Who are TSG’s Rountable participants this go around? Just click here.
Roundtable Question #1:
The USMNT faces or possibly faces a whole host of dangerous attacking players in South Africa. Let’s just say Wayne Rooney is the most dangerous. Who’s next?
Michelot, Ligue 1 Talk: Jermaine Defoe. 20 goals in a tough league will make any striker confident. He’s carried Tottenham this season, and seems as mature as ever. His positioning has improved & he often finds himself on the right end of crosses. But : will he start? And if he does, can he play with Rooney?
GeorgeCross: With your left back issue, I fell that any pacey winger or wide-man who can change speed and direction quickly will cause big problems for you. Players such as Walcott, Lennon, Schneider, Kewell, Messi, and Ribery are the most obvious, and even over-lapping right fullbacks (especially if Donovan is playing left midfield, as his tracking back could be better). But I think the following also need to be handled with caution: Heskey, Gerrard, Lamard, Novakovic, Koren and Zianni
Shoaff, Black Sox: Peter Crouch. He’s 6’7”. And good with his feet. Is he a lock to start? Probably not, but the last time we opened a World Cup against an opponent with a 6’7” striker, Jan Koller had a goal inside 5 minutes.
Arbogast, Notre Dame:I think it has to be a speedy winger in the mode of Aaron Lennon. Since he’s injured, I’ll have to say take your pick from Wright-Phillips, Ashley Young, Walcott, etc. None of our marking backs have proven capable of handling guys in this mold so much so that our only defense against them has been to drop our own wingers back from the attack. Not a good scenario.
McKee, “Spectator-Capped“: Barring degraded form/injuries, my picks are based on demonstrated big game performance to-date, ranked in order, by opponent.
England @16-20 goals each in capped appearances:
Defoe, Lampard, Gerrard, Crouch
(I had Beckham pre-injury. Hurt us in ’08.)
Algeria: Djebbour, Ghezzal, Ziani, Yaiha
Slovenia: Novakovič, Dedič, Koren, Pečnik
Next: Germany? Serbia? Ghana? Australia?
Rogers, Hillcrest Road: With all due respect to the Algerian and Slovenian attackers, the next biggest threat is probably one of England’s central midfielders. When so much focus is placed on Rooney, players like Frank Lampard and Steven Gerrard can really make you pay either with a late run into the area or a long-range bomb.