England vs Mexico Preview

Away from Arsenal today and a look at England vs Mexico, down at good old Wembley – a match that will see us play a bit of a weakened side (to rest David James and the Chelsea players, whom took part in the FA Cup), and also to see the fringe players in action. Adam Johnson for me, has been a late call into the World Cup reckoning by Cappello, previously uncapped, and not featured in any of the matches prior to tonight. I think he’s done a good job having moved to Man City this January and is a very watchable player. My query was whether or not he could raise his game against the bigger sides and that’s a part of his game that has not been tested. The reason I mention him today, is that Cappello has pretty much said that he will be in the 23 man squad – and of course, that raises a question of who will be omitted. Cappello said this today ahead of tonights game:

“Johnson is one player who is really good. He has improved a lot, he is a really, really good player. I selected him because I think he can stay with us.”

And if that is the case, then the other wingers, Lennon, Shaun Wright Philips, Joe Cole and our very own Theo Walcott suddenly have their places in jeopardy… With players like Lampard, Barry, Gerrard and one other central midfielder (Parker or Carrick) pretty much assured the 4 central midfield roles, then surely two players out of Milner, Lennon, SWP, Cole, Walcott and Johnson will be dropped – it’s a tough one, but young Theo, despite being a Cappello favourite, looks like his seat on the plane isn’t 100% guaranteed yet… although he is speaking the speak, talking the talk…

“I have been to a World Cup already and hopefully it will be a different story this time. I was only 17 in 2006, a baby-faced kid. But I’m 21 now and I’ll try to make my mark. I have learned a lot working with Arsene Wenger. I am learning to use my pace at the right time and I know that I will judged on goals and assists.”

So back to the tonight and we’ll see at least 22 of the 30 man squad tonight over the two halves – it’s too be confirmed about how many substitutes we can make. Carlos Vela will be one of the most recognised players for the away team and he’s been an ever present in the Mexico team, having already scored 8 goals in 24 appearances for his country, and he is still only 21… and the little Mexican is looking forward to player at Wembley tonight:

“The environment is incredible, the people live every game passionately and it will be a difficult situation to have the public against us. It will serve as preparation for facing South Africa as hosts.”

The 80,000 expected tonight will act as a loud loud cauldron of sound, and it will hopefully prepare both teams for an exciting trip over to South Africa. With Carlos Vela’s playing time so restricted at Arsenal, I am definitely looking forward to seeing him in action tonight… He continued:

“It will be a very important game as England are one of the strongest teams of the moment. It is an important test for both teams, because they also have to play against a great team in Mexico.”

So, over to the team news and I think we’ll see the following team – the players in brackets are those I’d expect to see in the second half.

(Hart )

Johnson – King – Ferdinand – Baines
(Carragher – Dawson – Upson – Warnock)

Lennon – Parker – Milner – Gerrard
(Walcott – Huddlestone – Carrick – Johnson)

Rooney – Heskey
(Defoe – Bent)

Which means we won’t see SwP or Crouch or injured Barry or the Chelsea boys of Cole, Terry, Cole, Lampard and we won’t see David James either. Of course, my guess is as good as any, but we’ll find out a little more a little later tonight. Personally, I am looking for some good performances, especially from Theo – and yes, that is my Arsenal bias coming out…

Don’t worry fellow Amigos, I won’t be deviating from the Arsenal for much longer, I’ll be back tomorrow with my view on how much Cesc Fabregas actually costs… time to get ready for the England game tonight, now where’s my new shirt?

  • Gooner Get Ya

    @ Dev

    Bent has done his hamstring so will probably not be included tonight and could miss the entire campaign.

    I am looking forward to the game tonight. I know it is only a friendly but this is where our World Cup starts. If we can gain some confidence with a win tonight and Sunday, we will take that momentum through to actual the campaign.

    I would say tonights game is crucial for Theo…if he has a shocker he will be lucky to book his seat.

  • devday

    @ Gooner Get Ya:
    Didn’t know about the Bent thing, that’s a good relief – so we may see Crouchie after all…

    Definitely – tonight is very crucial for Theo to put in a decent performance!

  • Yemi

    Hi guys, Any streaming for the england mexico match ?

  • Tm17

    If it wasn’t for arsenal players
    the score would be 4-3
    vela missed two chance
    and Walcott couldn’t find a free
    man twice after doing all the hard work !!!!!!!!!

  • Gooner Get Ya

    The whole midfield have been pretty rubbish to be fair. Baines has been poor and not really used Rooney at all yet.

  • Kuka

    @Dev – Is there any specific reason why AFC or anyone at the club has not issued an official statement regarding the Cesc issue? I just think that, for the sake of the fans and the rest of the team, it helps to come up and clear the air around such a matter. I guess it is this secrecy and private dealings that make transfer windows quite a nightmare for any Arsenal supporter. At times the truth hurts, but when fans know, then the healing takes a shorter time. Whichever way the Cesc issue goes, I think the club awes its fans and players an “official statement”….IMO

  • Shawn

    a better team than mexico would’ve taken the chances they had, i’m not putting any money on England for the world cup . . . just my view

  • dampatti

    It has been the same problem for the past years which is the midfield, England have not had any technically gifted midfielder who knows how to hold the ball or use the ball but all the midfielders are pants. Yesterday midfield combination in the 1st half shouldnt been used in any serious match, let me start with gerrad at the left, he never bring anything to the team , cannot remember the last time he had a good game in England shirt. Carrick, just dont know what is wrong with the lad bcos is only quality is passing but now he cant do it anymore but Milner what does he bring to the team? He cant pass, dribble or have any vision whatsoever but his supporter will tell you that he is hardworking which means nothing, walcot just dont know why he cant pass or cross the ball. The midfield did better in the 2nd half when gerrad moved to the midle and milner was shifted to the left at least we saw many movements and passes which was never existed in the 1st half. It is not about lampard not playing bcos he hasnt done much too , he lack technical ability, he will score you goals but he rarely do is role as a midfielder . I just hope the manager teach the midfielders how to use the ball not rushing the ball as we do in PL or we just play like mourinho team and let all opposing team have the ball but keep winning .

  • Josiah

    Cesc’s father released a statement, basically saying cesc is under contract so arsenal won’t want to sell, but eventually they will let him leave…

  • Nick

    Comments from Hleb on the whole Cesc/Barca thing
    “I stay in touch with Cesc a lot and it’s hard for me to judge what he should do,” Hleb was quoted as saying in the Sun. “He and Gael Clichy are both very good players who must make their own decisions about their future. But I would advise them to stay.

    “It didn’t work out for Arsenal this season but, if Arsene Wenger keeps the side together, they can really go far next year. They play great football. It’s partly a question of experience and next season Arsenal will have more of it if everyone stays. All things being equal, I think they have a very good chance of the title next season.”

    Listen to the man! He’s been through the bad decision.