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Friendly: Full A Squad, or Time to Experiment

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Stephen is back with another look into the issues of England. Let's ponder the question, full squad or experimental squad for friendlies?

Steven Taylor
Steven Taylor
Clive Brunskill

England have qualified for Brazil, and have two friendlies coming up. Would you use the friendlies as more practice time for your regular players who need to work out their problems? Or would you call up, younger players and B type of players to get a run out for the heck of it? England still have holes and players playing like junk (Joe Hart). But those players with their busy club schedule do need time off.

Of course that last line flies in the face of having friendlies in the first place or other squads. And the other argument is that these are all fit players who are used to playing a number of games throughout the Winter, while only taking a month off for holiday in the Summer. Sometimes, a person raising this argument will have to face the fact that players get exhausted too. Those are all well placed arguments, but at the same time, England have qualified, there's nothing else the country needs to do.

I'm the type of person, supporter, pundit, if you put it that way, who wants the friendlies used as a sort of test match. So you know that Frazier Forester has shown great ability in Europe, and depending on what you think of the SPL (I'm a Celtic fan), he does very well. He's also the number 3, behind Norwich City's John Ruddy depending on Roy's thought of the moment. So why not take the USA match and put him in for a good 90 minutes?

Do you give Gary Hooper a run out for what he did in the past with Celtic? Is Steven Taylor's form not worth it? While those are extreme cases of players on the B or maybe C level. Or do you go into the under 21's and find a bunch of young players who need a run out? Like it or not, Stevie Gerrard and Frank Lampard aren't going to play forever.

Think about this, somewhere in the future Luke Shaw is going to be a stud player for the national team. Would you put him into a match against a side like the USA,  who are very good, to give him time up with the big boys? He's proven he can do it in the EPL. And replacing Gerrard in the team, how about James Ward-Prowse? Neither are exactly the same player as the Liverpool captain, but could get a run and be very good.

Part of being the Senior men's team manager, is to look for the future. Like it or not Roy hasn't really been a forward thinking manager. Yes he has lots of experience, and medals, but what about the team for the WC 2014? Many of the young players in England have shown they can do it at the top level. They are just blocked by a generation of talent.

Folks the future of England football isn't as bad as the media lets on, the problem is that the managers are too afraid to throw a young player to the wolves. This is from their upbringing, letting a player develop slowly and then come true. Those days are over, but with England there's a lot of very good players and I'm just mentioning Nathan Redmond right now. These players need to be thrown to the wolves in the friendlies to get the experience with the big guys.

Playing for your u-whatevers is good to play against your age, but you need to play against the big boys, the big teams. Yes, every nation has a youth setup, but not all youth coaches are as good as the National Team managers are. Basically, pull a great player out of the u's and see if they are worth it. What do you have to lose? Really nothing. England will make more great players, if they develop them right, and give them time to work out.