England v Poland: Preview

Venue: Wembley     Kick Off: 20:00 (GMT)   Date: 15th October 2013

Just 90 minutes of football is all that separates Roy Hodgson’s England and qualification for next year’s World Cup in Brazil. The fate of England’s World Cup hopes lie in their own hands as on 15th October – they have the chance to guarantee qualification into the 2014 World Cup. Albeit a bit late, England will have the chance to book their place in Brazil if they overcome Poland tomorrow, a task which they could not manage in October last year as a goal from Glik in the 70th minute cancelled out Rooney’s first half goal. This time around, they will be hoping to do better against the Poles.

Coming into the match Poland are much regarded as the underdogs, after their hopes of qualification were vanquished via a 1-0 loss against Ukraine. England on the other hand come into the game as clear favourites, coming in off the back of a 4-1 victory over Montenegro, but the scoreline is quite flattering as Montenegro played much better than it suggests. This leads me to think that Poland could end up playing a defensive game, not required to attack and a win not of much importance. However, with the likes of Błaszczykowski and Lewandowski in the team, it would be rather wasteful to not use their attacking ability.

England are already guaranteed a place in the play-offs but manager Roy Hodgson would much rather avoid this. Hodgson wants England to complete the task in hand tomorrow and not resort to leaving it any later.

“We must make sure we complete it against Poland and I am sure we will,” he said.

“Even though they are out of the running and have nothing to play for, I can’t imagine they will take their foot off the pedal.”

Captain Steven Gerrard agrees with Hodgson, and believes that the Poles cannot be taken lightly. Despite being out of the running they still could prove dangerous with the players they have.

“They’ll be coming to Wembley, they’ll want to beat England, they’ll want to be the team that stops us going to a World Cup; we won’t be thinking they’re going to take their foot off the gas.”

Poland will be without injured defender Lukasz Piszczek, but coach Waldemar Fornalik, who could be in charge for the last time, is more concerned about scoring goals.

He said: “I am thinking of the points and a win. Nothing else will do in any match.”

Jakub Blaszczykowski, the Poland captain, has reiterated that the game won’t be defensive.

“We want to thank them with a good game and the right result.

“It doesn’t matter that we only have honour for which to play. Matches at Wembley are always very important to us.”

Team-mate Robert Lewandowski admits that Poland will be underdogs for the game but is hopeful that he can give Poland’s fans something about which to cheer.

“We know we have a lot of fans out there who will come to the game,” he added. “We don’t stand a chance of going through but we want to go to Wembley and at least allow our supporters a little fun. For sure, we won’t be favourites.”

Possible Line-Ups (Just Guessing)

England: Hart; Johnson, Jagielka, Cahill, Baines; Gerrard, Lampard, Townsend, Welbeck; Sturridge, Rooney

Poland: Boruc; Wojtkowiak, Jedrzejczyk, Szukala, Glik; M Lewandowski, Blaszczykowski, lich, Sobota, Krychowiak; R Lewandowski

This match promises to be enticing with a lot on stake here. Who do you guys think will win the game tomorrow?


England vs Montenegro Review 11/10/2013

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England Team: 1 Hart 2 Walker 3 Baines 4 Gerrard 5 Cahill 6 Jagielka 7 Townsend 8 Lampard 9 Sturridge 10 Rooney 11 Welbeck

England Subs: 12 Smalling 13 Ruddy 14 Gibbs 15 Jones 16 Carrick 17 Milner 18 Barkley 19 Wilshere 20 Defoe 21 Lambert 22 Forster

Montenegro team: Poleksic, Pavicevic, Jovanovic, Volkov, Kecojevic, Jovetic, Damjanovic, Zverotic, Drincic, Savic, Boskovic

Montenegro subs: Blazic, Novakovic, Krkotic, Igumanovic, Janjusevic, Kasalica, Vesovic, Vukcevic, Dembasic, Beqiraj

