Football: CARRA GETS OFF ON WRONG FOOT

The Mirror (London, England), March 24, 2007 | Go to article overview

Football: CARRA GETS OFF ON WRONG FOOT


Byline: LAWRO

STEVE McCLAREN is taking a major gamble on Aaron Lennon to save his Euro 2008 qualification campaign - but that is not the risk which England fans should be worried about.

The dilemma over the full-backs is the major concern. By playing Phil Neville at right-back and Jamie Carragher at left-back McClaren seems to be asking for trouble.

Neville is a better left-back than Carragher, who is much more comfortable down the right. And it is those little tactical problems which have unhinged England in the past.

McClaren has been hit by injuries but needs to minimise the changes and number of players out of position.

Lennon has made his name down the right and deserves his chance. By starting him on left flank today, however, there may be a temptation for the lad to come inside.

Carragher will also be tempted to look inside as well. So suddenly England do not appear to be balanced.

Phil Neville, inset, is a stopgap leftback but has played there for England before and, from a defensive point of view, can do a job in Israel.

Neither full-back will be pushing on or over-lapping in the way that Ashley Cole or Gary Neville do and defending will be their overriding responsibility.

But if Carragher was down the right it would give him the chance to link up with his Liverpool team-mate Steven Gerrard and the pair have a good understanding.

To take two players and play them out of position could have a major destabilising effect.

I like the idea of picking Lennon - but he deserves a chance to establish himself and stay in the team. There is little point in put ting him in for one game and then dropping him again.

Lennon has pace, likes to run at players and put them under pressure. …

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