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Barry the Pro - My England starting XI for the World Cup

Published: 04 Mar 2010 - 08:05:08

Last night's England performance against Egypt took the inverted trajectory of John Terry's career as a serial loverat.

While Terry turned it on and scored at will first, before being undone by sexy opposition later, England did it the other way round. And in football, the comeback reigns supreme.

Let's be straight here, Egypt are no mugs. The African Cup of Nations is not the SPL, and to win it you need a team packed with battle-hardened players who know how to move the ball around and score overhead scissor-kicks.

In the first half, England were outclassed. Matthew Upson's slip to let in Zidan was embarrassing and Terry looked like a man who'd just been sentenced to life at the Bangkok Hilton.

Frank Lampard missed two good chances and Theo Walcott did a really good impression of a fast runner who can't play football.

Thankfully, England have Steven Gerrard and Wayne Rooney to gloss over the cracks. And with half-time came the introduction of the obscenely prolific Peter Crouch.

In the second half England were transformed. Michael Carrick made Lampard look like a Scotland player and Shaun Wright-Phillips made Walcott look like a member of Blue playing in a charity five-a-side tournament at Stamford Bridge.

As for Crouch, his goal-per-game ratio is now better than Bobby Charlton, Alan Shearer and Michael Owen. Ridiculous, but true.

James Milner also made a positive impact from the bench. He looks like a man you'd want in a war, and that can't be a bad thing at a World Cup. Especially when England's midfield contains so much inane niceness in Lampard and Barry.

Anyway, enough of the procrastinations. Here's my starting XI for England's opener against the USA in South Africa.

GK - Rob Green
RB - Wes Brown
CB - John Terry
CB - Rio Ferdinand
LB - Ashley Cole
RM - James Milner
CM - Michael Carrick
CM - Gareth Barry
LM - Steven Gerrard
F - Wayne Rooney
F - Peter Crouch

What are you thoughts? And don't say you'd start with Beckham, because that just ain't happening people.

- - -

Meanwhile, Nag's Head are recovering from a brutal 4-1 loss at home to The King's Arms on Sunday. There were five players sent off and two 'Aaron Ramseys' - one from each side - which will have pleased the local AE no end.

Our manager is always complaining that our players get targeted by the opposition, due to our style of play. It's the Arsene Wenger argument, but it's doesn't work quite so well when you're a dirty outfit who play the longball game and currently have three first-teamers in prison.

READ BARRY THE PRO EXCLUSIVELY AT FOOTBALL.CO.UK EVERY THURSDAY

DSG


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FOOTBALL.CO.UK BLOGGER:barry the pro
'Bazza' lives, breathes and dies football every day of his life, before waking up the next morning to do it all over again. On the pitch his penchant for flowery flicks and tricks tends to frustrate his team-mates at Olympiacos Nag's Head FC, but all is forgiven when he shares his generous supply of male grooming products in the showers. BTP drinks lager and lime and has dedicated his life to scoring from the halfway line. Read him on Thursdays.

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