Liverpool Message Board
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Firstly, I'd like to address the line of reasoning that since the international teams do not play/train together as much as club teams do, they are not as good, or will never be as entertaining as club teams. This is a fallacy to an extent and teams like Spain, Russia, etc. currently are proof of that. Also, as far back as I can remember, there have been numerous entertaining teams that "gel" very well on the pitch and play like they train together all year round. e.g. Brazil, Holland, etc. Whether a team "gels", entertains, wins, etc. ultimately comes down to a combination of the coach, player ability, and "some" "key" players that play together for club. Robert M brings up a good point with his Beckham/Neville example. If you think about why Spain is so good, and look at their euro performances, you'll see that in the engine room, Xavi and Iniesta play together for Barca. Villa and Silva (Valencia) combined to devastating effect too. You also have the Senna and Capdevilla (Villareal) connection. If you look at the 2006 Italy and Germany squads, in fact, any of the winning squads from previous eras, you will notice this pattern. It leads me to believe that while Liverpool fans rejoiced when Gerrard didn't join Chelsea, it was the end to any chance England would have of a major trophy. I can only imagine what Englang would have looked like at the 2006 World Cup with a midfield of Lampard, Gerrard, and Cole playing week in, week out for club. In any case, the solution to the Lampard-Gerrard problem is Essien.He should be looking for an English grandmother. Play Essien and Cole in the middle and get rid of both Lampard and Gerrard. Now THAT would be some team! Speaking of Essien, did LFC write him a check yet for the lesson he gave on 4th Oct? Jokes apart, international football is all some kids get to see in far-flung places around the world and it is the stuff that turns great players into legends. I see Argentina finally made it, so let's see the almost-incumbent World Player of the Year (Messi) light up the big stage. Good night all; Forza Milan!
My ideal world cup would be for England to go a long way....dare I say win it? and for someone or a couple of players to turn themselves into legends. Lets face it....Platts name was made with the Belgium volley. Barnes's with the goal in the Maracana AND his performance against Argentina in the hand of god game, Owens in 1998, Beckhams against Turkey in the qualifiers, (Quite ironic that Beckham really made his name in a game against a team as lowly as Turkey...says it all really....believe the hype??)....I too believe this is Gerrard and Lampards last world cup potentially, probably also the last one for Owen if he goes, for Rio too, so I am hoping (although I'd love Gerrard to win it with a hat trick of blockbuster strikes in the final) for a Lennon, a Walcott, a Milner, Glen Johnson, to stand up and make their names on a world stage. Or maybe there is a name who wil come through this season? Like Owen did? Or there is the obvious. Rooney to confirm he is the great player we all want him to be....for England's sake. I have my worries on that score though. Completely overshadowed by Ronaldo in United's team in the past two years, the GREAT players shine in the best surroundings. Zidane at Real Madrid, Iniesta AND Messi at Barcelona, Gerrard at Liverpool who has continued to be our real talisman despite the arrival of Torres who rivals him in ability. Del Piero at Juve, Baggio before him/with him, Zola at Napoli, even Lampard at Chelsea. These players step up every time their clubs sign new (and supposedly better) talent....to prove THEY are the man. I got the sense Rooney was unable to do that past Ronaldo, and share the burden. Thus at an event like the World Cup does he have that inner belief to be a big star?? Does he even want to be? The truly great players, know they are great, know that when the moment comes they will be there for their team. If gerrard couldtake his club form to international, same with Lampard I suppose, it is probably more likely if England are to do well that one of the established will confirm their greatness rather than a new name step up. Just please NOT BEckham with a free kick in the 90th min at 3-3 with Brazil in the final. I couldn't live with driving past the billboards for the next 50 yrs.