It has been a while since, as a Dutchman, I have been as excited about a non-Oranje involved international game as today’s battle between the Welsh and the English. The scene is set for an awesome game: the Welsh dragon is cooking with barrels of gas after slaying the Slovaks convincingly, and the English played very well but got sucker-punched by a Russian assault late on to drop two valuable points. The latter hurts and the players will want to make amends; but the Welsh players will be thriving on a combination of confidence and desire to get one over their neighbours, whilst, with three points in the bag already, they have not much to lose in terms of keeping sight of progression to the next stage.
This will be a very hard game for England to win, but if they do their confidence will soar and their Euros campaign will get a super-dope injection. If the Welsh win they will progress to the next round AND will have extremely valuable bragging rights. Let the battle commence (at 2pm today).
I am hoping we will see starts for both Jack and Aaron, long term Gunners with a heart’s desire to mastermind games in the nr 10 position. Of course, we also have our current ‘nr 10’, our German master of the hole, Mesut Ozil in action later today, and I cannot wait to see him play again either.
Rambo is enjoying himself at Wales where he is playing in front of the solid Allen and can work with the versatile and naturally dominate central attacker Bale to create and take chances, and run at opposing attackers all day long. There is little doubt he will start and this will be a big game for him: Europe and the rest of the world will be watching at him, almost as much as at Bale, and Aaron will be loving it (and he is so easy to recognise now with his Boris Johnson coloured hair style).
Whether Jack will play remains to be seen. He should play if he is fit enough to do so. I thought Rooney played really, really well in the deeper, creative midfield role, but Jack can do this even better and the Mancunian is needed higher up the pitch. Dele Alli, Lallana, Sterling and to a large extent Kane all have potential but their youthful exuberance needs to be balanced out by at least one experienced and confident head, which has to be Rooney for me.
Jack next to Dier, or in the hole, with Vardy on the left, and Rooney up-front or in the hole (with Jack then next to Dier) would make sense to me. Woj can then add two more attackers as he sees fit from the usual suspects, and that should give England a very good chance to dominate the game in the Welsh heart and come out victoriously. I would be tempted to play Milner on the right for a bit more midfield grit and control, as the battle will be won or lost in midfield where the Welsh are very strong. An English midfield of Dier, Milner and Jack, playing slightly in front of them and directing the game should be able to dominate midfield against Allen, Rambo and co.
Bale can do something special but, on his day, Rooney can do too and he needs to be where the action is; and the one to provide him with the best possible service is of course Super Jack. England need him to control the midfield and feed the attack and Hodgson has to make the sensible call.
Rambo v Super Jack today would be absolute bliss. Let’s hope Woj will make it so.
Just saw the line up and Jack appears not to start…. same attacks as against the Russians… 😦