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Football: SHEARER SAVAGES TACTICS; WORLD CUP 2006 ENGLAND 1 PARAGUAY 0 WORLD CUP 2006.

ALAN SHEARER blasted Sven Goran Eriksson's tactics and expressed his sympathy for Theo Walcott after England stumbled to victory over Paraguay.

Former England captain Shearer was left bewildered by England coach Eriksson's substitutions - taking off Michael Owen for Stewart Downing and then Joe Cole for Owen Hargreaves.

Eriksson played Cole and then Steven Gerrard in an advanced role after Owen departed and Shearer saw that as a snub for teenage marvel Walcott.

He said: "Sven brought out Walcott, I presume as a centre forward, but he took Michael off and put Joe in Michael's position.

"Theo must have been thinking, 'Hang on a minute, I'm a centre forward, Joe Cole's a midfielder playing in that role, then Joe comes off and Steven Gerrard plays in that role. I'm a centre forward and he's putting midfielders in my role'.

"Why bring Walcott along if you are not going to put him on?

"It means that Sven doesn't think he is ready at this moment in time. So why bring him?"

Shearer's criticisms were echoed by another former England striker Ian Wright.

He said: "England lost an opportunity to send out a message that we mean business."

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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:The People (London, England)
Date:Jun 11, 2006
Words:203
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