Jumblin: Beyond Wayne, Who Strikes Fear?

Who are TSG’s Rountable participants this go around? Just click here.

Roundtable Question #1:

After this man, who do the Yanks need to silence?

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.

Is Algeria's Karim Ziani the 2010 Tomas Rosicky?

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.

9 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by KMac on 2010/03/17 at 7:17 AM

    Here is my analysis of the feedback of all the contributors.

    Danger by Panel Rank:
    Gerrard 4
    Lampard 4
    Walcott 3
    Lennon 3
    Novkovic 3
    Koren 3
    Ziani 3
    Defoe 2
    Crouch 2
    Heskey 2
    SW Phiillips1
    A Young 1
    Dedic 1
    Pecnik 1
    Djebbour 1
    Ghezzal 1
    Yaiha 1

    Average of 6 dangerous players submitted by person, average danger votes per opponent 2.1
    As expected, 9 are from ENG, and 4 each from SLV and ALG.
    I wonder if Algerian players (especially in their domestic league) had more exposure (games on tv in the west).

    To sum up what I have read, if I were Coach USA I would be working tactically is how to manage the speed/pace threat, the tall target forward threat, midfield runs to the box, “bomb” long shots, and thinking about Rogers’ comment – free kicks/set pieces in dangerous areas!


  2. Posted by Chris on 2010/03/17 at 7:30 AM

    I tend to agree with Shoaff. If Gooch is out then our back 4 will have a much harder time containing Crouch and dealing with his ability to scavenge loose balls in front of the net and win headers.


  3. Posted by KMac on 2010/03/17 at 9:39 AM

    Shoaff and Chris have a point. What do you all think of playing Goodson if Crouch starts or subs in as he has in other games? I think a lot depends who else is on the field. (Rooney, Defoe, Walcott, etc). Pray Gooch is back in form and larger than life!


  4. Posted by matthewsf on 2010/03/17 at 9:54 AM

    I think you’re spot on KMac….reports have Goodson in phenomenal form right now…winning man of the match last week.

    You know that Bradley wants to go the safe route on the wing and Boca is likely not the ultimate answer in the middle.

    Will Goodson come out of nowhere to make a statement at WC 2010 (we’ve got a Jumble question coming on this. :>)

    Here’s what TSG had to say about Goodson in the SUmmer of ’09 during the USMNT Gold Cup run

    Panama game:

    D: Clarence Goodson – 7.5

    A revelation. I must admit I didn’t know much about his until after the game. However what I saw I was more than impressed with. Got beat on the cross for the goal upon entering, however beyond that, extraordinary. Extremely technical on positioning in one-on-one situations and choose well when to come up from the backline and meet an offender. I’d like to see him put on a little bit more weight on his 6′4” frame, but I can see the U.S. graduating to a Marshall-Goodson backline in 2014.


    Honduras game:

    Most Unheralded Play of the Game: (Clarence Goodson) This is the second game in a row that the emergency center defender earned this. After earning the start, it was in the 75th minute that a well-played cross was played into open space in the US back third, Goodson–once again showing the technical acumen TSG applauded him for in the Panama game–took a specific and perfect angle in stopping Carlos Costly from turning him and having an unimpeded path to goal. Goodson’s body angle and positioning, shear perfection. Well played.




  5. Posted by kaya on 2010/03/17 at 10:11 AM

    I don’t agree with the Crouch thing… he’s a decent striker, but I still think the Jan Koller thing was a fluke and our defense got caught ball-watching as if the first few minutes of the WC were going to be a nice warm up.
    I have to agree with Defoe.
    Michelot, you really think it’s going to be that bad in France? I’m pretty ticked off because it looks like I’m going to end up in France for the WC. Not that France isn’t great, but it isn’t RSA.
    Aix-en-Provence is supposed to be full of expats. Any recommendations for likely US-friendly bars to watch there? =)


    • Posted by Martin on 2010/03/17 at 11:38 AM

      At least people will be warned with the tall striker thing now… Plus Gooch will come in handy with winning balls in the air, provided his positioning is correct; Anyway Crouch will have a fringe role on the English team, not more. Heskey is not much more of a threat either.

      Yeah Kaya, it will be bad. When Algeria played Egypt during that crucial playoff game, streets were packed packed packed with people. A


    • Posted by Martin on 2010/03/17 at 11:45 AM

      At least people will be warned with the tall striker thing now… Plus Gooch will come in handy with winning balls in the air, provided his positioning is correct; Anyway Crouch will have a fringe role on the English team, not more. Heskey is not much more of a threat either.

      Yeah Kaya, it will be bad. When Algeria played Egypt during that crucial playoff game, streets were packed packed packed with people. And when they qualified, it was pandemonium. There were even riots (people went to the hospital, fights w/ police, etc..) when they got eliminated in the ACN.
      There is a huge pull of all the people who are French but of Algerian descent, who don’t recognize themselves in the FNT, and chose to support Algeria. They tend be rowdy, which is an understatement, and anyone with a US jersey is in for a rough time.

      I’m unfortunately not from Aix, but from Lyon, a couple hundred kilometers north. Aix is indeed American-friendly, especially in the summer. There is an international bar which will be welcoming. Otherwise, all the Irish pubs are generally where lots of expats go for sporting events. Or you can come to Lyon and I’ll be more than welcome to accommodate a fellow USMNT fan.


      • Posted by kaya on 2010/03/17 at 11:57 AM

        Cheers! Good to know. I might just be around zee soixante neuf during the games! (I’ll be up and down the Rhone, undoubtedly.)
        Also good to get some warning about the US-Algeria game. I figured the animosity was mostly limited to FR-AL type situations, but I’ll be prepared to be a little more “sensitive” than I might’ve been otherwise!


  6. Posted by GeorgeCross on 2010/03/17 at 10:44 AM

    I do like Crouch as he gives England a different dimension, and it’s great to have options on the bench. But, in all truth, even though Crouch has a brilliant international goals to games ratio (20 in 37 games), even more so when you consider many games have been substitute appearances, the opponents have hardly been noteworthy. Scoring against the likes of Andorra, Belarus and Egypt at Wembley, is hardly scary statistics.

    Regarding Jermaine Defoe, well we all know that the England offense is built around Wayne Rooney. Something has to be said that at club level, Sir Alex Ferguson, doesn’t play Rooney with Michael Owen; he obviously has seen something in training and feels that Rooney and Owen do not gel. Similarly, at international level, Fabio Capello feels the same way with Rooney and Defoe. England has tried with this combination, and it is not only Rooney that doesn’t tick, but Steven Gerrard and Frank Lampard too.

    People raise eyebrows at Emile Heskey – how can a No. 9 have such a shite scoring record? But the simple fact is that England play better and score more goals as a team with Heskey, even though it would be nice if Heskey scored more. I mentioned Gerrard and Lampard because Heskey does a lot of the dirty work, running the channels and creating space for them to exploit, where Crouch and Defoe are more static within the box therefore not stretching defences by taking defenders with them – think Drogba / Lampard dynamic for Chelsea.

    So even though Heskey is not a ‘direct’ threat, he is probably more of a threat *in tandem* with Rooney, than Defoe or Crouch are. They will be impact subs, or they will come on to relieve Heskey and Rooney if the game is safe and we’re closing out – ceteris paribus, I cannot see them starting.


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