Andy Gray: Player-for-player England are better than Poland

Sharethematch.com ambassador Andy Gray was talking exclusively to tribalfootball.com…
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Sharethematch.com ambassador Andy Gray was talking exclusively to tribalfootball.com…

WITH John Terry out of the equation Roy Hodgson has a big decision as to who he pairs at centre back against Poland – and my gut feeling is he will go with Gary Cahill and Joleon Lescott.

Roy also has Phil Jagielka and Ryan Shawcross but he has quite liked Lescott throughout his time in charge of England.

However Joleon is out of the Manchester City side and that may go against him and likewise Cahill is not playing every game for Chelsea.

Ryan plays every game for Stoke City when he’s available though and so does Phil, so if you’re looking for that then you could see them getting the nod.

But as long as Roy doesn’t think they’re lacking match practice though I would fully expect him to choose Gary and Joleon.

Leighton Baines has had too few caps for the way he’s played over the last five years.

But there are very few positions where there is somebody of the quality of Ashley who is ahead of you, and that’s why he has 98 caps.

Roy will want to have a look at a few more players but I certainly think if he’s fit then Ashley would be back against Poland.

That’s what these games against weaker opposition in the group are for – if you can get to half time 2-0 or 3-0 then it gives you the opportunity to take off some of your established stars and have a look at the youngsters.

It also means the established stars don’t have to play 90 minutes which the club managers would be very happy about.

There’s no doubt Roy will pick his best side against Poland though. They aren’t a top-bracket team but I watched them at Euro 2012 and they’re certainly a threat.

But they’ve lost the Borussia Dortmund midfielder Jakub Blaszczykowski who’s an important player for them, and that’s definitely a blow.

England should be good enough to get some sort of result but Roy has to go into it and try to at worst get a draw. If they can then they would be in a fine place.

I watched Poland play Greece in the opening game at the Euros and I thought in the first half when they went 1-0 up they were fantastic.

They moved the ball well and Lewandowski was a threat but then in the second half it was like watching a different team.

They can be beaten – the Czechs did it in Warsaw – but England shouldn’t be frightened of them. Player for player England have a better team.

I think Roy will play Wayne as a deep lying forward midfield player, in that little hole,

just behind Danny Welbeck, Andy Carroll or Jermain Defoe.

If you look at those three Jermain is the one in form at the moment and I would expect him to start against Poland.

 
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