Gerrard and Lampard to pair in the centre
By Rob Casey
Monday 07 Jun 2010 22:34:00
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Football may famously be a game of two halves, but the Platinum Stars game showed England to be very much a squad of such a dichotomy, with Capello changing everyone except Joe Cole at half-time. So what does this tell us? Well, everything and nothing.

 

We were told to expect at least 45 minutes for each player who will play on Saturday, so that narrows it down then to…21 potential starters. Oh well. But there were some interesting clues there, nevertheless.

 

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The absence of David James suggests that he may not figure, and the absence of Gareth Barry indicates that he definitely will not, as confirmed afterwards by the man himself:

 

“I've been told I'm not playing to give me more time,” he said, in reference to the USA match.

 

Therefore the fact that Lampard and Gerrard partnered each other in the centre of midfield in Barry’s absence, suggests that this is very much Capello’s plan. And with Joe Cole playing the whole 90 minutes, and doing a good job of it at that, it would be wise to assume that he’ll get the left wing slot.

 

The first half back-four of Johnson, Terry, King and Cole was telling. As were the strike partnerships of Crouch & Defoe and Rooney & Heskey. Though neither the first half nor second half teams will be the eleven Fabio plays on Saturday, these combinations suggest development plans Capello is working on. And the Italian clearly seems to think that Rooney works best alongside Heskey, and that Lampard and Gerrard are not problematic alongside each other.

 

Is he right?

 

 

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