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Adi_Dem Posted on 07/09/2008 09:02
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OK, he wasn't very good last night but then again none of them were. It was a poor performance by the entire team.

That said, anyone that doesn't think Downing is good enough for England doesn't know what they're on about. He is, by a distance, good enough.

The problem he is suffering is the same problem that many other England players who aren't picked from the top 4 have. He isn't given a chance and is seemingly judged by an entirely different criteria to the likes of Wazza, Stevie G, Lamps, JT et al. They can get away with selfish play, poor performances and a general lack of any ethic.

Has he got the ability to play for England? A resounding yes. Will he ever be given the chance and will the team ever use him correctly? Doubt it.

heaton_mersey_boro Posted on 07/09/2008 09:07
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Did'nt watch the first half, so can't comment on how bad good he was.

Fully expect him to be the tabloid whipping boy, as usual, especially as J.Cole came on and scored the goals. Even though he was playing in a much more central advanced role......but that won't be mentioned will it?

Downing has had a very slow start to the season, the penalty miss v. Stoke summed it up. Better for him to be left out of the England side for a bit and get his form back with us.

The transfer speculation/Ian Elliott saga must be affecting him like it did last January.

Very much a confidence player - lets hope this does'nt desert him for Boro.

Brick_Tamland Posted on 07/09/2008 09:08
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If he played for anybody else we wouldn't be too bothered if he was in the team or not. One day Adam Johnson will take his place in the squad, I think.

ridsdale Posted on 07/09/2008 09:15
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Capello was yelling at Cole to get back on the wing later in the game.

Whatever Cole does, he needs to play the game the manager wants, not the one he likes to play. Still hope for Stu.

"As regards the row with Cole and Wayne Rooney, Capello explained: "When we started the second half, the two of them played near Emile Heskey. But when we went 2-0 up, they both then started to come back into midfield.

"I was asking them to go forward again because Heskey was all on his own. That is what I was trying to transmit to them."

Big_Shot Posted on 07/09/2008 09:25
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To be honest lots of us think most of the squad aren't good enough, so its understandable if the rest of country think Downing isn't also. Even as a Boro fan who rates Downing highly I don't think he's performed anywhere near enough when playing for England. Sure, he isn't the only one, and does receive too much criticism, but then he has had more chances than other players.

Adi_Dem Posted on 07/09/2008 09:28
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Disagree with that last point entirely Big Shot. I think he has shone in 3 of his England games and hasn't been given anywhere near enough time on the pitch.

And Johnson, whoever mentioned him, isn't and never will be in Downing's league.

ridsdale Posted on 07/09/2008 09:29
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England have no real strikers and the rest can't play as a team.

IF they get to the world cup, they will do nothing. Capello will struggle to get some structure in place. They just cannot play as a team.

Big_Shot Posted on 07/09/2008 09:31
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But that'd be 3 out of 20 appearances though, albeit many will have only been part games. Would we be defending Bentley if after 20 caps he's had say 3 good games. I know I want Defoe out of the squad completely because after 20+ games he hasn't performed.

Adi_Dem Posted on 07/09/2008 09:31
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And that is because players are picked on reputation and the clubs they play for rather than a team being put together.

Just watch Lampard's 'performance' last night.

Adi_Dem Posted on 07/09/2008 09:33
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Yes, it's 3 in which he has shone (coincidentally when he has started) but I was not by any means saying he was poor in the other 17. He hasn't been. In fact, he has probably only had a couple of poor games.

To say he has been given a fair chance is wrong in my view, he hasn't. Give him as much time as Joe Cole on the left and he would flourish.

petrio Posted on 07/09/2008 09:36
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Watching last night I was surprised at how poor Downing looked. Some of this can be blamed on the fact that Ashley Cole was constantly running outside of him, effectively taking up the position that Downing operates best in, further up the left hand side. However, I think that he was far too tempted then to bang a cross in from wherever he had the ball, often about 40 yards out and not wide enough. This wasn't going to work with Defoe and Rooney up front. Downing's game, of late, has been much more about committing the full back and being able to cut inside as well as going outside of him which has been very effective and much of his most threatening play has been along the floor. It's a shame that this wasn't evident last night.

I agree that he has the talent, and has shown it in England colours, he just didn't last night, for the reasons stated above.

I also like Joe Cole playing as he's a constant threat. I honestly think that he is better suited to playing in the middle, possibly instead of Rooney, with another recognised striker, but I'd find it hard to drop Rooney if I were the manager.

mwelolo Posted on 07/09/2008 09:37
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If Downing didn't play for the Boro most of our fans would be highly critical of his performances for England.The reality is that he has mostly been nothing special for England, like many others around him.He probably gets such a national panning because of his association with Maclaren and that fact that he is seen as a winger and wingers are expected to run past full backs, which he rarely does.If he is competing with J Cole for the same place in the team he will always loose because Cole has more attacking threat.England are poor at present and Downing is as much a part of that as the rest of them.

Big_Shot Posted on 07/09/2008 09:38
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Incidently, which 3?

He's had more chances than all of the other fringe midfielders though. How many should players be given? Answer seriously here, but after how many games will you decide Bentley isn't going to be good enough. Will you give him 20 run outs or criticise him from the off. I've already made my opinion up that Bentley isn't going to be good enough to make much impact at international level.

Adi_Dem Posted on 07/09/2008 09:38
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Joe Cole is a good player but NOT under any circumstances on the left.

You're right about Cashley as well.

number9 Posted on 07/09/2008 09:39
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Only watched the first half and it seem'd to me that he was playing more central and Lampard was out on the wing? Seems Cappello is following the the trend of including "fringe" players and then playing them out of position.

That said he did not perform too well, defoe was just as bad imho.

Fully expect Cappello to take his six mill and do nowt so be prepared for 2yrs of the same old same old.

Adi_Dem Posted on 07/09/2008 09:45
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Couldn't tell you which 3 Big Shot by reference to the opposition. Forgive me if I C**** this up but one of them was Greece. Another was a game in the US and I can't remember the opposition for the third one. Had they been Boro games I could have told you all about them!!

20 games is a bit misleading isn't it? How many were starts? On the subject of Bentley, I can't tell whether he will be good enough or not. Sadly for him he irritates people and as a result I certainly struggle to judge him fairly!!!!!!

There are two types of international player - the ones that make an instant impact like Rooney and Owen and then there are those that need to feel their was into international football like Beckham and Sheringham did to a certain extent. I seem to remember Shearer did as well but can't really remember.

Players like Bentley, Downing etc will not be given a chance because the big names are always picked no matter how they play and that has to change.

jam69 Posted on 07/09/2008 10:01
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i dont think downing is quite good enough to make it at the top of international football.a very good player for us though and i care more about boro than england

ridsdale Posted on 07/09/2008 10:06
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This quote from the people is the sort of thing that gets on my man breasts.

