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England's Best Strike Partnership For South Africa?
TheTorresBounce (Liverpool) 6 years ago
Capello of course has a wealth of options available, such as target men like Crouch and Heskey and runners in the ilk of Rooney and Defoe. If Capello can strike up an established partnership who can link up well and get the balance right, with Gerrard and Lampard storming forward into the opposition’s box, it could be a long summer of celebration for England. With 6 of the top 15 premiership scorers this season being English (5 not including Lamps who obviously can't be put into the running) we have some great options which will probably lead to some headaches for Capello when it comes to picking a side. He's been favouring a Heskey-Rooney combo in the qualifiers but when it comes to crunch time, just who will the cool-headed Italian give the nod?

I'm going go ahead and that say that Rooney is a a shoe-in for a starting place in SA, assuming he doesn't stub his toe or end up behind bars for shoplifting :p So he can breathe a BIG sigh of relief:

That leaves one place open, the contenders are.... *drumroll*:

Jermain Defoe: Tottenham Hotspur’s Jermain Defoe is arguably England hottest goalscorer right now aside from Rooney. He currently has an aura about him where everything he hits seems to go in, bagged 16 goals in all this season putting him as second top English scorer after Rooney. A quick-thinking striker who matches a poacher's instinct with a thunderous shot from long range. An impact player from the bench who can profit from tiring defenders. Capello might feel a little reluctant to start two like for like strikers in Rooney and Defoe though and Defoe has proven to be selfish on occasion often choosing to take a shot on net instead of pass. The 26-year-old Defoe is starting regularly for Spurs now which is more than can be said for his first spell at White Hart Lane and is bursting with confidence.

Darren Bent: Bent is one of Capello’s few out and out goalscorers and has scored a very respectable 14 goals in 21 appearances in the league this season. Bent has been a clinical finisher all throughout his career and scored 19 goals in 60 for his old club Spurs despite rarely starting. The 25-year-old has scarcely featured for his country though, and has only won four caps since his debut in 2006. He enjoyed a rich vein of form for England’s U21s scoring 9 times in 14 appearances. A Rooney-Bent combo could prove deadly, Bent already features in one of the most potent attacking partnerships in the PL with Jones so why not with Rooney? Plus I hear they have some nice beaches in South Africa ergo lots and lots of beach balls, GRR!

Emile Heskey: Although not rated by many, few can argue the physical power and tenaciousness of Heskey. He doesn't score many goals but works more as a feeder for his strike partner, he gives England a different dimension as he will consistently win the ball in the air and provide a very effective decoy in the area. Capello seems to like the look of this combination and for good reason, Heskey and Rooney both offer the England side an immense workrate, with Heskey’s physical presence and Rooney’s determination off the ball. Heskey can hold up play and wait for others to take up position whilst Rooney can also drift out wide and take on defenders a lot more than Heskey. With 2 goals in 17 games he doesn't appear like a goal-scorer but he has been employed in more of a second striker role at Villa feeding his teammates, he does have the potential to score goals however bagging 23 goals in Liverpool's treble winning year. Known to some as Emile Donkey he'l be keen to prove the critics wrong and keep his balance in SA.

Peter Crouch: The 6' 7'' striker has attracted a lot of attention during his career for his height, but offers more than just aerial ability in his roles for club and country. Inconsistent when it comes to scoring but offers similar benefits to Heskey whilst being less of a one-dimensional player than Heskey. He can be played effectively in any team which he has proven over the years and offers a "Plan B" option when we might need to change things up. Also worth adding...... He can do the robot like a madman! I think he should get the nod just for this: When asked what he would be if he wasn't a football player he replied "a virgin"... Legend!

Michael Owen: He is England’s fourth highest goal scorer ever and his intelligence off the ball is far greater than any other outsider for the World Cup squad. The Chester-born striker guarantees goals and has far more International experience than the likes of Defoe and Crouch and if he can stay fit and keep playing he will surely be bearing away at Capello’s mind. He has been played effectively with Rooney before and now plays in the same side as him so that might be a factor worth considering. Unfortunately for Owen his time may have passed and he may end up stuck at home, on the bright side I hear he's big into golf so he's got something to do at least...

Gabby Agbonlahor: Agbonlahor is a player who can create his own chances, drifting out wide and creating his own space. His range of passing and crossing is also a vital element of his game, not unlike Rooney. He has picked up 8 goals this season in the league and whilst he could be a contender for a place on the plane, his chances of anything more than a sub-role are slim.

Carlton Cole: Only time will tell if Cole is a natural goalscorer at this level but he and Defoe linked up well in a friendly against Holland and he will take heart from the fact that all of his four previous England caps have been under Capello’s reign. If Cole continues his good form, England fans will count themselves lucky as Cole was named in Nigeria’s squad in August 2008 because of Nigerian parentage but was ineligible as he was too old to switch countries. Maybe Cole's psychic powers shown in the picture below will help convince Capello! -

I've offered a pretty unbiased opinion so far but if I was forced to pick I'd have to go with Crouch or Defoe to partner Rooney, both offer entirely different positives but its tough to pick between them based on current form. But that's enough from me! Which partnership would you trust to take us to glory in South Africa?

