from the squad after poor performances. I also lost Harrison McGahey, Jordan Flores and Chuba Akpom after they turned 22 years of age! With Ryan Quinn also omitted after a limited amount of game time, that meant we'd lost 13 players altogether! That led to the recall of some player who'd featured before and a good number that we've had to look for deep in the non-league.

    GK: Brendan Pearson (Newcastle), Hayden Middleton (AFC Wimbledon), Garry Nicholson (Gateshead).
    DEF: Matthew Clarke (MK Dons), Bryn Morris (Middlesbrough), Jonny Connor (Reading), Taylor Moore (Lens), Lewis Banks (Fylde), Steve Watson (Stockport), George McLennan (Cheltenham), Michael Maddison (Aldershot), Andy Reynods (Leiston).
    MID: Ademola Lookman (Charlton), Lewis Cook (Leeds), Akil Wright (Middlesbrough), Jermaine Anderson (Peterborough), Calum Dyson (Wycombe), Emmanuel Osadebe (Gillingham), Kevin Brannan (Kidderminster), Kamaron English (FC United), Christopher Radcliffe (Morecambe), Matthew Legg (Brackley), Rod Harrison (Margate).
    FOR: Marcus Rashford (Man Utd), Tyler Walker (Nottm Forest), Jordan Bove (Oldham).

    As it happens, Danny Ings was unsurprisingly injured in a game for Stoke and that saw Jamie Vardy reinstated to the squad anyway. The Leicester striker has yet to make an appearance under my management.



    The less said about the result, the better.

    Antoine Griezmann struck in either half with Loic Remy making it 3:0 in the last minute as we crashed to a poor defeat. It's not as though the performance wasn't there as we'd managed 9 shots with 6 on target. But our defence had a real off day as France had 8 shots with just 3 shots on target and Fraser Forster let them all in.

    There were very few positives to take away. Ben Gibson had again disappointed on the left side of central defence, a third cap there and he'd been rated a 6 in each one. Jay Rodriguez though, involved or the first time in a while, was our best man on the pitch.



    I must admit that I was worried that the amount of injuries and withdrawals to the youth squad would upset the rhythm that the under 21's had put together, they were enjoying a 5 game unbeaten run and had only lost twice in 10 games. With Thomas Lemar starting in the French Under 21 side and talents such as Kylian Mbappe and Dayout Upamecano on their bench, it was perhaps not a surprise to see us concede first after 26 minutes.

    But after that, the players seemed to relax a little bit and despite 6 players including the entire back five making their debuts, we turned it around to storm into a 3:1 lead by the 55th minute. Tyler Walker, an interesting prospect at Nottm Forest who'd scored 4 in 9 starts, struck twice on his debut and left winger Christopher Radcliffe from Morecamble, bagged the other.

    France did pull one back only a minute after Walker's second goal but we saw the game out comfortably.


    The Alphabet Game #3
    Try your luck at winning any trophy in your game but you must go in order from A-Z in the alphabet!
    Click here to find out more and join in!

  25. #115
    Join Date
    03-03-12
    Posts
    14,549
    vCash
    5103
    Ugh - killer result for the Seniors - harsh scoreline though

    Wow - France don't half have some talent dont they!

    But what a result for the U21's - some backbone to them as well as talent

  26. The Following User Says Thank You to Redknapp69 For This Useful Post:


  27. #116
    Join Date
    31-07-15
    Location
    Nijmegen, Netherlands
    Posts
    376
    vCash
    10500
    For a second, I thought it was Olisadebe

  28. The Following User Says Thank You to Vrkh For This Useful Post:


  29. #117
    Join Date
    31-10-11
    Posts
    21,464
    vCash
    4500
    Quote Originally Posted by Redknapp69 View Post
    Ugh - killer result for the Seniors - harsh scoreline though

    Wow - France don't half have some talent dont they!

    But what a result for the U21's - some backbone to them as well as talent
    Yep, so a very tough friendly for us! It does seem as though the U21's are having better luck although how many will actually get through to the seniors?

    Quote Originally Posted by Vrkh View Post
    For a second, I thought it was Olisadebe
    For Osadebe?
    The Alphabet Game #3
    Try your luck at winning any trophy in your game but you must go in order from A-Z in the alphabet!
    Click here to find out more and join in!