"This is a football genius who chose Downing over Joe Cole - and was only saved by a half-time substitution which saw the C****ney Pele score twice within 10 minutes of leaping off the bench."

C****ney Pele?

Big_Shot Posted on 07/09/2008 10:24
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But its not misleading though? Its 20 opportunities to make an impact, it 20 opportunities to show that you have something to offer at this level. I'll hold my hands up and admit that if he didn't play for the Boro I'd be saying well he's had his chances, lets move on. The over the top criticism of him is unfair, but if you try to look at England from an objective viewpoint based solely on what you see in an England shirt you can understand why people might think he shouldn't be in the team. I do exactly the same with many England players. Crouch, Defoe, Barry, Jenas, Bentley even Joe Cole are players who I've said recently shouldn't be in the England team.

Adi_Dem Posted on 07/09/2008 10:28
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I come at it differently. I think he has shown promise when played from the start, notwithstanding last night. I also think that there are a number of players who go through the motions and haven't done anything for England and yet still get picked in every single game.

Put those two things together and he deserves to be picked. He isn't the only one by the way. There are a number of other that deserve their chance on the basis that the established players simply aren't doing it.

And saying he has had 20 games is misleading because it suggests 20 starts when in actual fact he has had how many?

By the way I remembered the other game, well sort of, it was the one in which he chipped the keeper and I think Owen played and scored and Bentley played on the right. Ring any bells?

ridsdale Posted on 07/09/2008 10:29
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Thing is, take that list out and who would you play?

Cole deserves to be there as he scores goals. Rooney?

The manager has a tough job with little talent available.

sasboro1 Posted on 07/09/2008 10:36
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I think 20 games is enough to show if you can become a regular. Even if a lot are as sub you need to show you can do it. For example look at joe cole, he comes on and scores 2 goals.

At boro he is usually at the centre of our attacks, but for england they like to play it through central midfield a lot more and not use the width as much. Also Ashley cole likes to push forward, downing doesnt experience the left back pushing up so much at boro. For england he seems a lot quieter and not wanting the ball as much.

At this rate downing could end up with about 40 caps but never an england regular.

if downing wasnt a boro player, we would be saying he hasnt shown enough to warrant playing for england.

Adi_Dem Posted on 07/09/2008 10:42
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I can honestly say I wouldn't Sas. I think there are too many, including Cole, that need dropping so that England can move forward. But we never will.

sasboro1 Posted on 07/09/2008 10:44
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How can you drop joe cole when he came on and scored two goals and had one disallowed for offside

Adi_Dem Posted on 07/09/2008 10:45
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Big_Shot Posted on 07/09/2008 10:49
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Ridsdale, god knows, thats why I never put my England team up when there are threads on here, I have no idea who would make a good England team anymore. But I'm just really pointing out that we all have players who we think shouldn't be in the team, its not just Downing that people have it in for. Joe Cole must return to the side now, especially when we need goals from midfield.

Adi, the thing is in international football its about making the most of the opportunities you have. New players don't get gently eased in before getting a good run of games. You have 12 games over 18 months and then you are expected to win the world cup. A few poor or quiet games by a newcomer and they are gone. We can't afford to lose games or drop points. Every game is a vital.

sasboro1 Posted on 07/09/2008 10:50
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Dont see how you can drop Joe cole when he has performed for england better than downing but say that downing should play for england. Plus Cole has scored a few goals for england.

You can drop all the players you want but if no one better to come in then you are knackered.

what would be your england team?

Adi_Dem Posted on 07/09/2008 10:51
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Some do. Or did. I remember plenty of international careers building up slowly.

Adi_Dem Posted on 07/09/2008 10:52
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My problem with Cole is actually him playing on the left. Centrally instead of Rooney and I'd agree with him being in the side.

Big_Shot Posted on 07/09/2008 10:57
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And most don't though. You don't have the luxury of saying oh we'll give him half a dozen games to see how he does and reassess then. Nearly every game is a must win game. We can't write games off because we're giving players a run of games.

Adi_Dem Posted on 07/09/2008 10:58
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Perhaps that's our downfall then?

king_hellfire Posted on 07/09/2008 11:00
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It's not really our downfall adi, no international team can afford to write games off to give a player a run of games.

Big_Shot Posted on 07/09/2008 11:01
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Our downfall under McClaren was actually sticking with the same players and not changing things for our final 2 group games. But I remember the hysterics on here when he was comtemplating making chnages.

What people seem to forget is that up until 2 years ago things weren't all that bad with regard to England. Qualifying was no problem and we could get to the last 8.

Boromart Posted on 07/09/2008 11:01
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you don't drop Joke Hole, you just play him in his correct position, in the hole or right wing.

Regarding Downing, if you add the minutes up he has played the equivelant of approx 8.5 games. Spread over four and a half years. Not exactly enough to get a bit of consistancy and comfort in the role.

Any player needs a run of 4 or 5 consecutive games before being judged.

He has played well on more than 3 occasions, France away, should have had a hattrck of assists vs MAcedonia, but the other plaayers missed them all. He has done at least ok in the majority of his appreances, the biggest issue is that he has maybe tried toplay the game 'too safe' on occassion. I guess when you get unjustly panned by the press then that will happen.

Adi_Dem Posted on 07/09/2008 11:02
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Not even when we've failed to qualify for a major tournament and are just playing friendlies?

Sorry but it's down to the manager to decide which players should get a run to develop. Capello's comments about Downing were clear and yet he hasn't really used him.

Big_Shot Posted on 07/09/2008 11:05
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But the England manager needs results, so cannot afford the luxury of giving someone a run of games just to see if he's up to it at this level. We need to remember these are the very best English players there is, and play against better opposition for their clubs week in week out. They should be able to slot straight in and perform.

Adi_Dem Posted on 07/09/2008 11:06
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He can in a string of friendly games.

Big_Shot Posted on 07/09/2008 11:07
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Friendly games are no real test though. We don't judge plays on friendly game at club level, so why do so at international level.

Adi_Dem Posted on 07/09/2008 11:09
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Because we have no choice as you have just demonstrated.

king_hellfire Posted on 07/09/2008 11:13
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England friendlies are a joke, it's the ideal opportunity to try different players and tactics and all Sven Goran Eriksson and Steve Mclaren ever did was pick the first team players (with a few new faces thrown in, who quickly disappeared from the scene when the important games came along) and use the same tactics, and now it seems Fabio Capello is going the same way.

Adi_Dem Posted on 07/09/2008 11:16
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Exactly my point King. Failure to qualify was an ideal opportunity to bring change and we just haven't bothered. If it's broke don't bother fixing it.

boro74 Posted on 07/09/2008 14:02
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Is it true that England have never conceded a goal when Downing's been on the pitch?

Space_Face Posted on 07/09/2008 14:06
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He was awful last night, and it wasn't Ashley Cole's fault.

