Friday, October 15, 2004

The boy done good

I doubt if even the most ardent Newcastle fan would have expected or even wanted to see Jenas in the England side to face Azerbaijan in Beckham's absence.

Before Wednesday, he'd made just seven substitute appearances, all in friendlies, and never started a game.

Of his potential rivals in the squad, Owen Hargreaves is playing well at Bayern Munich, Joe Cole has more of Beckham's creative edge, while Shaun Wright-Phillips is in good form for Man City, is naturally right-sided and did very well in his run-out in the friendly at St James Park.

But it was a measure of just how highly Eriksson rates JJ that he was included in the side from the start, and in difficult conditions and after a nervy opening few minutes, he repaid that faith with a good performance.

JJ seems to have rediscovered his best form of late, and he can only take pride from the fact that he's so highly thought of by the national manager. I don't see him challenging for a place in Eriksson's first choice midfield, but if he carries on playing as he has been he'll give the Swede quite a headache.


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