It was a glorious yet somewhat comical win for England as they triumphed 4-1 over one of their main group rivals, Montenegro. Andros Townsend made his England debut in what was an extremely important match for the home nation. England got off to a good start with some good attacking pressure, trying to force a mistake from Montenegro. Montenegro didn’t really look like they could get into the game which gave England the opportunity to dominate the possession for most of the first half. Townsend always looked quite dangerous which stayed the case throughout the match. He won England a free-kick in quite a dangerous area after just 15 fifteen minutes of the game being played. Leighton Baines was the taker but the Montenegro keeper came and punched away. This seemed to shock Montenegro into action as they began a quick counter which was halted for a foul on Gary Cahill. News then began to filter through that Ukraine had scored against Poland which took them to top of the group as England were drawing 0-0. Not much happened in the first half after that until the 44th minute when Daniel Sturridge cut in from the right and saw his effort take a deflection which left Poleksic helpless, luckily for Montenegro, the deflection took it just wide. England didn’t want the half to end as they picked up their form but they were indeed held to a 0-0 draw at half time, having dominated the match. England came out for the second half with no changes made. The first major incident in the half came after 47 minutes when Welbeck’s shot was saved by Poleksic who was unlucky as the ball fell straight to Wayne Rooney who put the ball in the back of the net from six yards out. The game suddenly spurred into life with Hart making a good save from a header after 55 minutes to keep it at 1-0. England doubled their lead seven minutes later as a cut-back from Welbeck was turned in for an own-goal by Boskovic. Just two minutes later, Manchester City’s Stefan Jovetic struck the crossbar from a long shot which had every England fan’s heart in their mouths. England stupidly ignored the warning signs and Montenegro capitalised after 71 minutes, Jovetic’s shot prodded in by Damjanovic, the score now 2-1. England looked slightly nervous but it Townsend didn’t show it as he struck a beauty in off the post after 77 minutes, England 3-1 Montenegro. England added to their goal tally in the 90th minute when Kecojevic brought down Daniel Sturridge in the box. The Liverpool striker took the penalty himself and scored. Full time, England 4-1 Montenegro. Overall, a good performance by Roy Hodgson’s Three Lions who put themselves back at the top of their group with one match left in World Cup 2014 qualifying.

Townsend’s debut goal


Team MP W D L GF GA Pts
England 9 5 4 0 29 4 19
Ukraine 9 5 3 1 20 4 18
Montenegro 9 4 3 2 16 12 15
Poland 9 3 4 2 18 10 13
Moldova 9 2 2 5 7 15 8
San Marino 9 0 0 9 1 46 0



Is Roy the right man?

I’d like to start by recommending that all England fans listen to this song as it truly is a classic:

Secondly, here is what I think the line up should be against Montenegro,

England starting XI: Hart

Walker   Cahill   Jagielka   Baines

Lampard   Gerrard   Wilshere


Sturridge                   Lambert

Finally, is Roy Hodgson the right man for the job? Speculation leading up to the announcement of the England job, was that Harry Redknapp was the man in line to receive the job. Having recently come out and stated that the FA are ‘clueless,’ I cannot express to you how glad I am that these were only rumours. Thankfully, the job was given to the somewhat reserved West Brom manager, Roy Hodgson on 1st May 2012. A year and a half on, what do we make of the England man? Personally, I think that England need to start playing a better style of football and I don’t think that Roy Hodgson is the right man to do this. I do however think that at this current stage in England’s turn around, he is the right man for the job. Roy is leading the three lions to what should be a comfortable qualification for the World Cup 2014 in Brazil where England plan to win the competition which of course is just as likely as Barcelona signing Nicklas Bendtner on a 20 year contract. As this is only a short post, I’m not going to elaborate much on England setting their ambitions too high and taking too long to turn things around. All I am going to do is answer the question. At the moment, Roy Hodgson is the right man to be managing England’s national team.