Wednesday, October 11, 2006

More red card misery

Steven Taylor and James Milner both lined up for England U21s tonight as they squeezed to a 2-0 win over their German counterparts, a result which guaranteed qualification for the European Championship finals. Substitute Theo Walcott scored both goals, but unfortunately for Taylor he played a rather less supportive role, getting himself sent off with just over half an hour to play. This is the same player who was fortunate to get away with a handball in the penalty area against Man Utd.

What with Titus Bramble's recent red against Everton and Craig Moore's troubles with Australia, it's not been the happiest of times for our centre backs. At least Taylor's suspension will not hit his club where it hurts.

In other news, speculation is mounting that Scott Parker could feature for England during tomorrow evening's match in Croatia. Parker looks set to get his chance because of Steven Gerrard's suspension, but I feel he would have been a better bet than Michael Carrick anyway, particularly with Steve McLaren calling for "pride, passion, attitude and character" and adding of Parker specifically: "He epitomises what the English game is all about: he can play, he can pass, he can tackle and he's got character and attitude".

Alan Shearer has lent his pre-emptive backing to Parker too: "Scott has been fantastic for Newcastle, with his energy, his drive and his enthusiasm. If he does play, he won't let down England".

Away from the international scene, Glenn Roeder has suggested that Kieron Dyer is close to full fitness and should be back making Premiership appearances by the end of this month. It's not surprising, though, given Dyer's injury record, that Roeder has (as the BBC Football site claims) done nothing more than "pencil in" his comeback. History teaches us that to write it in anything more permanent would be a very risky business indeed...


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