Return of Barry will help England

The announcement that Gareth Barry will be playing against Algeria on Friday night came as no real surprise as Fabio Capello has made no secret of the fact that he prefers to have Barry in his team, the fact that he has brought him knowing he would miss the first game shows how much faith Capello has in him in the midfield holding role.

I expect this to lead to a dramatic improvement in England, as it is a return to the formation that got them this far, and lets be honest about it, it’s a system that should be good enough to beat Algeria.

I had my moan about Capello’s strange decisions surrounding the USA game, and now am looking at the positives for Friday night.

The only team changes I can see is Barry for Milner, and Carragher for King.

Having picked Rob Green for the USA game (not a choice I would have made), Capello must now stick with him. Unless Green has showed it has badly effected him in training, then I believe he should retain his place in the side. From what I could see Green still looked ok after the error, in fact I was quite impressed with the way he conducted himself afterwards.

It looks like Jamie Carragher will replace King at the back beside John Terry, there is a lack of pace with this pairing, but they are England’s best and most experienced fit out and out defenders.

In midfield I expect Gareth Barry should release Gerrard into a more attacking role. Along with Lampard, the three of them are well used to playing this system, and although I’m not overly happy with Gerrard out wide it is the best way Capello has found to utilize the three so far. And in fairness Gerrard roams a bit when playing this system. Aaron Lennon could do with putting in a performance as he wasn’t great against USA.

Up front Capello has apparently suggested that Defoe is in contention for a start, can’t see this happening myself. Surely if Capello wants to make a change he would bring in Crouch for Heskey. Heskey had a funny game against USA, in a way it was typical performance from him. I didn’t think he played that bad, but the usual problem remained as he missed his chance when clean through, had he scored it could be said he had a good game.

The bookies have England as heavy favourites, they are a best price of 2/7 with Paddy Power and William Hill.

One complaint to make about England, I wish they would stop moaning about the ball. All the teams have to use it, and it just sounds like we are getting our excuses in first!

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Is Capello right to wait for Barry?

With all the remarks coming from the England camp and Fabio Capello this week, it would now appear almost certain that Gareth Barry is assured of his place in England’s world cup 23.

If he didn’t realise it before, Capello would have been reminded of just how important a player Barry has become to his side in the wake of England’s 1st half central midfield performance against Mexico at Wembley on Monday night.

Barrys stock seems to have raised in his absence. Monday night showed that he is one of those unsung players that you notice more when he is not there.

In contrast, James Milner, and in particular Michael Carrick showed in that match that they are not yet capable of filling Barry’s boots with a disappointing showing in England’s central midfield.

In the case of Milner, he is an up and coming player who has only just completed his first season playing that role, he is still really learning the position. Add to that, he can also play in a number of positions across the midfield, which would seem to assure him of a seat on the plane to South Africa.

Michael Carrick on the other hand is an experienced player in this position, and Capello would have expected far better from him.

He should now be sweating on his place as his form has been awful lately, including a high profile blunder in the Champions League match with Bayern Munich, which ultimately led to Manchester United getting knocked out of the competition.

If Capello is to pick James Milner as a central midfielder then Carrick might well now be surplus to requirements. That would leave him free to name both Adam Johnson and Joe Cole in his squad.

However, for Carrick, the doubts over Barry’s ankle may well end up being his saving grace. Fabio Capello might now be looking to take extra cover for Barry, in the event he might break down again.

This could play into Carricks hands, as Capello might not want to throw an inexperienced international like Tom Huddlestone or Scott Parker into the squad at this late stage of the process.

Carrick has been there throughout, and Capello might well stick with what he knows.

I do believe that Carrick is a lucky boy if he makes the squad. It would be a shame for the likes of Joe Cole or Adam Johnson if one of them misses out because Capello wants extra cover for a player who is not 100% fit.

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