Anorak News | Diamond Lights

Diamond Lights

by | 17th, June 2004

‘THERE are only two possible formations in which England’s footballers can line up – 4-4-2 or the diamond.

England will need more than charisma tonight

Anything else – like Terry Venables’ famous Christmas tree – is beyond the wit of the players and certainly beyond the wit of the football hacks.

So, having played with “two banks of four” against the French, Sven Goran Eriksson is planning to surprise the Swiss tonight by playing what the Express describes as the “infamous” diamond formation.

Unfortunately, all the papers have picked up on this tactical masterstroke and have tipped off the Swiss.

The Mail says the England coach is preparing to gamble the team’s Euro 2004 hopes on the formation.

“It seems to be a huge risk considering England will almost certainly be eliminated if they fail to win,” it says.

Actually, a draw and a win against Croatia will see England through assuming that France go through the group unbeaten. Defeat would, however, be the end of the road.

It goes without saying that Eriksson will take the blame if England don’t win and yesterday he warned his players not to take the opposition lightly.

“I am confident that we are going to win,” he told the Express. “That is our objective.”

Knowing that England will go into the game trying to win will no doubt put heart into the team’s supporters and fear into the Swiss opposition.

But, just in case something goes wrong with the game-plan, Eriksson was getting ready with the excuses yesterday, with the heat the main culprit.

Expect to read about England players wilting in 90 degree temperatures if they fail tonight, the diamond melting in the stifling heat.

Swiss playmaker Hakan Yakin accused England of being “a team of many stars and few workers”, adding that the English defence was not convincing.

“This way, they will never arrive at the highest level because they treat themselves as favourites and never fulfil that tag,” he tells the Star in a rare moment of insight.

Just see what happens tomorrow if we win the game. The talk will not be of Croatia, but of how we’re now going to win the whole tournament.’

Posted: 17th, June 2004 | In: Back pages Comment | TrackBack | Permalink