  30. The Following User Says Thank You to Mark For This Useful Post:


  31. #118
    Join Date
    31-07-15
    Location
    Nijmegen, Netherlands
    Posts
    376
    vCash
    10500
    Quote Originally Posted by Mark View Post
    For Osadebe?
    That's the one!

  32. The Following User Says Thank You to Vrkh For This Useful Post:


  33. #119
    Join Date
    31-10-11
    Posts
    21,464
    vCash
    4500


    "What, I don't understand. So not only are we playing Belgium for a third time since I've been in charge but we play them twice in two months as well? Where's the logic in that?!" I exclaimed, talking down the phone to the FA.

    The situation was bizarre. I'd only managed England in three friendlies so far and Belgian had been our opponents twice already. We'd play them in March and then again in April before the World Cup is due to get underway in June. It just doesn't make any sense.

    Speaking of the World Cup, we had now discovered our group for the tournament and it wasn't an easy one. Germany, Colombia and Ivory Coast were the teams we'd have to face. I think it's fair to say that expectations were certainly mixed after seeing the draw with the FA themselves saying they hope the team will at least get to the second round! Indeed, David Platt was vocal in the media in declaring that we have no chance at all!

    Four months had passed since we lost 3:0 to France and that means a lot has changed in the game. Six players lost their places with Wilfried Zaha, Jamie Vardy, Conor Coady, Marc Albrighton, Mark Davies and Danny Welbeck cut from the squad whilst Jay Rodriguez was also removed after just 7 starts for Southampton.

    I must say that it certainly was a struggle to fill certain positions this time in the squad, most notably in midfield. Ruben Loftus-Cheek is included for the first time and could well be the first player that I'd selected at U21 level to earn a full senior cap. Luke Shaw and Raheem Sterling have come through before but had already been capped by previous managers. There are four more uncapped players with Moses Odubajo keeping his place from last time but three new faces in James Ward-Prowse, Nathan Oakes and Ashley Harris. Oakes is an interesting case as he only joined Newcastle last year in what was his first professional season and has made 15 starts for them in the Premiership this season. I had to dig deep to find a left winger to compete with Joe Mason who's also been recalled this time. Ashley Harris fit that bill after 28 starts for Bournemouth following a 525K switch from Rotherham having started his career with Portsmouth.


    Ashley Harris is amongst the surprise names included in the latest squad

    GK: Joe Hart (Man City), Fraser Forster (Southampton), Jack Butland (Stoke).
    DEF: John Stones (Everton), Eric Dier (Tottenham), Luke Shaw (Man Utd), Nathaniel Clyne (Chelsea), Moses Odubajo (Hull), Sam Byram (West Ham), Alfie Mawson (Derby), Ryan Bertrand (Southampton), Ben Gibson (Middlesbrough)
    MID: Jordan Henderson (Liverpool), Ross Barkley (Everton), Fabian Delph (Man City), Danny Drinkwater (Leicester), Adam Lallana (Chelsea), James Ward-Prowse (Aston Villa), Joe Mason (Wolves), Ruben Loftus-Cheek (Aston Villa), Nathan Oakes (Newcastle), Luke Hyam (Ipswich), Ashley Harris (Bournemouth).
    FOR: Harry Kane (Tottenham), Daniel Sturridge (Chelsea), Benik Afobe (Stoke).

    Meanwhile, the FA's scheduling plans haven't included the under 21's so they won't feature until August!



    There does seem to be a curse no the squad in that someone always withdraws through injury and this time, it's James Ward-Prowse after suffering a calf strain against West Brom. Another uncapped player takes his place, Scott Wagstaff who currently plays for Reading in the Championship.

    Wagstaff also got to start the game to earn his first cap along with Odubajo, Harris and Loftus-Cheek. There's also a first cap by me for Ross Barkley too although he already has 22 caps to his name.

    What followed was definitely a surprise to everyone.

    The first half had little of note to write about, though Harris did well to draw a save from Mignolet whilst Denayer came close at a corner. Loftus-Cheek was complaining of an injury, so we brought on Luke Hyam at half-time for his 4th cap.

