• Fantasy Futsal

    If one notion of happiness is the relief after extreme tension, then feelings of extreme happiness were widely reported last Friday night after the Sweden victory. England - bloody hell!

    On this day, I find I am surprised to be striding out with fervour. The first against France was a resounding result, even if the performance did not necessarily excite. Friday night brought forth a football happiness flavoured with a more joyous experience, but this happiness was nuanced and floodlit by the press pack next morn (Barney Ronay, amongst others). Tonight, friends and companions, should we seek ecstasy..?

    Can we get higher in our group than we thought possible? Yes, some of the ones we fancied have already left, but, so what..? Rooney! Rise Up! Send wand'ring fires through our blood; that we might yet go with a smile and a semi on. To settle for less now sends matadors, who lurk in shadows.

    So let's show our spirit anew. Ladies and gentlemen, are you ready for a new sensation? England, I cry, 'Live forever! Top the group and give us life. Give us love'!

    This might appear rude, but it would be ruder still if we don't take advantage of our current position. If we play within ourselves and try only to ease through in to the next stage in second place we will then face Spain. It's unlikely that they will have another off day and/or we can find a game to beat them. It's an impassable invasion for our troops at this time.

    But suppose..., if we can outscore France tonight and overhaul the goal deficit we can top the group leaving Italy and a fair wind to the semi final. Et, demain matin - Regarde Lagarde! Ooh la la!

    This would give the team a fantastic platform to embark on the voyage to Brazil and WC2014. However it pans out from here the tone appears different with this England side now. Rodgson should take great credit for that. The unwanted excesses and arrogance of the recent past are at once banished or transformed to the pitch in certain zones and that is a very welcome development.

    From this promontory, can we dare to dream of playing with a freedom unseen? Why not play a front four in a futsal diamond (Gerrard pivot, Walcott right, Young left and Rooney up top) to give us a new formation of 4-2-1-2-1? This would allow these front three to rotate their positions to set Gerrard to strike. Sides from foreign fields have distilled all the best bits of British football in to their play. It's time for us to infuse the boef with lessons from a finer palate (i.e. France front 3 fluidity. What about Spain/ Barcelona? When we were not qualifying we were clearly not studying the Total Football).

    Roy - release us from our rigidity. Charles Hughes hear this - it's anti football and it's boring! Also, and this is important.. - I think Rooney is ready: he is currently in our debt (since Portugal 2004) and I get the sense that he, like others in the team, now has the desire to prove their worth. His style on top is a cut above and we should rejoice in his playful creativity.

    Football for fun - let's go!

    Our full backs are fantastic going forward. Why not set out to bring them in to play higher up the pitch to join in? To retain balance the defensive unit should shuffle across to cover. Then..., the non attacking full back should tuck in very narrow with the centre half filling in down the channels, when required. When play breaks down the holding midfielders can transition in to defence to keep shape (so the full back's recovery run is less arduous). This positional rotation is possible and I think it might be the key for us to pass the ball better than we currently do. The problem is that there is not enough movement by enough people in certain zones on the pitch.

    This all looks easy from here, from behind my desk. Coach and heir to nothing in particular! But Roy, fear not the 46,000. We can put them to the sword. Release our territorial plunderes, our futsal fornicators to give us some sexy football.

    Give us foreplay. Give us 4-1! Ladies and gentlemen - I give you the thrusting futsal diamond up top (4-2-1-2-1 Cole, Lescott, Jagielka, Johnson/ Parker, Milner/ Gerrard/ Young, Walcott/ Rooney).

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