I do think that he deserves to start a run of games, maybe 5 or 6 before being judged.

red_shamrock Posted on 07/09/2008 14:10
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Bit of a blow for Downing but he has to get his head up work harder and dont give in hes got the talent.
Difficult game to play in when theres 11 behind the ball and your on a hiding to nothing.

hoolio Posted on 07/09/2008 14:14
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The fact is that even played left midfield, Joe Cole offers more than Downing ever can produce.

Adi_Dem Posted on 07/09/2008 14:14
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It wasn't Cashley's fault, no but equally he didn't do anything to help him and arguably hindered Downing and the team.

Adi_Dem Posted on 07/09/2008 14:25
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That is just the opposite of FACT hoolio. In FACT.

JohnGalt Posted on 07/09/2008 15:03
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I feel sorry for Downing and I stated so last night. But he isnt good enough for england, by a distance not good enough.

Simply enough the england team should be made up by the best players in their positions for their club, and then the most compatible players will be picked with each.

Downing is not one of the best two english left sided wingers in the league. Cole proved last night he is a lot better, and the stats I gave last night show that Ashley Young is a lot better than Downing. Young has more assists and goals in 1 and a half years for Villa and half a year for watford, than Downing does in 5 years for Boro.

Secondly is blatently obvious and people have even mentioned in in this thread that him and Ashley Cole dont gel. Cole makes downing look bad. So its one or the other who are you going to pick? Its Ashley Cole everytime.

Thats why Downing isnt good enough for England

Adi_Dem Posted on 07/09/2008 15:07
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1. Downing is currently the best English left sided player in the country.
2. Cole, when he came on, very rarely found himself on the left.
3. Ashley Cole is not good for England. Poor.

That's why it will take someone with a bit of gumption to improve England.

JohnGalt Posted on 07/09/2008 15:22
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I have never read so much biased S***e in my life, you are doing anything to justify Downings position in the england squad.

1. Downing is currently the best English left sided player in the country.

- Why is he? Where are the stats that prove he is the best left sided player in the country? Where are the educated people in the media fighting his cause?
The fact is he isnt the best left sided player in the country. Ashley Young is, Young far has superior stats to downing in the last 2 years. Downing scored 1 more but was boros penalty taker, young wasnt. Young had 17 assists, Downing had 5. The season before that Young outscored Downing, and only had 1 less assist despite playing half the season for Watford.
People in the other thread argued that this was because Villa have superior strikers, I would argue that Viduka and Yakubu are/were a lot better than Carew and Agbonlahor yet Downing only get 10 assists with them upfront which is pathetic compared to Youngs 17. People always say Downing put in more crosses, you know that includes the ones that hit the first man or go out for a throw in on the other side of the pitch which downing does alot.
There is no evidence on earth that can support downing being better than Young.

2. Cole, when he came on, very rarely found himself on the left.

- Because of the way the game panned out, like i said i felt sorry for downing and defoe as this game wasnt suited to them. Cole was the right player to unlock Andorra and to do that he shouldnt have stayed on the left. He will stay on the left against Croatia.

3. Ashley Cole is not good for England. Poor.

- And here you make a fool of yourself. Who is a better english left back in the prem? Knowing the biased crap you spout you will probably say Andrew Taylor. Cole whilst not at his arsenal form where he was world class is still a good player for chelsea and easily the best english left back.
And the point that makes it laughable is your suggesting he shouldnt be playing for england as he is not good for england. Downing as well as he plays for Boro to qoute you "is not good for england. Poor."

Senor_Chester Posted on 07/09/2008 15:30
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So to sum it up Adi, Joe Cole and Ashley Cole should be dropped from the England team and even though they have been more consistent than Downing he should be playing?

somethingtodowithdeath Posted on 07/09/2008 15:43
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Good thread this,

I would drop Ashley Cole, no doubt a very good club player, but not the right type/style for international duty IMO, though I agree the best club left back.

I would play Downing, though poor last night. But the main issue is getting the right players in the right postions and dropping big names to give the team balance, eg. Lampard.

Adi_Dem Posted on 07/09/2008 15:57
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I'm not justifying anything. If you want Young on the left and not Downing then that's fine, it's just an opinion I disagree with. Senor Chester - yes, that is exactly what I think. As for this consistency they have shown - it's hardly got us anywhere has it?

Ponderosaheadboardbasher Posted on 07/09/2008 16:00
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I remember one start Stuey got for England and they played Carragher left back (WTF ?!?!?) All Carragher did was cut inside onto his right foot and play the ball across the park. It's things like that which starve him of possession in critical areas and lead to the general perception of ineffectiveness. Again, Cole overlapping him and taking the position he would like to occupy.
He does have the problem of needing his confidence at its peak and that will never be achieved with England unless he scores a wonder goal or he moves to the Big 4.
The cliques that were in pplace before Sven came are emerging again.
That's why England are mince and will be beaten by teams who play as a TEAM

somethingtodowithdeath Posted on 07/09/2008 16:04
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Ponder, Thats my point with Ashley Cole, the options he takes are similar to a Northern League player, not an international. He either overlaps or passes and goes (to the same position).

Ponderosaheadboardbasher Posted on 07/09/2008 16:11
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It obviuosly begs the question thgeat Cole must be being told to do that by the managers. If he is then the managers are obviously hoping that Stuey can change his game to accommodate him. This seems pointless and would be better to play someone who likes to drift inside from the wing (Joe Cole !!!)
I think we also don't get the best out of Rooney as he plays in a totally different role than with ManUre. He spends more time on the wing at club level than as a lone striker. The manager needs to adopt a team formation that he likes then pick the players to fit that formation from English players who play in similar roles at club level.

Adi_Dem Posted on 07/09/2008 16:20
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It was evident last night that the players don't necessarily follow instructions.

LisburnDeadend Posted on 07/09/2008 16:49
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JohnGalt = BullS***

Judge wingers on number & success rate of crosses.Here are the stats:

Downing is the better winger over Young per Opta for 07/08:

Crosses and corners attempted and crosses and corners accuracy

Bentley 416 25.72%
Downing 383 25.07%
Young 340 24.76%
Arteta 299 26.42%
Shorey 293 26.62%

For 06/07, Downing was 1st and Bentley 2nd

br14 Posted on 07/09/2008 17:14
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Downing can defend as well as attack. Thats why he gets picked over Young (who after all is right footed and has to come inside to cross). On a couple of occasions in the game yesterday, it was Downing heading back to defend against Andorra when A.Cole was left stranded upfield. Not for the first time either.

Downing rarely if ever gives the ball away when he's not goal side of the opposition player.

I reckon Downings big problem with England is that he actually follows the coaches instructions. Players who are not automatically first on the list are bound to do so. Players who think they're Gods gift (e.g J.Cole, Rooney) do not.

Clearly Downing is supposed the let Ashley Cole bomb down the wing to draw away defenders, then lay the ball off to the midfield, make the cross or push it forward to A.Cole. Thing is Andorra know this only too well and so defended for it (5 at the back).