    Eight minutes later, Fabian Delph opened the scoring for us in an arguably deserved lead. It was a cross from Odubajo that led to the goal where Delph headed in beyond Mignolet.

    Belgium then made 6 changes, bringing on some of their big guns but they rarely threatened an we doubled the leaad with Harris setting up Barkley to hit the ball first time into the net!

    Then, to wrap things up, Delph set up Afobe for a run against the offside trap and the Stoke striker calmly made it 3:0!

    The only disappointment is that Belgium scored with the last kick of the game as Butland made a mistake. de Bruyne had taken a shot but rather than dealing with it, Butland let it run free and Chadli was able to tap it into the net after being unmarked.


    The Alphabet Game #3
    Try your luck at winning any trophy in your game but you must go in order from A-Z in the alphabet!
    Click here to find out more and join in!

  34. #120
    Join Date
    03-03-12
    Posts
    14,549
    vCash
    5103
    Hendo worried about playing top class opposition too many times in friendles - worried for his job?

    Bloody horrible draw as well - danger throughout the "group of death"

    Bugger Platty - what's he given back to the game after he finished?


    Bangin' result though - seems like the newboys further up the pitch made the most of thier opportunity

  35. The Following User Says Thank You to Redknapp69 For This Useful Post:


  36. #121
    Join Date
    31-10-11
    Posts
    21,464
    vCash
    4500
    I know international friendlies in CM is a bit of a bug but playing Belgium 4 times is a bit of a joke

    Chuffed with the result and nice to see the FL boys doing well.
    The Alphabet Game #3
    Try your luck at winning any trophy in your game but you must go in order from A-Z in the alphabet!
    Click here to find out more and join in!

  37. #122
    Join Date
    03-03-12
    Posts
    14,549
    vCash
    5103
    That happens quite a bit IIRC though - especially managing an African team!

  38. The Following User Says Thank You to Redknapp69 For This Useful Post:


  39. #123
    Join Date
    31-10-11
    Posts
    21,464
    vCash
    4500
    I read that as IRL then instead of IIRC
    The Alphabet Game #3
    Try your luck at winning any trophy in your game but you must go in order from A-Z in the alphabet!
    Click here to find out more and join in!

  40. The Following User Says Thank You to Mark For This Useful Post:


  41. #124
    Join Date
    31-10-11
    Posts
    21,464
    vCash
    4500


    The final game... The last match of preparation before the World Cup itself in June.

    There were just eight games left of the Premier League season so we were looking at players with at least 16 starts to be included in the final friendly which of course is our 4th meeting with Belgium in just 17 months.

    I didn't expect to make many changes given that we only played that 3:1 win against Belgium a month ago. Two players were ruled out through injuries, Fabian Delph (thigh strain) and Sam Byram (strained neck). Chris Smalling was drafted into the defence and Jack Wilshere got the nod to replace Delph following his form out in China.

    One other change also took place as Ashley Harris lost his place in the squad due to Jake Forster-Caskey, selected for the first time. The 23 year old winger is currently 9th in the Championship with Wolves, just 3 points off a playoff spot.


    No Scott Wagstaff or Ashley Harris time but Jake Forster-Caskey earns a first call-up

    GK: Joe Hart (Man City), Jack Butland (Stoke), Fraser Forster (Southampton).
    DEF: John Stones (Everton), Eric Dier (Tottenham), Moses Odubajo (Hull), Luke Shaw (Man Utd), Nathaniel Clyne (Chelsea), Alfie Mawson (Derby), Chris Smalling (Man Utd), Ryan Bertrand (Southampton), Ben Gibson (Middlesbrough).
    MID: Ross Barkley (Everton), Jordan Henderson (Liverpool), Danny Drinkwater (Leicester), Adam Lallana (Chelsea), Jack Wilshere (Shanghai Shenhua), James Ward-Prowse (Aston Villa), Ruben Loftus-Cheek (Aston Villa), Joe Mason (Wolves), Jake Forster-Caskey (Wolves), Nathan Oakes (Newcastle), Luke Hyam (Ipswich).
    FOR: Harry Kane (Tottenham), Daniel Sturridge (Chelsea), Benik Afobe (Stoke).

