The New England Era?

Discussion in 'International Test Matches' started by ollybarkley, Oct 16, 2008.

  1. ollybarkley

    ollybarkley Guest

    I for one am very excited to see where Brian Smith and Martin Johnson take England leading into the 2011 World Cup. I know that it will be a long and slow process, just like it was for Woodward, but as long as the RFU sit back and allow MJ and Smith to do the job, I think there is serious potential here. Part of the cause for optimism is that I think MJ is the type of leader who will begin to stick with a core of players and work with them towards 2011.
     
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  3. Bullitt

    Bullitt Guest

    What's brought on the optimism? Selecting the same crap players as AR and BA did before them or The wealth of experience and prooven track record the head coach now has?

    England is still the same private plaything of Rob Andrew and Francis Baron, these days they are simply using a new, Martin Johnson shaped glove puppet to control proceedings.

    Nothing will change.
     
  4. Prestwick

    Prestwick Guest

    I disagree. On one count at least. Lets look at the elite squad:

    First the backs:

    Danny Care Scrum-half Harlequins
    Harry Ellis Scrum-half Leicester Tigers
    Peter Richards Scrum-half London Irish
    Toby Flood Fly-half Leicester Tigers
    Jonny Wilkinson Fly-half Newcastle Falcons
    Olly Barkley Inside centre Gloucester
    Riki Flutey Inside centre London Wasps
    Shane Geraghty Inside centre London Irish
    Dan Hipkiss Outside centre Leicester Tigers
    Jamie Noon Outside centre Newcastle Falcons
    Paul Sackey Wing London Wasps
    James Simpson-Daniel Wing Gloucester Rugby
    Tom Varndell Wing Leicester Tigers
    Josh Lewsey Fullback London Wasps
    Mathew Tait Full back Sale Sharks


    George Chuter Hooker Leicester Tigers
    Dylan Hartley Hooker Northampton Saints
    Lee Mears Hooker Bath Rugby
    Tim Payne Prop London Wasps
    Andrew Sheridan Prop Sale Sharks
    Matt Stevens Prop Bath Rugby
    Phil Vickery Prop London Wasps
    Steve Borthwick Lock Saracens
    Nick Kennedy Lock London Irish
    Tom Palmer Lock London Wasps
    Simon Shaw Lock London Wasps
    Tom Croft Flanker Leicester Tigers
    James Haskell Flanker London Wasps
    Lewis Moody Flanker Leicester Tigers
    Tom Rees Flanker London Wasps
    Jordan Crane Number eight Leicester Tigers
    Luke Narraway Number eight Gloucester Rugby

    I think when you look at the squad, evolution is better than revolution. You do realise that the World Cup was the first time that had managed to play more or less the same squad twice? We've had so much chopping and changing over the past five years, its got to stop.

    When you look at the players in that elite squad, the likes of Crane, Croft, Kennedy, Stevens and Hartley have performed. Ditto the likes of Hipkiss, Care, Simpson-Daniel and Flood in the backs.

    The players are there. Its just up to the coaching team to pick the buggers. Personally, introducing Abba-dabba-doo & Bannanaman from Bath and Cipriani when the new year comes will be paramount.
     
  5. ollybarkley

    ollybarkley Guest

    I agree with you Prestwick... I think the players are there... we just have to select them accordingly and stick with them once we decide on the style that we want to play. I think Martin Johnson understands the importance of having that continuity and Brian Smith has the right gameplan to utilize the talent and potential that is there.

    I think Smith offers us a way to play some attractive, expansive rugby, that still has shape and structure. He has done it with Irish, proving that if you get the right people playing the right way, then you can make things happen.
     
  6. Prestwick

    Prestwick Guest

    I think the agreement to limit those who play for England and prevent swapping players in and out or even between the Elite and Saxon squads is a good idea as it forces coaches to think a little harder about selection and helps foster consistent selection. I'm sure having unrestricted swapping and selection like before may be good, especially if the squad you've chosen isn't in form, but you simply cannot trust England to choose a squad and stick with it.
     
  7. Bullitt

    Bullitt Guest

    So where will Brian smiths attractive rugby come from when we've got Johnson and Rowntree "in charge" to push the 1993 Leicester tactic of stick-it-up-yer-jumper?

    This is assuming they don't continue with Rob Andrews patented Newcastle falcons tactic of hoof it down field and... hoof it down field again.
     