Admittedly his crossing wasn't great but thats hardly a surprise given the fact he didn't have anyone taller than 5'10" to aim for. His crossing by the way, was no worse than anyone else, and his passing stats were as good or better than the rest of the midfield.

Those assist stats don't really give the right impression. For example, against Stoke at least one (or was it both) of our goals came from attacks down the Boro left and Downing crosses. The fact that the ball happened to bounce off someone else on the way, and therefore an assist is awarded to some other player, doesn't negate the fact Downing started the move.

Joe Cole scored both goals from the box after moving from the right for the first and the centre for the second. That's where Englands problem has been for the last few years. Down the middle.

We've no striker capable of scoring 20 goals a season. Rooney may be able to do it with a bunch of Man Utd superstars around him, but he doesn't have that for England. And the only central midfielder capable of running into the box is Gerrard - and he gets played right. Lampard can only do that when he has an Essien or Makelele type player to cover up his mistakes.

I don't really care whether Downing plays for England or not. Lets face it, in the current poor England squad the only thing likely to happen is that his confidence takes a hit.

May as well face it. England are a bunch of plodders capable of defending only. We don't teach technique except and resort to "being physical", hitting the ball long and running like hell. We are therefore built for the counter attack, and against coaches that don't allow us that option (i.e. all of them), have a problem.

Dr_Evil Posted on 07/09/2008 17:44
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Br14, Young doesnt have to come inside to cross at all.

Downing on the left and Young on the right.

Adi_Dem Posted on 08/09/2008 07:48
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Very good summary that br14.

Zoophonic Posted on 08/09/2008 08:01
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BR14 you are right, Downing is probably following instructions.

However he has had enough chances now to say to himself hang on it did not work very well last time I am going to have to go out here and do a Joe Cole, play for myself and show what I am capable of, not just a "water carrier" as it seems that is what he is used as. He hasn't been able to show that and it has been frustrating to watch him struggle. I just dont think he has the confidence to step up his game to that kind of level.

No the fans and the tabloid hacks want to see flair. I hate Joe Cole and think he is a liability for the team in the long run but he scores goals and those two goals may well have ended Downing's International career.

jam69 Posted on 08/09/2008 09:07
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i like downing,however "downing can defend" news to me!

Michael_Knight Posted on 08/09/2008 09:12
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I think it is more to do with the fact that Downing is highly overrated. It is a matter of time before he gets omitted from the England squad. And quite rightly so.

Boromart Posted on 08/09/2008 09:20
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"Young has more assists and goals in 1 and a half years for Villa and half a year for watford, than Downing does in 5 years for Boro."
Absolute F***ing garbage pal. Your talking S***e again. I thouyht you were gonna fook off and not post on here last time you were proven wrong???

Downing is the only decent natural left sider that England have got. Young and COle are right midfielders. Downing deserves his place in the squad, and after 4 years of waiting deserves a run of games to see if he can do it.

I don't agree that the England manager can't wait for players to come good, nearly every player needs time. He is good enough to perservere with.

Regarding defending, yes Downing is better than Cole and Young. Downing might not put a lot of tackles in, bbut you don't have to, the majority of defending is about getting goalside of the ball, and blocking the root to goal for your opponant, and cutting down his passing options. Even a quality defensive midfielder will only win 3 or 4 tackles a game at this level.

Young just doesn't get goal side. Joe Cole drifts in field gives the ball away cheaply leaving a huge gap down our left side which a good team will and has exploited in the past.

Jonny_Ingbar Posted on 08/09/2008 09:54
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Ashley Young is so good MON wanted to sign Downing in the summer. Fair enough Young may have been switched to his natural right side, but that demonstrates my point.

Having watched Downing week in week out since he broke into the first team, I have absolutely no doubt that he is more than good enough to play at International level - anyone who can't see that is just plainly wrong.

Adi_Dem Posted on 08/09/2008 11:13
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He is good enough but I keep going back to the idea of giving a player time in the national side. I'm not sure of the approach adopted by other nations but I can't see why a player shouldn't be given time.

Someone said above that he has had 8 starts over 4 years. Is that really enough for anyone?

If our approach is that someone gets in the England side and if he doesn't perform he is out and replaced by one of the usual suspects then we are destined to fail every single time.

First 11 of England over the last few years picks itself and everyone knows it:

RB - difficult with Neville being injured but I guess it is currently Brown

Of that lot I'd be dropping 7 or 8 of them.

Brick_Tamland Posted on 08/09/2008 11:21
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Which 7 or 8?

sasboro1 Posted on 08/09/2008 11:22
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ok so you drop 7 or 8 players, so who do you play instead.

The premier league is short of quality english players and dominated by quality foreign players.

Thwe problem it that there is not enough quality to give proper competition to the first 15 england players.

Boromart Posted on 08/09/2008 11:23
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"Someone said above that he has had 8 starts over 4 years. Is that really enough for anyone?"

Scoea, it's not that he has had 8 starts, it's that if you add all his minutes together it works out at about 8.5 games (8.5 x 90mins). I think he has had about 6 starts.

Adi_Dem Posted on 08/09/2008 11:26
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James for Green or Foster or Kirkland
Cole for Bridge
Ferdinand for Richards
Cole for Downing
Lampard for Hargreaves
Beckham for Bentley or Walcott
Rooney - put Joe Cole there

That's probably 6 actually.

Big_Shot Posted on 08/09/2008 11:27
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Cole and Ferdinand out. We rarely concede when we have our first choice defence available.

Adi_Dem Posted on 08/09/2008 11:28
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Good point. Individually though I don't think they perform anywhere near well enough to justify their place.

Big_Shot Posted on 08/09/2008 11:29
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The one part of the England side you can't knock is the defence. Its excellent. Ashley Cole consistantly performs at left back.

Adi_Dem Posted on 08/09/2008 11:29
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I'd probably put Johnson at right back as well.

Adi_Dem Posted on 08/09/2008 11:29
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Well I disagree Big Shot. Tit [;)]

Critical_Bill Posted on 08/09/2008 11:32
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Bring in Wayne Bridge who can't get a game for his club side? I've mentioned it before, but his performance against Croatia at Wembley was the most inept i've ever seen.

Adi_Dem Posted on 08/09/2008 11:36
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Just an opinion Bill, that's all. Most playerrs have had stinkers. The real point I am making is that no matter how many certain players have it doesn't affect their selection.

sasboro1 Posted on 08/09/2008 11:38
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sounds a bit daft to drop cole for his reserve back up at chelsea

Adi_Dem Posted on 08/09/2008 11:40
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It may well be but the intention would be to shake the malaise that seems to engulf England every time we play.

