Lets face it, Israel didn't even put up a fight. That begs the question though, was it down to England's dominating display, or did Israel just suck? I think its the latter. England will not find it so easy on Wednesday against Russia, who are a top side.
Nevertheless, McClown got a few things right in this game. As the saying goes, fortune favours the bold, and so fortune favoured McClown last night.
The inclusion of Heskey paid off handsomely, as he and Owen paired off as effectively as they did in their Liverpool days. Owen was comfortable, and afforded so much space and room to manouvere because of all the work that Heskey put in.
Gareth Barry's also revelled in the center midfield position next to Gerrard. Asked to play the playmaker/anchor role, he didn't look out of sorts on the big stage and provided the delicate through ball that slipped 3 Israeli players to arrive at the feet of Owen, who spun and scored a wonderful goal. However, come Wednesday, I suspect Owen Hargreaves may take his place back in the center midfield, as he well should be. Russia won't be as impotent in their attacks as Israel were.
England made full use of the flanks, with the Cole's rampaging down the left and SWP and M.Richards bombing down the right. A.Cole and M.Richards were in the Israeli half so many times, that they probably thought England had 4 wingers on the field. In essense, England really stretched the Israeli defence, and caused all sorts of mayhem.
So, few questions that still require answering, but only McClown and his circus will be able to answer it all:
- Should the primary center midfield position be Gerrard/Hargreaves, followed by Lampard/Barry?
- Should Micah Richards keep his place if Gary Neville is fit and available?
- Should Heskey be dropped when Crouch returns on Wednesday?
- Why does P.Neville still get international caps for England?