  8. Prestwick

    Prestwick Guest

    Rob Andrews shouldn't have a role now, especially with a growling pit bull with the name tag of "Martin Johnson".

    Martin knows that his role is equally as vague as Rob Andrews and is using that to his advantage. Are you seriously suggesting that Johnson will let Andrew and Wells walk all over him? Nope, not happening.

    As long as the coaches keep to their assigned roles (Rowntree shouldn't even be involved in tactics as he's just there to keep the scrums ticking over) and if the forwards produce quick ball and win line outs, who cares what Wells, Ford and Rowntree do?!

    At the end of the day, this isn't wishy washy Brian Ashton we're talking about.
     
  9. Bullitt

    Bullitt Guest

    I hope you're correct, but I'll reserve my right to be skeptical.
     
  10. Prestwick

    Prestwick Guest

    On the issue of the influence of Wells, definitely, your skepticism may well bear fruit.

    However, on the issue of Andrews and Rowntree, I wouldn't be surprised if Johnson has already told the former to sod off and reminded the latter of his (minor) place in the Coaching feeding chain.
     
  11. ollybarkley

    ollybarkley Guest

    Once again you and I are on the same page Prestwick.

    I think that MJ has more than likely told Andrew to not meddle with his team, and Rowntree is there to caoch the forwards and keep our set-piece in working order... and that's it.

    Smith is the man who will decide how the team will attack and what pieces of that puzzle he is looking for, or where he sees them around the country so that he can select them. I think Smith will be given a fairly open mandate with Johnson, as for obvious reasons, I see Johnson spending most of his time with the forwards coaches, but also staying out of the way and being a team manager and not a coach, so to speak.
     
  12. Bullitt

    Bullitt Guest

    You are forgetting one thing however; Martin Johnson didn't want to be England Coach until Baron came along waving the latest stock interest from the RFU, when he had an amazing change of heart (funny that).

    Now, Martin Johnsons boss is Rob Andrew. I don't give a toss what anyone like Delbotandrodneyio says, you cannot tell your boss to "stick it" and remain in a job for long. Meanwhile Rob Andrew has always wanted to be the top dog in English Rugby. He's also a whiny little ******* who runs sulking to uncle Francis when he doesn't get his own way.

    If Rob Andrew wants to be in charge, Rob Andrew will be in charge. Anyone who thinks otherwise is a communist.
     
  13. QLD

    QLD Guest

    Quiet you scoundrels and give Prestwick the respect he deserves.

    Important for the economical potential factor England are - they will do the complete opposite of what NZ are good at. Do shithouse between world cup years but suddenly do well at the WC.
     
  14. gingergenius

    gingergenius Guest

    <div class='quotetop'>QUOTE (Prestwick @ Oct 16 2008, 08:27 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}></div>
    With any luck abendanon won't get anywhere near england. He's off the same production line as Balshaw. Like Lamb appears to be the new Hodgson. Great club players, liability at international level.

    Otherwise I agree with you.
     
  15. ollybarkley

    ollybarkley Guest

    I understand the comments about Andrews, but I think this past NZ tour showed what the team will be like if he is too involved in the coaching structure. And, as much as Andrew is the way he is..... less said the better, I think Johnson will have come in with a certain view of what he wants, and I think he will have made it very clear that if he is given the position, that things would be done his way, and without interference.

    As a back I am mainly looking there for Smith's new innervations.

    9- I think he will go with Care and Ellis, depending on who is on form. Both are good players IMHO, but I think Care offers more in attack, while Ellis is better defensively.

    10- I think Cipriani will be given opportunity to play here, provided his defense and his temperment hold out. He is certainly equipped with a strong attacking game, a decent kicking game, and an openness and creativity that England haven't possessed in the #10 shirt for a long time. Wilko is the safety blanket when healthy, and for now Flood is the man who will be battling with Cipriani for the spot...and probably be the back-up if he succeeds. Flood has a decent kicking game and his ball skills are decent enough, but I don't think he is good enough on attack to be Smith's #1 choice.

    11 + 14- JSD and Sackey I think will be the starters, with Ojo and Strettle pushing for those spots. All 4 are solid attackers who are proven finishers who can take people on one on one and do real damage and to finish the good work that could be done by the people in front of them, and those inside them. Sackey and JSD are both the head of the pack because of what they offer- Sackey is the best defender, and JSD has the best all around game. He's got pace, step, and ball skills, and isn't bad in defence either.