Big_Shot Posted on 08/09/2008 11:45
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Ashley Cole and Rio Ferdinand have people regulars for England over a number of years and during that time we've have one of the meanest defences out there. Yet because they might not be the most likeable of people, people want them axed. Yet we saw only last November take them, and John Terry, out of the England side are we are all over the place at the back. If they were both avialable for the Croatia game at Wembley I think we would have made the Euro's. They do their part, its the people in front of them thats the problem.

Adi_Dem Posted on 08/09/2008 11:49
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That's fair Big Shot. It isn't because I don't like them personally by the way, it's because I think they don't do enough for England. I accept what you're saying though.

Big_Shot Posted on 08/09/2008 11:51
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They do though, they usually keep the opposition out. Thats what they're there to do. The alternatives have shown that they are nowhere near as good.

Adi_Dem Posted on 08/09/2008 12:08
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We'll just have to agree to disagree on that.

Big_Shot Posted on 08/09/2008 12:18
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But the stats will probably back up the fact we don't concede many with our first choice defence. Its usually when a few new faces come into the equation that things go wrong. I think if we had 2 strikers dong their job as well as the defence usually do then things would be a lot different.

Adi_Dem Posted on 08/09/2008 12:22
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Can't be bothered to look it up but you may well be right. That might well be misleading though. If you look at our form under Sven for example you would probably find a good goals scored record and not too many conceded. That got us to the quarter finals of the major competitions but it doesn't tell the whole story.

Those stats would support me if I said that that is all England are good enough for - the last 8 of major competitions (that may well be true anyway) but everyone knows having watched them that there were serious deficiencies with the team that could have been addressed.

Big_Shot Posted on 08/09/2008 12:39
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The point I'm getting it is we're solid at the back, always have been and despite what people say we still are. Yet you want 2 of the players who have been mainstays of that defence out of the side. I can't see anyway to justify that. They generally perform well. So people who perform well should be axed now. Englands problems come from too few attacking options and not enough pace or creativity. Swapping our best left back for a weaker alternative will not change that.

Rocky10 Posted on 08/09/2008 12:48
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Having watched the match on Sat I felt sorry for Downing. Time and time again he would receive the ball from Cole 40 yards out and the whole Andorran team where between him and the goal (no real option).

The amount of passes he had to play to peoples feet with a man on was the telling factor to me. Faced with a lump into the box into the little uns or thred it through to Cole in his position on the wing, he was forced time and time again to come in side or lump it (Crouch/Heskey might have proved a good foil for him).

Don't forget some of the balls he was receiving one 6foot above his head, another 5 yards in front of him, some of them with the pace of an express train; but to be fair he didn't help himself with the one he miscontrolled down near the corner flag.

Downing for me is at his most dangerous left hand side 10-20 yards from the bye line, he never got into this position (with space all night) due to the Andorrans wagon train defense.

We know he's a good crossers has an eye for a defence splitting pass when on the break, sadly this scenaio was not going to occur on Saturday and so his big chance has passed him bye.

I don't think he'll get picked for the "difficult" games because Cappello will go with the media darlings to avoid the criticism Mac got when he put Carson in goal.

I personally think Downing would have a great game against Crotia as he would get some space to operate in.

Finally never forget the fact that he gives the team balance and should allow the midfielders a bit more freedom as the oposition should be that little bit more stretched when a left winger is employed - go back to the analysis of L'pool the other week and see how they were easy to defend against without the width.

4/10 was a little harsh 5/10 would have been a bit more like it.

Adi_Dem Posted on 08/09/2008 12:51
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That's the point - I don't think they do perform well Big Shot, despite the stats.

sasboro1 Posted on 08/09/2008 12:53
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boro team and tactics is built around downing. With a continental manager england play different and downing has to learnt adapt. Plus point from all this might be that Downing might be better being a bigger fish at boro rather than a squad player at a bigger team and not fit in.

it is madness to drop cole for bridge when you think bridge cant get in the chelsea team because cole is a better player.

Big_Shot Posted on 08/09/2008 12:55
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Who did you think was England best defender at the last world cup?

Critical_Bill Posted on 08/09/2008 13:02
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David James is the best english goalkeeper.

Adi_Dem Posted on 08/09/2008 13:02
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As we're seeing every time they play Sas, club football is irrelevant to England. If they all played as well as they do for their clubs there wouldn't be a problem!

Can't remember to be honest Big Shot. In Germany? I'm guessing you're going to tell me it was either Cole or Ferdinand!

sasboro1 Posted on 08/09/2008 13:07
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but ashley cole is better than wayne bridge. I'm sure big shot wil lback me up that bridge isnt good enough. Playign for club is relevant to england. I mean if downing wasnt good for club then he wouldnt be getting a chance now.

problem for downing is that ashley cole likes to push up like a wing back so it hinders downings game. At boro downing doesnt have to worry about the left back pushing up as much. Plus he is at the centre of the team and can wait to get the bal lmore often. For england he has to learn to adapt and realise he cant stand waiting for the ball

Downing has 20 caps now, ok a lot as a sub but how many more caps should he get before we just admit that he isnt suited to international football or cant play in the current formation? at some point he has to show some form for england that warrants a place in the team. 1 good game in 10 or 20 games isnt enough really.

Big_Shot Posted on 08/09/2008 13:08
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Hang on if you're dismissing them as being no good together you must at least remember the times they played together. Ashley Cole had a really good world cup, arguably Englands 2nd best player after Hargreaves. To be honest by and large the defence looked pretty solid as usual, although Robinson was first starting to show signs that he could be a bit dodgy. Again it was going forward that let us down.

Adi_Dem Posted on 08/09/2008 13:08
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I'll give you that Bill. It's not about his performances that I suggest he is replaced more his age. Others will be needed before long and so they may as well be given a chance now.

Big_Shot Posted on 08/09/2008 13:10
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Capello, Mounrinho and Scolari all seem to prefer Cole over Bridge. They're opinion carries a lot more weight than mine.

But for me, Bridge should have been told he'd never been selected for England again the minute he walked off the pitch against Croatia.

Adi_Dem Posted on 08/09/2008 13:10
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As I say, I'd agree if we got the club football version of Cole as opposed to his international counterpart.

As I say, it's just my opinion.

Corcaigh_the_Cat Posted on 08/09/2008 13:14
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Couldn't watch the game on Saturday, read some reports that he was pretty ineffective and that the team improved after he was replaced.

2-0 against a Northern League XI suggests he wasn't the only one that didn't perform.

Big_Shot Posted on 08/09/2008 13:18
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Absolutely he wasn't the only one. A pretty woeful performance all round to be fair. But as much as we like to defend our own you've got to be prepared to hold you hands up and say he was poor, and it was down to him. He was up against S***e, and should have grabbed the game by the scruff of its neck. It was an opportunity for him to show what he can do and he didn't. And he'll eventually get to a point where they'll give up on him.

Adi_Dem Posted on 08/09/2008 13:34
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I disagree with nothing you have just posted Big Shot.

Big_Shot Posted on 08/09/2008 13:41
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It pains me to watch Downing for England, I'm desperate for him to do well and will look for any positives, but his international career is passing him by. He's had more opportunities than people like Bentley and Ashley Young so at some point they're going to have to say enough is enough and move on. He keeps on failing to grasp these chances he's given and they'll be gone soon.

Adi_Dem Posted on 08/09/2008 13:55
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I think you're over egging the chances he's been given and I think you're undervaluing how well he has played on occasion. But we've done it to death.

Big_Shot Posted on 08/09/2008 14:03
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21 caps are 21 caps though. I know were going back over old ground, but should he get another 21 and we then reassess. Its about making the most of these chances, and so far he hasn't. And as a fringe player, these chances will eventually run out, and its difficult to put forward an argument for them not to cast him aside.

yakkerboy Posted on 08/09/2008 14:59
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i think we should judge him after anotha 5 - 10 starts. but in opinion he will always be struggerling at that level.

a big fish in a small pond

r0bb0yeah Posted on 08/09/2008 15:03
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F***ing el

one bad game for his country and everyone is questioning his ability!!

what about all the other players who has "under achieved" for england but do well in the premier league ??

yakkerboy Posted on 08/09/2008 15:04
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he hasnt just had 1 bad game tho.

when he came on in past games he doesnt look good enough

r0bb0yeah Posted on 08/09/2008 15:08
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i can't think of anybody apart from joe cole who has been playing to their proven ability.. so downing shouldn't be pigeon holed at all!!!

Corcaigh_the_Cat Posted on 08/09/2008 15:10
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21 caps!!!!!!

That's only 2 less than Mannion.

I talked to a lot of older guys about Juninho's merits when he played for the Boro. They more or less put them on a par.

Highights two things. Firstly, we play a lot more internatuonal football now than we used to. Secondly, you don't have to be outstanding to win lots of caps.

Big_Shot Posted on 08/09/2008 15:16
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But Robbo he's had 21 games, and made limited impact. Nobody is questioning his ability, he's clearly a very good player for us, but even as Boro fans we shouldn't just keep on saying he deserves more chances because he's one of ours. You'd really struggle to put forward a good case for him being in the side at the moment. We can bang on about other players all day, but this is about him and him only.

sasboro1 Posted on 08/09/2008 15:23
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SWP has similar number fo caps and has a couple of goals and had better games. Lots of people on here say he isnt good enough fro england. you have to look at downing from a nonboro point of view when playing for england and ask if he has shown enough in his 21 caps to warrant more games. i thought andorra would have been the game to get him started. Not sure if i want him in against croatia as that could finish his england career if he has another poor game and the team get beat.

Big_Shot Posted on 08/09/2008 15:37
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Actually Wright Phillips is a good example of a player being cast aside after getting his chance. I think I probably went on about him not being good enough for England more than most on here, but we don't see many people saying oh he deserves a few more games before we decide if he's good enough. I don't suspect thats necessarily the last we've seen of him, but at the moment he's had his chances and we've moved on.

heaton_mersey_boro Posted on 08/09/2008 15:45
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Downing, overall, has had an average 5/10 for his England efforts. Couple of matches 7/10, couple 4/10.

He has been a bit unfortunate to be playing in a team that seemingly has no f*cking clue how to pass, keep possession and look organised. Not an excuse, just a reason. Always looks to be lacking in confidence every time he pulls on an England shirt - better players than him have been affected in exactly the same way.

Has had a very average start to the season with us - and his England showings seem to reflect that. Its just not happening for him at international level. Is he good enough? Probably. Does he deserve a starting place? No, not on current form.

Hope his confidence remains intact for him to be at his most effective for Boro.

Adi_Dem Posted on 08/09/2008 15:54
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"You'd really struggle to put forward a good case for him being in the side at the moment."

I wouldn't. For me he is the best left sided player in England who has been asked to shine in sporadic substitute appearances in the main despite proving at club level to be an excellent player.

He is also a player that has never been given a fair chance by his teammates, the fans or the media.

When he has started games, putting to one side the other night, he has been impressive.

Corcaigh_the_Cat Posted on 08/09/2008 16:01
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'He is also a player that has never been given a fair chance by his teammates, the fans or the media'

That's just about everybody concerned barring the managers and he's been given planty of chances by them.

He's 'arguably' the best English left sided player at the moment, he wouldn't have got near the team in any other era.

On his day a very good club player, not dynamic enough to make the step up.

Adi_Dem Posted on 08/09/2008 16:03
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I don't think the managers have given him enough starts Mr Cat, so you can add that to the list.

I also disagree that he wouldn't have got near the team in other eras but that is extremely subjective.

Not sure what you mean by dynamic either.

fatharrywhite Posted on 08/09/2008 16:17
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" also disagree that he wouldn't have got near the team in other eras but that is extremely subjective"

i'd disagree with that, there cant be many sides put out by england that were poorer than that 11. If that side was a PL side i'd fancy the boro to beat them at the riverside.

boro74 Posted on 08/09/2008 16:39
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If the England manager wants a player who can cross the ball with his left foot then there are none better than Downing. Regarding Downing's defensive qualities....England have never conceded a goal when he's been on the pitch.

Corcaigh_the_Cat Posted on 08/09/2008 16:43
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England are a poor outfit, with the left side being a problem area for as long as I can remember.

Downing doesn't force himself on the game. As much as he's a decent passer and can be a good crosser when on form, he doesn't have a presence that's required to impose yourself on the game at the top level.

fatharrywhite Posted on 08/09/2008 16:43
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apart from against brazil...

Big_Shot Posted on 08/09/2008 16:47
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The fact that England have never conceded when he is on the pitch is probably just a coincidence and backs up that actually we ain't that bad at the back. Mind you Downing is fine defensively, always willing to track back and help out. However, its a quality that ultimately he isn't in the team because of.

fatharrywhite Posted on 08/09/2008 16:49
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as i've already said, Brazil scored when downing was on the pitch so i'm afraid that stat cant be used anyway..

Big_Shot Posted on 08/09/2008 16:50
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I saw what you had posted afterwards, but as its not really a stat that is important, I couldn't be bothered editing to say we've only conceded 1 goal.

HolgateEnd Posted on 08/09/2008 18:33
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I'm another of Downing's biggest fans, but be honest Adi, he was utter shyte for England the other day.

Most of the time he was closer to Lampard in the centre circle than he was to the touchline, and he never once even tried to take the right back on. Compare that to Walcott on the other wing, who tried and skinned the left back every single time. Their two performances were uncomparable. You'd have thought it was Walcott who had 3-4 premier league seasons as a regular first teamer and 20 England caps behind him.

And then dont even get me started about his set-pieces. Dreadful is all you could say about it.

I really hope Stuey gets another chance instead of Joe Cole (for the record, I absolutely detest the arrogant co(kney F*****), but based on the old 'yer only as good as yer last game' Cole has to start in Downing's place.