    Strangely enough, we were also asked to select a 'B' squad to face Belgium too which was a first! I genuinely don't really understand how these games work for the FA! I did consider selecting a team full of youth players to make up for their lack of action until August but instead, I named a senior side to give you an idea of those who could be seen as 'on the fringes' of playing for the senior side this Summer.

    GK: David Stockdale (Norwich), Alex McCarthy (Cardiff), Damian Martinez (Brighton).
    DEF: Ryan Shawcross (Newcastle), Kieran Gibbs (Arsenal), Martin Kelly (Crystal Palace), Aidy White (Ipswich), Dan Burn (Brighton), Adam Smith (Wolves), Matthew Lowton (Burnley), Jason Pearce (Nottm Forest).
    MID: Jonjo Shelvey (Galatasaray), Jonny Howson (Norwich), Chuks Aneke (Zulte-Waregem), Jack Grealish (Middlesbrough), Ashley Harris (Bournemouth), Scott Wagstaff (Reading), Kazenga LuaLua (Nottm Forest), Jay Spearing (Doncaster), Peter Whittingham (Cardiff), David Jones (Burnley).
    FOR: Danny Ings (Stoke), Tom Hopper (Scunthorpe), Christopher Long (Burnley).

    It also demonstrates that either the so called 'big names' of English football are simply sitting on the sidelines too much or aren't performing to the best of their abilities. For example, the likes of Raheem Sterling, Dele Alli, Theo Walcott, Jesse Lingard, Charlie Austin, Danny Welbeck, Andre Gray, Wilfried Zaha, Conor Coady, James Wilson, Tom Ince, Will Hughes and Kyle Walker haven't been selected!

    I won't go into too much detail about the B match as it was a completely pointless exercise but goals from Tom Hopper and Scott Wagstaff gave us a 2:1 win. Scunthorpe's striker gave us the lead after 8 minutes but Belgium equalised within 10 minutes. Scott Wagstaff then came off the bench to score the winner 5 minutes from the end.



    Now we lost Luke Shaw in the seniors to injury and ordinarily, I'd have called up Kieran Gibbs but I wasn't allowed to move him from the B squad into the senior squad. Instead, Jack Robinson from Q.P.R. got the call but he turned up carrying an injury anyway as did Benik Afobe!



    The starting eleven included Nathan Oakes making his first appearance. He only has 4 goals and 2 assists to his name from 20 starts for Newcastle but has an average rating of 7.14 which has fought his way into contention.

    Oakes didn't do a lot throughout a game in which we were genuinely the better side. Harry Kane hit the bar after only 3 minutes after an excellent one-two with Ross Barkley. Just a minute later, Barkley rattled the bar himself after being set up by Oakes!

    Mignolet was a busy man throughout the game and in typical fashion, we seemed to fall asleep in the back, not reacting to the danger of Lukaku skimming the bar by de Bruyne running through unmarked to connect with an Imbula cross.

    The team kept persevering and we made a double change on the hour when Kane and Oakes were withdrawn and replaced by Danny Sturridge and James Ward-Prowse, the latter earning his first cap and the former making a first appearance under my management.

    That one shot from Belgium that led to the goal was their only chance on target from just two created throughout the entire game. We managed 13 chances, 7 on target and that last chance came in the 90th minute.

    It began with Nathaniel Clyne on the right flank who passed left to Ruben Loftus-Cheek. The ball was flicked on to Barkley who turned nicely on the ball and advanced before crossing into the box. Danny Sturridge got there before the goalkeeper to poke the ball into the net and England had salvaged the game!


    The Alphabet Game #3
    Try your luck at winning any trophy in your game but you must go in order from A-Z in the alphabet!
    Click here to find out more and join in!

  42. The Following User Says Thank You to Mark For This Useful Post:


  43. #125
    Join Date
    31-07-15
    Location
    Nijmegen, Netherlands
    Posts
    376
    vCash
    10500
    An exciting summer on the horizon!

  44. The Following User Says Thank You to Vrkh For This Useful Post:


Page 5 of 6 FirstFirst 123456 LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •