England vs Ghana
Recently the English media have been kicking off over Fabio Capello's decision not to play his first team for this friendly match and decided that such a thing was 'scamming everyone who bought tickets to see the game'. Barely half a year ago they'd been complaining about how by using the same players over and over again he wouldn't be prepared for future competitions as these players (lampard, terry, crouchie, defoe etc) creep ever closer to bus-pass age. The man can't win!
Personally I thought seeing 1930's-boy-adventurer throwback Scott Parker, hoofing winger Stewart Downing and on-fire Wolves winger Matt Jarvis in the team is brilliant, this friendly (against world cup quarter finalists dont forget!) was a great chance to show what they could bring to the table.
I thought Capello's 4141 system worked great here. Whilst normally a defensive formation - allowing wingers to cover opposition fullbacks meanwhile a holding midfield player and the defending fullback can double up on the winger; effectively snuffing out attacks down the flanks unless the opposition can switch and stretch play - here it was very fluid through the flanks. The ITV commentators called it a 433 and indeed the wingers breaking inside did produce this effect when England advanced. At a couple of points in the first half Ghana were pushed back deep, Jagielka pushed out of CB into midfield and Johnson flew up wide while Young and Downing made for the byline, 433 became a 2143 with Baines dropping back for a bit of covering speed and Barry starting play from the back with 7(!) attackers ahead of him. Recklessly attacking tactical bravery is not something you would expect from an Italian manager!