Adi_Dem Posted on 08/09/2008 18:59
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No argument about his performance the other night - woeful.

alvesdad Posted on 08/09/2008 19:32
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Sorry Adi but the difference is that Downing plays for an unfashionable club and now Joe Cole will always be in front of him.
Dont think Capello will bother with Downing again but to be honest he has not played very well in most of his England matches.
Hope im wrong but Downing if he has international ambitions will probably have to move on.

Corcaigh_the_Cat Posted on 08/09/2008 20:22
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Nothing to do with who he plays for. He's already been selected 21 times while playing for Boro and was first choice, ahead of Cole, for the weekend's match.

sitheman Posted on 08/09/2008 20:33
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The problem with England is that we try to play all of our so called best/star players but never the best team.

in my opinion the best england 11 would be very similar to Saturday, yes we were not great but you have to give a team the time to settle and get playing together. England should build a team around gerrard and rooney as when they are playing to the top of there game they are our best players. in my opinion leave the egos at home and build an england squad up that is more like a premier leauge team. with star players in certain area and players who can do a job in other areas.

my england team would be:


I really think that England team would be a succes but if you keep changing the whole team every 45 minutes we will never achieve anything.

JohnGalt Posted on 08/09/2008 20:36
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You cant argue seriously with Adi_Dem as he makes his opinion and sticks by it despite the facts.

He has said that Cole shouldnt be playing for england because he hasnt performed for england, despite his quality form for Chelsea, but then also claims Downing should be playing for england because of his quality form for Boro, despite his P*** poor form for England.

Does anyone else find this a bit odd?

red_shamrock Posted on 08/09/2008 20:40
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A bloke who scores two goals and wins the game should get the nod.... Cole.
Downing will have to work hard until he gets his next chance and then try his best.

Adi_Dem Posted on 08/09/2008 20:50
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JohnGalt - very telling that you turn this into a personal thing. I was enjoying the debate on this thread, differences of opinion but respect for other opinions. Then you wade in and post absolute B*******, as usual.

To explain it to you, and I'll keep it as simple as possible, players like Cole have produced at club level but have not reproduced at international level (in my opinion). Players like Downing have produced at club level but have not been given the opportunity to produce at international level. Do you see what I am getting at? Now by all means disagree with me and put forward a reasoned counter but don't make yourself look like more of a plank by insulting someone just because you disagree with them.

alvesdad Posted on 08/09/2008 21:08
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Downing might have played 21 games for England but most of them were under Steve Maclaren.
Will admit his form for the Boro is bang on but he rarely has took that form in to England matches.
You have got to admit Red Shamrock is right Cole scores Goals and would be first on most lists. Downing hardly gets in any areas to score goals.Iam of the opinion as long as he plays well for Boro F--- England.

Stabilo_Boss Posted on 08/09/2008 22:47
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Do those people writing off Downing for England also think we should ship out Johnson? He's had 20-odd appearances [mainly as sub] & not made any great impact.

In an ideal world, I'd have scholes in midfield - easily the english midfielder most suited to the international stage - but he was already hounded out.

I think downing could do a good job for England in a balanced midfield but it's never gonna happen.

br14 Posted on 08/09/2008 23:29
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"Downing might have played 21 games for England but most of them were under Steve Maclaren."

Yeah. He's only had one competitive game for Capello. [;)]

Every time Downing got the ball against Andorra (rarely it has to be said passed from A.Cole), Ashley Cole bombed past him down the wing.

Downing was therefore forced in the main to cut inside, or to try a hopeful lob into the box, where unfortunately we had no one tall enough to come anywhere close.

Several things are obvious.

1. Ashley Cole was instructed to bomb down the wing at will.
2. Downing was instructed to cut inside and do the odd cross.
3. Capello was up to something - I know not what - since anyone with half an eye can see we didn't have anyone to get on the end of crosses so why did we play with a winger.

Joe Cole came on for the second half and had more passes from A.Cole in the first 5 minutes than Downing had in the previous 45 (yes I know I've said this before).

In addition, every time England gained possession, Joe Cole hurtled into the middle to support the attack - something clearly Downing would not do under normal circumstance. It worked. Clearly Capello had given him instructions to do so and so Capello must take part of the credit for the two goals.

I have no idea what Capello was up to but I do know he was up to something.

I doubt whether Downing plays from the start against Croatia, but I do know that you can trust Downing not to give the ball away easily (unlike Young, Lennon, Walcott etc) and to get back and support the defence as necessary. He has a footballing brain, even if his pace doesn't match some of the other players.

One thing I can't stand about fans in Britain is that a player who can run like hell, beat a few players then lose the ball is somehow brilliant. And someone who doesn't lose the ball, is reasonably accurate with passing (at 86% Downings was better than Barrys), and is creative on occasion is somehow useless and can't play.

Downing played no worse than Barry or Lampard, Rooney or Defoe but is singled out in the press and by other people that don't know much about football.

God_ Posted on 08/09/2008 23:35
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Can't be bothered to read the thread but the first post is B*******, he has done nothing to prove he's good enough for England, quite the opposite.

king_hellfire Posted on 09/09/2008 00:09
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'Players like Downing have produced at club level but have not been given the opportunity to produce at international level.'

Adi, i know you are putting forward an argument for Downing to get a fair crack of the whip at international level, but he has got 21 England caps, that's only 5 short of Robbie Fowler's tally.

Downing may well be the best left footed English midfielder, just as Fowler was one of the best strikers the Premier league has seen, the thing is, for some reason or other, Downing might not be suited to international football, just as Robbie Fowler wasn't.

'as i've already said, Brazil scored when downing was on the pitch so i'm afraid that stat cant be used anyway..'

Alright then, fatharrywhite, no England player has ever spontaneously combusted while Downing has been on the pitch.

Let's see you debunk that one [:D]

Adi_Dem Posted on 09/09/2008 08:20
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Actually hellfire I don't think Fowler was ever given a fair chance at international level. This continued reference to 21 games isn't right either. he has had two or three starts and that is not enough for anyone.

br14 - the big point that a lot are missing in respect of Joe Cole is that when he came on he was playing as anything but a left winger!

Big_Shot Posted on 09/09/2008 08:25
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But its still 21 different opportunities to make an impact though. We can't disregard appearances because it might have been the final 25 minutes or so of the game. I'm fairly sure people wouldn't disregard a sub appearance if he had came on and changed the game or scored.

One of the appearances that he did look good in was as a 2nd half sub against France, should that be ignored because it wasn't a full game?

Adi_Dem Posted on 09/09/2008 08:30
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Nobody is suggesting you ignore them Big Shot, well I'm certainly not anyway but can you not see that simply saying he has had 21 chances doesn't tell the full story? We're not going to agree. You think he has had enough of a chance and I don't. He isn't the only one by the way, the suggestions above that I am saying this because he plays for Boro are entirely incorrect. There are plenty that haven't been given a proper chance at international level and that have been kept out by players that haven't deserved to keep their place.

