Jamie Carragher, if speculation is to be believed, will be making an appearance for England tonight in what will be his fourth different position for his country. His Liverpool team-mate Steven Gerrard will also be played out of his usual position if the journalists have guessed right – playing a role just behind the main striker, set to be Michael Owen tonight.
England play at Old Trafford in the first of two friendlies in advance of the World Cup, but the decision to play Carragher in a midfield holding role has angered former Everton player Tony Cottee. The bluenose is also unhappy about the way Sven Goran Eriksson has only chosen four forwards in his squad.
Speaking to Sky Sports, where he has a job as a Saturday pundit, Cottee said: “I find it absolutely ridiculous that we’ve only got four forwards, it’s absolute madness. We knew that Rooney had a problem; we know that Michael Owen’s not been fit, so you’ve got two or your four forwards struggling with injury. It’s just crazy.”
Cottee says that Liverpool target Jermain Defoe should have been included: “Defoe quite clearly should have been in the squad. He’s the natural replacement for Michael Owen and I also feel really sorry for Darren Bent because he’s not even on stand-by. He should have been on stand-by along with Andy Johnson.”
Carra’s big-game experience has probably given him the edge over the likes of Michael Carrick and Owen Hargreaves and this has upset the former hero of Goodison Park. He seems to be disappointed that the idea had not been mentioned by the press before: “I hadn’t seen any papers or reports saying Jamie Carragher is going to play in that role.” Well despite trying their best, the press don’t actually pick the England team Tony. He went on: “I am a big fan of his; I think he’s a quality defender, I really do, but that’s what Jamie is – a defender. I know we’ve seen Ledley King do that role holding in front of the back four, but I know we’ve mentioned how disappointed Darren Bent must have been, yet Michael Carrick must surely be fuming if again there’s a defender playing in front of him. He has been outstanding for Spurs this season and you need someone who can pass the ball and spray it around and that’s exactly what Carrick can do.”
One other player who might be disappointed is Peter Crouch, who’s likely to start on the bench tonight if the press have guessed correctly.