Premier League

Stop Mucking About And Back The Yiddo, Fabio.

England's pocket battleship

After last night’s pitiful, disorganised and spineless performance against Algeria, finally the penny has dropped – Fabio has no idea about tactics, motivation or selecting the right team.

No Joe Cole, no Michael Dawson and more importantly no Jermaine Defoe – who only got the last 20 minutes when all else had failed. During that time he was comfortably England’s best player or at least the only one whose first touch didn’t make him look like a Sunday league player. The average conference side would have given the North Africans more trouble than toothless ultra-defensive England.

Jermaine is a thoroughbred, a player of rare pace with a proven record as a goalscorer at the highest level. And yet Fabio persists in playing an Aston Villa reserve with the turning circle of the QE2 and who looks incapable of scoring however easy the chance maybe.

Play Defoe and there would be no point lumping hopeful long balls. We would have to play to feet, get wide and outwit teams whose only strength is to be well organised.

Defoe would have terrified Algeria who were there for the taking. His pace and opportunism would have kept their defence at full strength and given the sleeping giants Gerrard and Lampard the space and time to work their Premiership magic. We now have only one more chance to show that we are a world class side who can pass the ball well and destroy teams who are just in South Africa to make up the numbers.

Recently Spurs decimated the Wigan defence at White Hart Lane and Defoe got five. Algeria would have been relieved that they weren’t facing him – or Crouch and Lennon for ninety minutes. And is Rooney untouchable? – I don’t think so.

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