Lisbonlegend Posted on 09/09/2008 08:31
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Big_Shot, you normally talk much sense but on this one I think you're talking tosh. In order to get the best out of a player he needs confidence and a run in the side. How is he supposed to make an impact and get into his stride playing 10 minutes here or there, in front of a T*** of a left back like Ashley Cole and with the crowd booing his every touch? He needs to feel wanted by the manager and I feel that if he was given a chance against Croatia he would prove all the doubters wrong. Unfortunately he probably won't as it's good to have a scapegoat.

Brick_Tamland Posted on 09/09/2008 08:37
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The sooner the Premiership starts again the better. I can't believe this thread is 140 posts long!

Adi_Dem Posted on 08/09/2008 13:55 [...] "But we've done it to death"


Big_Shot Posted on 09/09/2008 09:05
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Lisbon, he plays in the PL week in week out, he's a very good player, he's not some young player who needs wetnursing. He should he able to make some sort of significant impact over 21 appearances. What about Saturday when he was up against garbage, he was poor. But we'll ignore that because he wasn't been allowed to get into his stride. But after 5 full game he'll be up to the job. Mind you in those 5 games we could be out of the world cup but hey we've got to be fair.

As Boro fans we've been debating whether Mido should be in the side based on his impact as a sub in 2 PL games. This is how football is. So players can make an impact at PL level from the bench, but they need to get into their stride at international level.

sasboro1 Posted on 09/09/2008 09:10
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DOnt see how people can say he needs more chances. Joe Cole came on as a sub and scored 2 goals. That is the sort of thing downing needs to show at some point. Andorra are a poor team and downing should have done better. So do we give him another 20 caps and 3 seasons to see if he gets it right. At some point the manager has to think he hasnt shown much in about 21 caps so will he ever? His next chance he has to show some of his club form. Under capello time is starting to run out for him.

Big_Shot Posted on 09/09/2008 09:16
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He's the best English left winger in the division, he's been one of of our best players in each of the last 4 seasons, he was interesting Liverpool, Villa and Spurs all of which were willing to pay 10m+ for him and we all said he's worth twice that. Yet we can't just expect him to slot in the England side against part timers because he needs getting into his stride at international level. Well he ain't ever going to make it at that level then because international football is too sporadic to allow someone a run of games to get up to speed.

Adi_Dem Posted on 09/09/2008 10:24
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No Big Shot - I take your point entirely about the game the other day. It was an excellent opportunity for him to go out there and show what he could do. He didn't and had a bad game but he wasn't alone in that. I can't explain why and I doubt he can. My point is though that instead of shoe horning players into the left let him have 3 starts in a row for example, even in friendlies, and if he doesn't show anything then fine but I'd back him to - wouldn't you?

Sas - Joe Cole came on in an entirely idfferent position don't forget.

sasboro1 Posted on 09/09/2008 10:25
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How many teams play with wingers these days? Especially at international level. Is capello a fan of wingers?

Big_Shot Posted on 09/09/2008 10:30
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But didn't he he have 3 starts in a row when McClaren first took over and eventually lost his place because he struggled?

Big_Shot Posted on 09/09/2008 10:51
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Just checked, he played 4 in a row. McClarens first 4 games in charge.

sheriff_john_bunnell Posted on 09/09/2008 10:57
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the more poor games downing has for england the better it is for us. he comes back fired up after getting a mauling in the press, and it lessens the chance of one of the big four slapping in a bid.
Meanwhile lets big up adam johnson for all he's worth and hope that some muppetts like spurs pay 5 million for talent that isn't there.

sasboro1 Posted on 09/09/2008 11:03
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"Sas - Joe Cole came on in an entirely idfferent position don't forget."

yeah he came on for downing and might not have played in his position, but who did. I expect for croatia heskey and cole to start. think they deserve to start going on how the 2nd half went. Dont think anyone can argue against downing dropping to the bench and picking the same team that finished against andorra.

Adi_Dem Posted on 09/09/2008 11:15
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I agree Sas, after their respective performances I would have Heskey and Cole in but I would put Cole in the centre, I just don't think he works on the left.

Big Shot - correct me if I'm wrong but weren't those 3 or 4 games coincidentally Downing's best in an England shirt?

Big_Shot Posted on 09/09/2008 11:17
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No, the first one was, as it was the Greece game. His other 2 good games have came under Capello, one of which was from the bench and shouldn't be included though [;)]

Adi_Dem Posted on 09/09/2008 11:20
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No he played well in the US I seem to remember and very well when he scored a chipped goal I think. My memory of England games is poor compared to Boro!

Big_Shot Posted on 09/09/2008 11:22
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No, he's never scored for England, not sure if he's even played for us in America. He got 2 in a B game last summer I think.

Adi_Dem Posted on 09/09/2008 11:24
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Ah - it's the B Game I'm thinking of.

That's something I would certainly introduce as well - more B games as a halfway house before the full step up to international football.

Big_Shot Posted on 09/09/2008 11:32
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I think it was played at Reading. He was actually a sub in that game, but someone hobbled off early on and he came on and scored 2. I really loathe to be doing this, I would love him to make the step up and shut up all the critics, but each time he gets a game he doesn't do himself justice. And as a Boro fan I'd I think I'd prefer that he wasn't in the squad at all and just get on with his career with us rather than him keep on struggling.

Adi_Dem Posted on 09/09/2008 11:37
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That's the key part of our disagreement. He hasn't had many poor games for England, he always retains possession well which is key at that level and he has had a handful of impressive games as well - all in just 21 sporadic and sometimes short appearances.

As I say, I'm not restricting it just to him. I still can't fathom why Beckham was played in all those friendlies when the chance was there to try Walcott, Bentley etc. How will we ever know if they aren't given half a dozen games in a row?

What do you think of B Internationals?

sasboro1 Posted on 09/09/2008 11:38
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who was playign left when downing went off?

Adi_Dem Posted on 09/09/2008 11:40
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No-one really. Cole and Rooney were supporting Heskey and so were very advanced and the rest of the midfield stayed pretty central.

Big_Shot Posted on 09/09/2008 11:41
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Adi, therein lies the problem. Retaining possession doesn't mean someone's had a good game. He's also had 3 decent games, not great games but decent. And the rest were pretty quiet or poor. 21 appearances is enough to see whether a player is up to it at this level. Things are unlikely to just click after 25.

B internationals are nonsense. Complete waste of time.

Adi_Dem Posted on 09/09/2008 12:11
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Well there you go - I'd have more of them!!!!!!!

Big_Shot Posted on 09/09/2008 12:17
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I cannot see the point in them. Players not good enough for the full squad playing a friendly game against another nations players not good enough for the full squad. I just can't see what anyone would take from them.

Lisbonlegend Posted on 10/09/2008 11:44
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