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Sol shows his England class

Some may say this is being viewed through my blue glasses with a yellow horizontal moon and star in the middle of each of the lenses, but Sol Campbell was arguably the best player for England against Russia yesterday as he passed his first major test since returning to the international scene with flying colours.

The Russia defeat now leaves England teetering on the brink of elimination and crushingly not making it to Euro 2008, but I got immense pleasure from watching Campbell put in a fantastic performance - and one that proved that he is still very much good enough for international football.

With Rio Ferdinand picking up a booking he will now miss the Croatia match through suspension, so fitness permitting Campbell must surely be the man set to step in and take his place, for what would then be his 3rd England start running.

Some time prior to the Russian match - and more and more repeatedly as it got closer - I had expressed my concerns that Paul Robinson could make an error that would come back to haunt us, so my thinking was David James - a man that has such command of his area, something that was desperately needed at such a crucial time - should have come back in.

Whilst I am not saying that Robinson is at fault for our defeat he is being held quite accountable by many for not doing better with the initial shot which eventually saw the Russian winner.

His form for Spurs recently has been a major concern for so many. Was Spineless Steve right or wrong to keep him in is not really a matter of debate now, as it is basically irrelevant as it cannot change what has happened, but with our qualification hopes all but over what does he do for the Croatia match?

Does he stick with Robinson again? Bring James - the man that should be England's no.1 - back in? Or make a complete break altogether and bring in a more long-term option such as Scott Carson?

Whatever happens to be honest over this international break it has been fantastic to see Campbell back in the England side and fitness permitting he will be again for at least one last stand against Croatia, hopefully, as he should have long ago James will also join him.


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The Journalist

Writer: pompeyrug Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Thursday October 18 2007

Time: 7:00AM

Your Comments (oldest first)

Change to most recent first
James is just a liable for the odd flipent moment as robinson
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18/10/2007 07:36:00

Odd...... odd.......odd flipent moment are we talking about the same Paul Robinson EvertonMike ? Robinson is a complete liability for his club and country at the moment - I wouldn't have let him anywhere near the airport for the Russia game let alone on the team coach or on the pitch. James does (still) make the odd mistake but have a look at the stats for this season and last James is without doubt the best English goalkeeper in the premiership - All that said, Robinson will play against Croatia because if Spineless drops him now people will ask why he didn't do it sooner...
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18/10/2007 08:00:00

Was James at fault for our loss in Russia ? In part yes, he should have and could have pushed that shot away from goal instead of just parrying it. Should Gerrard have scored ? to bl00dy right he missed a sitter. Should Richards and Campbell made more of their chances ? - Yep they should especially Sols free header.. But the thing that get me more than anything was what was Rooney doing at left back ? wheter inside or outside of the box he should not have needed to be in a position where he had to make a telling tackle.
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18/10/2007 08:04:00

After the Croatia game (and if we don't get through) we will see Robinson and James replaced by Green and Carson - Surely they must now be primed as Englands future goalkeeping hopes...
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18/10/2007 08:06:00

tbh i could still see jamo doing a job up to and inclduing the next world cup so he could still get in as robbo has to be dropped for the next game - spineless will have to make this call... he said that he might not have been in form for spurs but he does not let england down. again not fully blaming robbo for our defeat as that is wrong, but he did make a mistake so he has now... but it is more likely that someone new will come through - i rate carson, green and foster, if kirkland can stay injury free for long enough then he is as good as anyone too.
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18/10/2007 10:37:00

I think its time for English football to have a bit of a rethink. Firstly about the appalling choice of English managers waiting to succeed Steve McClaren. Secondly the way in which the eleven best English players are chosen rather than players to make up the best team. I'll enjoy Euro 2008 knowing England won't be there.
The Rabbi
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18/10/2007 10:46:00

Having heard the score last night I was ready to write off Sol's future England career. Having seen the highlights and read this morning's press I was totally wrong it is the majority of the others who should be looking over their shoulders. He must surely now be back as a regular not a stand in.
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18/10/2007 12:26:00

I think that current form should be more important for england than previous experiences and people need to move away from this calamity james tag so on that note we should have either Jammo or Green in goal for england...... As Robinson is a liability! Didnt look comfortable at all! Sol campbell should be proud of his defending yesterday, his only real mistake was the header should have atleast been on target which if Gerrard hadnt fluffed his chance shouldnt have mattered anyway!
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18/10/2007 12:55:00