LINKS: Comprehensive Stats

CHELSEA61 ((Footytube Moderator)) 6 years ago
You might want to edit the part where you called Capello a Spaniard mate? He's Italian if you forgot or mis-spelled
TheTorresBounce (Liverpool) 6 years ago
Wow thanks for pointing that out, I was doing the Benitez article at the same time
Rockerr (Liverpool) 6 years ago
Sorry dude,Already there are few similar topics like this.

And Here--->Link:
TheTorresBounce (Liverpool) 6 years ago
Similar but not the same, please mods don't close this topic, I put so much time into it haha
TheTorresBounce (Liverpool) 6 years ago
This is more focused on partnerships as opposed to which strikers we should take!
Ant (Liverpool) 6 years ago
A huge amount of work went into it so we shouldn't close it, but he is right unfortunately Its a bit unfair on the people that made very similar topics earlier.

It's always worth doing a quick search for :"strikers, forwards, england, world cup" and words like that before making a brand new topic.

All is good though, your blogworthy post is very comprehensive
TheTorresBounce (Liverpool) 6 years ago
Yea I did try and search for other posts which were similar, I thought this topic was big enough in itself despite being only slightly different but point taken!
Rockerr (Liverpool) 6 years ago
Sorry about that Torresbounce, didn't read your article completely.... Nice one!
TheTorresBounce (Liverpool) 6 years ago
Its all good man, you were right really haha
TheTorresBounce (Liverpool) 6 years ago
So anyone got suggestions?
TheTorresBounce (Liverpool) 6 years ago
This post would probs do better in the stands, close if you see fit!
Ant (Liverpool) 6 years ago
I just placed it in both, no need for two identical topics in two different places. Some people would write in one, other would write in the other and so on.

TheTorresBounce (Liverpool) 6 years ago
Wait you placed it in both but there's no need for two identical topics, I don't follow?
TheTorresBounce (Liverpool) 6 years ago
Nevermind.... I see what you did, and thanks!
Ant (Liverpool) 6 years ago
No problem sir, keep up the good work
Ant (Liverpool) 6 years ago
My feeling is Rooney has to be one of the two strikers in the partnership if this is going to work at all. Now, you need to work out whether you want a brute or a giant to knock the ball to him (Heskey or Crouch) or if you want speed and skill up front beside him. My choice for the partnership is a bog-standard 442 formation, with Rooney and Defoe/Bent up front, and Crouchie on the bench ready to provide height for the last twenty mins if its not happening
TheTorresBounce (Liverpool) 6 years ago
I'd agree, but maybe change up the starting roles between Defoe/Bent and Crouch to keep the opposition guessing. If we're going to get anywhere in this coming World Cup Capello is going to have to nail it tactically because on paper we're not the best team in it by any stretch of the imagination
ManUK (Manchester United) 6 years ago
Really Defoe is already a shoe in for the world cup, as is Heskey. The real competition is for that fourth and Fifth spot.

I would like to see Owen in there though it looks unlikely and people disagree. Bent I might like in there too if he plays well. Carlton Cole also looks like he could be included so we have some competition there (especially with crouchie too). So This is what I'd like to see in the English Striker Line up:

1) Rooney
2) Defoe
3) Heskey
4) Owen
5) Bent

This is what I would bet on happening:

1) Rooney
2) Heskey
3) Defoe
4) Crouch
5) Cole
TheTorresBounce (Liverpool) 6 years ago
I'd back Bent to get in ahead of Cole if he keeps putting the performances in, so you'd play Defoe/Rooney then up front?
ManUK (Manchester United) 6 years ago
Well in Truth I can't decide. I like Defoe a lot and see him as a better player than Heskey. Making it so Him and Rooney are the two best strikers in the squad. But Defoe is a very similar player to Rooney, Where as Heskey isn't - he holds up the ball and works well with Wazza.

