Having just watched England beat Egypt 3-1 I have a few conclusions. I'll do it player by player
1. Rob Green is adequate. He's a bit less gaffe prone than David James, and a lot more expereinced than Joe Hart. Hart will eventually be England's goalkeeper,but Green should start in South Africa.
2. Wes Brown is hardly a spectacular right back. Or centre back that matter. I can't see why Micah Richards isn't higher up in the queue, but I'll be hoping that Glen Johnson is fit.
3. Leighton Baines was ok, but again I'll be hoping Ashley Cole is fit.
4. Gerrard was a bit indifferent, much like is for Liverpool at the moment. He left a lot of chaseable balls which was disappointing. He wasn't terrible, but he was far from his best. By contrast James Milner looked like a world beater when he came on, and was relentless - I think he's booked his flight. Not saying he should start instead but Gerrard needs to bring his A game to South Africa.
5. Matthew Upson is a liability. It seems like not too long ago we had too many international class centre backs, so many that Sol Campbell ended up on the scrap heap. I think it might be time he was back in contention. Once again we can hope Rio Ferdinand is fully fit, but equally in terms of back up it would be nice if Ledley King could keep his knee together for a bit. Jonathan Woodgate is probably too crocked at this stage. Lescott is the same level of liability as Upson at this level.
6. John Terry has been in dodgy form for weeks,for obvious reasons. I've never been his biggest fan but right now he's the best fit centre back we have.
7. Theo Walcott ran a lot, bu his end product was lacking. Wright-Phillips was a lot more useful when he came on, so much so that I think he'll be going to South Africa. If Lennon is fit by then I think he'll be joining him ahead of Walcott. I've a feeling Beckham will be coming no matter what, which considering how mny positions he's played in at AC Milan is not necessarily a bad thing.
8. Lampard was a bit anonymous. Not awful, and he was playing in deeper role than he plays for Chelsea. Carrick was about the same when he replaced him, solid but unspectacular.
9. Defoe was busy, on another night he might have scored a couple but it was not to be. Crouch was fantastic as his replacement. He seems to be the opposite of Gerrard in that when he puts an England shirt on he looks like a world beater as opposed to the average striker that he is. These two should both be on the plane.
10. Rooney was pissed off that a lot of the starting 11 didn't seem to be trying. He was everywhere, because they weren't. As such he didn't get to show the form he's been showing for Manchester United. He seemed a lot more settled once Crouch and Wright-Phillips came on, possibly because he was no longer the only one putting a shift in. Carlton Cole didn't get enough time to make any real impact as his replacement.
11. Barry was as out of sorts as anyone in the first half, but seemed a lot better in the second half. A solid performance in all.
We'll need a lot of luck to win the World Cup. We'll need a lot of luck to get past the group stages if we play like we did in the first half.