Thursday, March 02, 2006

Out of time?

So, where does last night's 2-1 friendly win over Uruguay leave our three England hopefuls?

Well, Darren Bent showed plenty of endeavour but insufficient guile against a deep-lying defence - but, regardless of how well he played, Michael Owen was (if fit) always going to be on the plane to partner Wayne Rooney up front.

The situation is more worrying for Scott Parker and Kieron Dyer. Joe Cole's excellent match-winning performance has no doubt further cemented his place in Sven's first team, meaning that, with Gerrard, Lampard and Beckham all fit, there will be no place for a holding midfielder. In any case, Michael Carrick impressed in that role last night.

My guess is that both Parker and Dyer could still make the squad, but they'll need to stay fit for the rest of the season and play regularly. Dyer in particular has an awful lot to prove, and not a lot of time in which to do it - he's just fortunate Sven seems to think the sun shines out of his arse.

Who might make way? Our old boy Jermaine Jenas did precious little to advance his claim for a place in the squad, and Kieran Richardson could drop out too. That said, Parker and Dyer still face stiff competition from the likes of Kevin Nolan and Joey Barton, who will also be hoping to sneak in at the last minute.


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