We are not as good a side as we think we are and we certainly are not a team. Mclaren is woeful and needs to go, and go as quickly as possible. We were really poor and Rooney had to cover fro Lescott at Left back for most of the game, even Richards was poor. Sol did a decent job and will surely start against Croatia if he is fit, but spineless have the bottle to go with some sort of dignity and take the job at QPR.
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18/10/2007 13:26:00

what have QPR done to deserve him?
The Rabbi
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18/10/2007 14:02:00

Gutted we lost. I hat major competitions when England arn't there. Probably the last chance for both Sol & Jamo to play in the finals. Hard to think they'll get a chance for the 2010 World Cup. Sack spineless now.
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18/10/2007 14:22:00

McClaren should go, despite being the only England manager to shown faith in Gareth Barry - that said, it is only this season that Barry has shown his true class. Robinson is an utter liability. Bring Jamo back for Croatia. Why the f*** is McClown ignoring Robert Green though?
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18/10/2007 16:47:00

they said mcclaren would go if we failed to qualify for europe...now, qualification is out of our hands, so surely he has to go (or after the croatia game). To suggest that england are not as good as we thought they were is stupid. Look at the premiership, the best league in the world. The england team as the best player from liverpool, one of the best players at man u (including there captain), the best few players at chealsi, the portsmouth captain, they can choose from the best players in the top 10 teams - and we could have at least 22 (or more) players who would get into any other national team (other than brazil). That leaves us with plenty of choices, to play everyone in position, and yet, somehow, we are failing.
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18/10/2007 17:40:00

(oh, and did i mention, the premierships best goalkeeper). Defensivly, england SHOULD have the best back 5 in the world. a midfield of joe cole, steven gerard, gareth barry and SWP should also be well up there as being best in the world, and the attack of Owen and hesky should also be one of the best. It is, not only inexcusable, but useless that we are not beating russia, a team with a about 1 player who plays in one of the two top leagues. sure, ut was an artifisical pitch, but no excuses, we should have been qualified long before.
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18/10/2007 17:44:00

Green makes as many cock-ups as both, on current form Jamo is top man, but he is 37 and won't be top man come the next world cup
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18/10/2007 21:21:00

..... and Sol was mom as far as I was concerned
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18/10/2007 21:22:00

tbh i really could see jamo as still being the top man come 2010 - he is as fit as anyone and seems to be still learning all the time... unlike shilton who played for england at 40 odd jamo will still be as agile as ever...
Report Abuse
18/10/2007 23:47:00

Fair comment about Jamo v Shilton. Jamo's agility seems to improve with age whereas Shilts was gong down hill at about 36. All keepers come under criticism. I'm old enough to remember the great Gordon Banks being slated for putting his defence under pressure with poor distribution. What Banks and Shilton had and James HAS but Robison doesn't is a commanding and authorative presence that instils confidence. Robinson looks like a rabbit caught in the glare of a car's headlights.
Report Abuse
19/10/2007 11:03:00

And on this subject why is Stuart Downing still in the squad? Surely Matt Taylor is a far better bet on the left side and Downing is totally ineffective. McClown at his best!!
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19/10/2007 12:40:00

NinjaTim, exactly mate - sadly my only glimpses of the great banks and in all honesty shilts at his very best comes from what i have seen - shilts was still a top keeper when i was growing up but he wasnt the keeper his was in the 70s and 80s... and again i agree on the authority and command of the area, robbo doesnt have this at all does he - tbh i feel for the fella as he seems like he is now lost...
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19/10/2007 15:02:00

the only thing preventing matty taylor from at least being in the squad is the fact that he isnt playing... if he was then im sure he would be in the squad and downing out. i still maintain that matty taylor would have played in the 'b' game at least at the end of last season had he not been injured.
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19/10/2007 15:04:00

Rug that is a good point. We need more B games to bring through the experienced players in the Prem League who have not been given a chance in the recent past. Gareth Barry could be the tip of the iceberg and maybe we could build a TEAM not eleven individuals. Taylor, O'Neil, Johnson and Davis would be among my squad.
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19/10/2007 20:01:00

i always liked 'b' games, but we dont get many these days do we - totally agree, seen as spineless never uses 'friendlies' to try different things, how many players that arent tried could be, the benefits to england would be fantastic.
Report Abuse
19/10/2007 23:26:00

We have two threads on this now with Carpet and Chix selecting teams but it makes sense especially when we don't qualify for euro 2008. Lets spend the summer months playing other countries that miss out. Could include some big nations including France or Italy!!
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20/10/2007 00:15:00


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