Football Friends Online – When 90 Mins Is Not EnoughCan England win without Wazza - Football Friends Online - When 90 Mins Is Not Enough Can England win without Wazza - Football Friends Online - When 90 Mins Is Not Enough

Can England win without Wazza

With Wayne Rooney now banned for the group stages of the European Championships next summer, do England still have enough about them to have a chance of winning the competition?

Despite his stupidity in getting sent off, there is no doubting that the Manchester United striker is the best talent in England’s squad but one player doesn’t make a whole team, and I’m sure that England manager Fabio Capello will have enough irons in the fire to get through the group stages, which are set to be drawn in December of this year.

As we have seen for both club and country, Rooney has a tendency to play off the main striker and Capello must now find a partnership to fire us into the quarter finals.

If Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard can rediscover his form and fitness after a six month absence then surely he will be the man to fill Rooney’s boots. Another contender to play “in the hole” would be Manchester United winger Ashley Young, who has started this season in scintillating form.

Capello could also change formation and revert to the classic 4-4-2. If this is the case strikers such as Danny Welbeck, Darren Bent, Bobby Zamora, Jermain Defoe, Peter Crouch, Andy Carroll and Daniel Sturridge will look to impress Capello in the rest of this campaign and book their seat on the plane to Ukraine and Poland next summer.

Rooney will then surely return to the side presuming England advance from the group stages.

But even with their star player available, do England really have a chance of winning the tournament?

You must remember that England didn’t even qualify for the last European Championships under the unsuccessful reign of Steve McClaren, whose reputation and career in English football has taken another severe bruising following his resignation from Nottingham Forrest last week.

Undoubtedly, Mr. Capello will have alot to ponder in the next few months regarding tactics, formations and players. There will surely be an overturn in personnel from last year’s disappointing World Cup campaign with several players such as Jack Wilshere, Adam Johnson, Ashley Young, Darren Bent, Scott Parker arriving onto the major competition international scene.

England have a tendency to flatter to deceive on the main stage. In the last two World Cups they have been seen as one of the favourites with some of the best players in the world, yet they failed miserably. England have not reached a semi-final of a major competition since 1996. Will this new look team have the mentality and bottle to be a force in the competition?

Obviously, England have a chance of winning the competition but so do alot of the other qualifiers. European giants Italy and France will have alot to prove after disastrous World Cup campaigns last year while hosts Ukraine should not be underestimated.

Portugal will be fancied by many if they can get through their play-off with Bosnia while both Russia and Croatia could be dark horses in the competition.

Amongst the biggest favourites are The Netherlands. Holland are always there or there abouts in major competitions and despite only winning one European Championship, in 1988, they have confidence from their World Cup final appearance in South Africa last year to pose a threat next summer. The Dutch have also looked good in the qualification process.

Germany are another team who should never be ruled out. They surprised many at the World Cup last year as they got as far as the semi-finals without several key players. Their good form has continued in the qualifying process; topping their group by a considerable distance, without losing a game.

However, the clear favourites will remain Spain, who look to be pretty much invincible at the moment. Spain are the reigning European champions, the reigning World Cup champions and the greatest international team of their generation. Can anyone stop them?

Will Ridgard

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