Seems like Sven is not done bamboozling the masses. As he promises to play his strongest XI, and likely World Cup starting XI, against Hungary in England’s final friendly before the finals it is now rumored that he intends to play Jamie Carragher in the midfield holding role rather than Michael Carrick.
In a Keegan-esque move (Southgate in midfield?), Eriksson has opted to put a defender in a unfamiliar, but key role and who has actually said himself that he is not good enough to play for England. Brilliant.
Michael Carrick may not have been that impressive against Belarus, but he has been in fine form for Tottenham for the entire season. To not put the trust in a form player playing in a key position seems bizarre to say the least, especially one who has played well for England in previous internationals – earning rave reviews during last summer’s US tour.
The argument for Carragher is that Sven may want more of a destroyer holding player (ala Makelele) rather than a finesse (ala Pirlo of Milan). But if that is the case, why not call up Scott Parker who has played that exact role to extreme effect for Newcastle all season? (Ed: Yes we know he has glandular fever, author has been drawn and quartered)
Yes, the Liverpool defender has been in superb form for the club over the past two seasons, but he has been shielded by two defensive midfielders in every match – a tactic that made even Stephane Henchoz look like a world beater during Houllier’s reign.
It’s hard to imagine that Carragher would suddenly be comfortable in a defensive midfield role, with no supporting defenders either side of him and attack-minded midfielders in front. A position where it is more important to maintain defensive discipline and block passing lanes, than it is to simply clear the ball whenever it comes to you.
But hey, it’s not like Sven is some crazy batsh*t insane manager that we should have every reason to doubt, right?