Defense is best form of attack for England

Fabio Capello as coach of Real Madrid during a...

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There’s been much talk on and off the pitch about England and whether they can deliver next year at Euro 2012 – after their disastrous performance in south Africa last year in the World Cup.

England’s Fabio Capello has a wealth of up and coming stars that he could observe, not just in the premiership, but below, and who could end up donning an England shirt and playing with pride for their country. England need a lot of that right now in the team. Quite frankly, pride is lacking right now?

With England’s rather lacklustre performance against the Welsh last week – despite them being top in the group for qualifying, it seems that Capello does indeed have a lot of work on his hands.

The England manager said in the post-match interviews on Tuesday in the 1- 0 win, that it was results that were important. But scraping through is not enough – and will not be in 2012. Capello needs to find a team that gel, and quick – and stick to it.

For the past year or so, Capello has been experimenting with different players, formations, and blending the old in with some new. But, now’s the time for the Italian Stallion to stop dithering, up his game, and come up with a solid team for Euro 2012.

And not only that, it is defense that England need to work on. England are poor at the back – often sit back on their laurels, and are then punished. Against the less teams, they can get away with it, just, but with the more solid teams they will be like sitting ducks.

It could be time to dump the likes of the aged-midfielder Frank Lampard, who, in the Welsh game, was disappointing to say the least. Wayne Rooney, while looking dapper with his new short haircut, and often delivering the goods for Man U, looked out of kilter in that particular England line up.  Ashley Young was impressive and did link up with Rooney at times, but Rooney didn’t deliver the goods.

The likes of old-hat defenders such as John Terry, and Rio Ferdinand will not be around forever. Young blood is needed at the back.

One such potential that Fabio Capello could take a look at is 21-year-old Coventry City’s Nathan Cameron, defender, who plays in the Npower First Division.  

He’s played for the England under-20s side, and is looking to be solid in the England under-21’s. Like Theo Walcott, he’s young and determined. Walcott, who appeared with his first competitive start in a World Cup qualifier against Andorra in 2008 at 19, is an example of how previous England managers have believed in nurturing, and inspiring younger talent as it arises.

It was only Capello’s poor World Cup showing that led to him being forced into radically changing the scope of the British team. Up until that point, Capello was quite stubborn in his approach.

Nathan Cameron, like most up and coming young players is hoping to one day push into the senior England squad.

He told me: “My aim is to try and push into the under 21 set-up this season and consolidate a place in that squad.”

“There are a few boys that have very good quality and have played well so far this season but next summer maybe a bit too early for them.”

Cameron is adamant about which team he would love to play for in the premiership, which is Coventry’s aim in the next couple of seasons. “It would be Manchester United,” he said.

He told me he moulds himself on Man U’s Rio Ferdinand, and if he achieves half of what Rio has, then he will retire a happy man.

On England’s game last week, he said: “Wales was definitely a tougher test at Wembley. Gary speed has clearly got them playing a new style of passing possession football and it frustrated England I thought. But the most important thing was the victory, and thankfully, Ashley Young's goal secured that for us.”

He thinks Fabio Capello has got the tone right at England though.

“I think he's done a decent job ever since he became manager and the results so far in the European championship qualification games have proved his selection to be right.”

He thinks English players Phil Jones and Chris Smalling, who play for Man U have come in and made a strong impression and are strengthening Capello's defensive options.

“They’ve been a revelation ever since joining the club and I'm sure they'll be mainstays in the England squad In years to come”, he said.

Hopefully, he said, he’ll be in the back four in some time to come.

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