The best two English strikers in premier league right now could lead the line in England’s crucial world cup qualifier against Montenegro on Friday night at Wembley. Between the two strikers nine goals have already been scored this season, with Daniel Sturridge the premier league’s top goal scorer with six goals to his name so far. The only time the two strikers played together was in the 1-1 draw against Ireland at Wembley last May.
The Liverpool man and one half of the deadly S.A.S partnership is in the form of his life, but we clearly saw the potential in Sturridge even whilst he was still a youngster at Manchester City, Chelsea and Bolton. The only problem is his arrogance and his I can do it all attitude, which he needs to drop. But since moving to Liverpool from Chelsea in January the strike partnership with Luiz Suarez has really brought the best out of Sturridge. As for Rooney his personal problems have been mostly off the pitch with rumours of a move away from Manchester floating around all summer. However this has seemed to who have made him want to prove a point to his critics this season, with notable performances against Bayer Leverkusen in the champions league and in Manchester United’s defeat at City where he scored an unforgettable free-kick.
But as far as Friday night is concerned if played together the Rooney and Sturridge strike partnership will have to work. Rooney may drop a bit deep as usual, with Sturridge always looking to play up top in an advanced position. Both are very skilful, can create and most importantly score goals. This could develop like the Michael Owen and Emile Heskey England strike partnership did, which lets remember was also successful because they were also playing together at Liverpool. If successful it will be truly great to see how this “frightening” strike partnership as described by England captain Steven Gerrard develops.
England go into Friday night’s game knowing that three points against Montenegro and a win against Poland next Tuesday will book them a place in next summer’s World Cup in Brazil. It will be a tough task as Montenegro have to avoid defeat at Wembley in order of having any chance of qualifying, and England’s last three games against the South Eastern Europeans have ended in draws. As for Tuesday’s game against Poland there are only two words that would scare any defence and they are Robert Lewandowski… good luck England.
Listen to Wayne Rooney’s press Conference ahead of England’s last two important qualifying games.
Adnan Januaj has emerged as of one of Manchester United’s most important players this season. The 18 year old capped a brilliant first premier league start last Saturday at the stadium of light with two amazing goals. With consistently good performances in the premier league so far it’s not hard not to see why Januzaj is now at the forefront of David Moyes’s plans this season. His pace, desire, strong left foot and unbelievable balance on the ball is something reminiscent of a young Christiano Ronaldo on his debut against Bolton in 2003.
England manager Roy Hodgson expressed interested in Adnan Januzaj when asked about him on Match of the day last Saturday. He said, “there’s no doubt that he’s a real talent and we have our eyes on him.”
Januzaj has yet to pledge his international allegiance. He could play for his country of birth Belgium as well as Albania, Turkey or Serbia. However Januzaj can also become eligible to play for England if he lives in England continuously for “five years after reaching the age of 18” as stated by FIFA. This would mean that Januzaj would have to wait until his twenty third birthday if he decided that he wanted to play for the English national side. Januzaj could certainly bring another dimension into the England setup, a left winger with pace who can score goals.
With a new era of talent emerging in the Belgium national side, it would be hard to for Januzaj to even think about the possibility of playing for England, why would he? Belgium are the rising stars of Europe right now. The other problem is the amount of pressure and expectation put on England players to deliver at tournaments. We’ve seen the constant pressure put on Wayne Rooney, England’s best striker since the age of 18 and other young English talent such as Jack Wilshere and Theo Walcott. Another other major issue is the continual underachievement of England at major tournaments.
But there’s no doubt that by the time Januzaj reaches 23 he wIll be a much improved and stronger footballer. As much as England are in desperate need for a player like him, I think he’ll turn his attentions in playing for Belgium who have made it clear that they want Januzaj in their team.
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The prospect of a Winter World Cup 2022 has edged a step closer today as European chiefs agreed that the event could not take place during the summer in Qatar. The 54 UEFA member association backed the plan in a meeting in Croatia.
FIFA vice president Jim Boyce said, “There were certain reservations regarding the World Cup in Qatar but everyone agreed that it would be impossible to play in the severe heat of Qatar in the summer.”
Temperatures in Qatar can reach up to 50 degrees which could be a health risk to players and fans. However, there are already concerns over the proposed plans to make the tournament a winter event in 2022.
If the 2022 World Cup is played during the winter this would disrupt domestic games across Europe and the world, and in particular the Premier League. The 2021-22 season would be disrupted as well as the ones on either side.
The question is would there be a break in the season? Or would there be reservations for games to be played in June and July? Questions on how the proposed Winter World Cup in 2022 will be organised will have to be answered by FIFA President Sepp Blatter.
Another plan is to move the tournament in 2022 to another location which seems more reasonable, however the head of the Qatar World Cup Hassan al-Thawadi has rejected calls for this to happen.
Football Association Chairman Greg Dyke has already said that the tournament in 2022 would have to be moved to another location if a time cannot be agreed.