So My problem is to trust Capello to be Right or not, because he seems to like playing Heskey up front with Rooney
CHELSEA61 ((Footytube Moderator)) 6 years ago
If you're going by numbers alone then It would have to be Rooney and Defoe. I personally think that It should be Crouch beside Rooney only because he compliments Rooney's game more than Defoe does. Defoe should and will be used often but as a sub. Its where he's done most of the damage to opposing sides. Bent had his chance against Brazil and came up way short and Owen I'm afraid has seen his last days go by for England. Heskey and Carleton Cole are the most probable to join England as the last two of five strikers on board. Maybe Theo Walcott just to have him gain the experience of being there for the future
TheTorresBounce (Liverpool) 6 years ago
Taking Theo last time for that reason didn't go down well.... I think we need to take 5 players who have experience in pressure situations and that we can trust with our nations hopes. Namely- Rooney, Defoe, Crouch, Heskey, Owen/Bent (Owen might be a good person to take as he is experienced on the world-stage and he may have a calming effect on the other players)
CHELSEA61 ((Footytube Moderator)) 6 years ago
Rooney and Owen have struck up quite a friendship at United and if Rooney has any influence over Capello he might try to sway his opinion on the matter. The fact that Owen has played very little at United lately doesn't bode well for him though. I expect we'll see some last chance games for the last few positions over the next three friendlies scheduled. I know Walcott's trip to Germany was a bit of a fiasco but He may very well be the future of English football. They could try Ashley Young but I think he has even less experience and it would be a similar result as Walcott's first time
TheTorresBounce (Liverpool) 6 years ago
I strongly doubt Rooney has any say in who is in or out of the England team, but if Owen starts getting playing time at United you never know. And I would much prefer to see Young on that plane than Walcott simply because I rate Young higher than Walcott anyday
Pragathish (AC Milan) 6 years ago
I would opt for Darren bent or Cole to pair up with Roo. And Owen can be used as a super-sub.  
CHELSEA61 ((Footytube Moderator)) 6 years ago
Darren Bent is an extreme long shot after his below average performance in the Brazil friendly. Jermain Defoe is our super sub without any doubt and if Capello sticks with tradition Heskey may still be the starter beside Rooney. In fact I can say with confidence that only one spot remains open. For me the locks are Rooney, Heskey, Defoe, Crouch. The last spot will be determined in the coming months and maybe a change if an injury occurs. The last spot in my opinion is being fought out by Agbonglahor, Owen, Carlton Cole, Young, Walcott. My money is on Gabby
Rzv36 (Real Madrid) 6 years ago
1. Rooney  2. Heskey  3. Agbonlahor  4. Defoe  5. Bent  6. Crouch  7. Owen
Franboy (Barcelona) 6 years ago
Gabriel Agbonlahor and rooney are a great duo (fast, physical, running forward) I do not know if they have already played together but I am convinced that this attack would be a good result
Pragathish (AC Milan) 6 years ago
Gabby and Roo? Hmm.... Both aren't that strong in air. You must be able to win high balls, when you need be the striker of England, you know, as they use high balls and crosses to create their chances.
So, Bent with Roo would do the trick
SirStig (Arsenal) 6 years ago
Rooney for sure, because he's world class. I think Defoe and either Bent should start alongside him because they are quick and can score goals. Crouch should be on the bench or maybe even start to provide the necessary height to get on the end of balls coming in from the wings ie. From Beckham or Lennon
TheTorresBounce (Liverpool) 6 years ago
Not Beckham! That old fogey is better off in a retirement home
LionAzzurro (Rimini Calcio) 6 years ago
+1 on beckham.... I really like Bent he deserves a lot more credit then he gets.... Could do tons of damage along side rooney with the national team
Pragathish (AC Milan) 6 years ago
I second you opinion LionAzurro. Beckham still, is one of the best crossers in this universe, trust me. If you have seen any AC Milan matches lately, you'll know why. Such a perfect crosser
Fussball (Barcelona) 6 years ago
Rooney and Owen (if he stays fit and firing) upfront can challenge any team's defence. Apart from them, Capello should make his choices only at the business end of the season, keeping in mind the form of the players like Defoe, Bent and Crouch. Heskey is an old cannon now, better off, 'cause Walcott, Gerrard and Lamps can do the passing where as Agbonlahor and Cole could fill in as good substitutes for strikers
TheTorresBounce (Liverpool) 6 years ago
Hmm interesting, I think a Rooney/Owen combination could be potent too, they would definitely compliment each other nicely plus they share the same club team
Haules (Chelsea) 6 years ago
Rooney and Defoe in the starting eleven and Cole and Agbonlahor on the bench
Blueskiesahead (Chelsea) 6 years ago
I think what would be best is to try and get rooney used to playing with defoe and crouch as best we can before the summer. If he can play well with either, capello will be able to decide who to start in accordance to who they are playing against. For example against a team like spain, we may want some height in the box so start crouch for that match. But against italy we would want more speed and skill so start defoe. Just an idea
ScooterHayes (Chelsea) 6 years ago
Fabio Capello really must have one of the most interesting jobs in the world.

Truthfully England is a confusing team to operate with. And I can understand why. The diversity of talent, age, etc. Must make strapping this team together in a productive way a nearly impossible job. Think about it.... How rarely does England's players enjoy good form long enough for Capello to know what his players are even capable of together? Yeesh. If you think at least on surface terms, England should be one of the best teams in the world.... But they're not.

This is what I think Capello needs to focus on: basic team chemistry. He needs a core team, some people he can rely on, and not have to constantly worry about who is in and out of form.... He needs some favorites. I think to a point that's been discouraged so the best talent could always be on the field, but not the best team. Fabio needs the best TEAM first, then the best players FOR it. He's building a team around stars when he should be trying to fit people into his plans, and that's not working.

Basically get your core players settled, get all your preferred starters in check, and keep practicing.
ScooterHayes (Chelsea) 6 years ago
Wow and I massively missed the mark on answering the question asked and instead went on a large tangent. Sorry bout that.

Best striking partnership? I would say that Wayne Rooney is on form the most often and would be the most reliable person to start building around, obviously. But you're just going to have to make a tough choice on number 2 and hope practice irons everything out

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