Football: Mark Lawrenson column: Mark Lawrenson.Byline: Mark Lawrenson Mark Thomas Lawrenson (born Preston, Lancashire, June 2, 1957) was a defender in the Liverpool and Irishfootball teams of the 1980s; he later became a prominent radio and television pundit for the BBC.
SVEN GORAN ERIKSSON is in danger of dropping a tactical clanger clang·er
n. Chiefly British
A blunder; a faux pas.
drop a clanger Informal to make a very noticeable mistake
Noun 1. in his most important match since taking charge of England.
It seems inevitable that the normally shrewd Swede swede: see turnip. will use Emile Heskey Emile William Ivanhoe Heskey (born January 11 1978 in Leicester, England) is an English footballer. Known for his pace and strength, he is a striker currently playing for Premier League side Wigan Athletic. and Robbie Fowler Robert Bernard 'Robbie' Fowler, (born 9 April 1975 in Liverpool) is an English footballer who currently plays for Championship side Cardiff City.
Fowler's career began with Liverpool,with whom he made his debut in 1993. as the strike force to start against Greece at Old Trafford Old Trafford commonly refers to two sporting arenas:
However, that would seem to me an unprecedented mistake by Eriksson, who should instead use golden oldie golden oldie
A recording, movie, or other form of entertainment that was very popular in the past.
Noun 1. golden oldie - a song that was formerly popular
oldie Teddy Sheringham Edward Paul "Teddy" Sheringham MBE (born April 2, 1966 in Highams Park, London) is a veteran English professional footballer currently playing for Colchester United. Sheringham plays as a striker, and has had an exceptionally successful career at club level, winning almost every to partner Fowler to ensure England's victory and automatic qualification.
This whole dilemma only arises because of the injury to Michael Owen
Heskey has done very well for England in recent matches and it would seem cruel to drop a player who was one of the heroes of England's magnificent 5-1 victory in Germany last month.
But in a game of this magnitude where England simply have to win to ensure qualification I'm not convinced that Heskey would be the right choice.
It's a great shame that Owen is not playing because he would have Greece's Newcastle defender Nikos Dabizas Nikos Dabizas (born 3 August1973 in Ptolemaida, Greece) is a former Newcastle United, Leicester City and Olympiakos Greek footballer, who now plays for Larissa FC in Greece. He was also in Greece's 2004 European Football Championship winning squad. for dinner. And Heskey has proved on many occasions to be the perfect foil for his Liverpool and England team-mate.
But the Greek defence is all about physical power and I fear that Dabizas will be able to cope with Heskey when England are crying out for more pace and, in particular, invention.
That is why Sheringham should start. Tottenham striker Sheringham is in such great form and is a real thinking footballer.
Sheringham can sit deep, be hard to pick up, and even allow Steven Gerrard Steven George Gerrard MBE (IPA: ['stiːvn 'dʒɛɹɑːd]) (born 30 May, 1980, Whiston, Merseyside) is an English football player. He is the captain of Liverpool, where he wears the number 8 shirt. , Paul Scholes and David Beckham to burst forward and make threatening runs. The Greeks will sit back, play very deep and that will leave England with a worrying lack of options if they were to start with Heskey and Fowler.
It is bound to be a tight match but Sheringham can annoy the Greek defence by sitting deep, having the brains to change the play when necessary and also set up chances for team-mates.
Greece would far rather play against Heskey than Sheringham and what worries me is that the longer the game remains goalless the more frustrated England will become.
Fowler is undoubtedly a must for Eriksson because he is England's most natural finisher, but he will also rely on receiving the right service, which Sheringham is the right man to supply.
Greece do not travel well and it will be rather like a Premiership team facing a First Division club at Old Trafford. Former Leicester midfielder Theo Zagorakis is their captain and yet could not hold down a regular Premiership place, which says a lot about their ability. I believe that England will win but it will be tight and I just hope that England will have enough patience if the score is still goalless after an hour.
One player in particular, Liverpool's Steven Gerrard, would love to have a great game after attracting the wrong sort of headlines following his drink in the early hours of Tuesday.
But I don't think it will have an adverse effect on him at all, apart from the fact that at the end he would love a "well done" and pat on the back from Eriksson.
I have to confess that I have taken the drinking revelations with a pinch of salt as Gerrard, Robbie Fowler and Steve McManaman do not appear to have been drunk and if anything their antics might just have relieved the boredom and provided a few jokes for the rest of the squad this week.
Finally, England's other enforced switch due to the injury to Sol Campbell will only be good news for Eriksson, who will bring back Martin Keown in his place.
Campbell is just not playing well, he seems to be struggling with form and fitness and Keown deserves a place on merit.
Keown can help England complete the final furlong which is bound to be the longest and most nervous furlong of all.
Interview: JOHN CROSS
WRONG MAN? Emile Heskey may not be the best partner for Robbie Fowler