    12- I think you'll see Smith taking a liking to Barkley and Geraghty, depending on who is inside of them. Barkley partners Flood well, while I see Geraghty and Cipriani interchanging often and well...and man how that ball will travel. Barkley can also work with Cipriani, providing a bit more solidity and structure, as well as relieving him of the kicking duties so that he can concentrate on attacking the line and running the attack.

    13- Based on what Smith did at Irish, I can see him picking Hipkiss... a hard running, strong tackling, center with a bit of step. Tindall and Noon are not up to playing in Smith's framework, although if he did take one, it would be Tindall, who can at least pass a little bit, and make the hard yards, but he offers no pace to the midfield.

    15- Remember Peter Hewitt for Irish? Kinda slow, big boot, pretty solid under the high ball and decent in defense. I think this experience might be how Mike Brown gets another shot at the 15 jumper for England. Brown is a bit slow, and will miss some tackles because of it, but he does run good lines in attack, has decent mitts, and can hoof a ball a long way.
     
  16. Bullitt

    Bullitt Guest

    <div class='quotetop'>QUOTE (gingergenius @ Oct 17 2008, 07:57 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}></div>
    Would you kiss your mother with those lips? :mellow:

    Granted, he's not Mils Muliaina, but Abendanon is certainly not a bad player. In fact he's rather good. He at least deserves a chance to have a go, if he screws up, fine cast him out. On the other hand he may thrive on the international stage, we won't know until he's given the chance.

    ob, a few interesting points.

    SH: Agreed that Care and Ellis are the likely pair of front runners for the shirt, Care for the Talent, Ellis for the club he plays at. I wouldn't be surprised if Ben Foden is brought up through the ranks at Saxons level soon either after his recent performances, but I'll be happy if he's not picked for the national team. I'm biased and would rather selfishly keep him at Northampton.

    OH: Cipriani and Flood. No arguments there until Geherety returns to his early 2007 form.

    Wings: JSD I agree is a must. A pity he never gets selected. Sackey on the other hand is a liability defensively and lazy in attack, God only knows why he keeps getting selected (oh yeah, Wasps...). Strettle must be brought back up (assuming he can ever stay fit), meanwhile use Ojo. I also this it's more a case of "when" as opposed to "if" Chris Ashton forces his way into the England 14 shirt.

    IC: I know you are a huge Barkley fan, but seriously? He's been rubbish for Gloucester all year and never been good for England, why will that change now? We're more likely to see Rikki Flutey make his presence felt alongside Cipriani in the coming months. Allen, if he ever get back to his best, deserves a crack at making the place his own also. Failing that, Geherety (as you said) would slot into the role nicely, although he would be a weak link in the defensive line.

    OC: Hipkiss has been a favorite of mine for a while, but he needs to get back to his passing ways of 2 years ago and loose this image all English 13s aim for of a big meat head who only plays crash ball - A real shame Jon Clarke was crocked by Noons clumsiness 2 years ago, he would have been perfect but has never been the same since. Tait would do a good passing game, but again is a defensive weakness and is highly over-rated for his running. God only knows who else is available that doesn't suck.

    15: I'm with Prestwick and would like to see Abendananananananananananananananananon given a shot. Maybe some adventurous play by running it from deep instead of just hoofing it all day may be the key to solving Englands problems... If so, why not use the best running fullback in the country? His deference is alright (not brilliant, just alright) but he's secure under a high ball and seems tough enough to cope with the rough and tumble.
     
  17. ollybarkley

    ollybarkley Guest

    Glad we do have some agreement about some things.

    I think Barkley's problems have come down to a bit of a lack of confidence. I think he has always been worried about being dropped, and the coaching staffs have not helped in that regard in the slightest. I think he has performed reasonably well this season from what I've seen so far, but the same type of selection at Gloucester seems to be affecting him there, with Ryan constantly changing his line-up. As the HC rolls on, I think Barkley and Tindall will become the mainstays in midfield.

    Agree with you about Sackey being lazy on attack. I personally would rather have Ojo. He might not be quite as good defensively, but I'll take his explosiveness and work ethic off of the ball over Sackey's.

    Also agree with you about Hipkiss and his passing. It's one of those things that you know he can do better, but he doesn't seem to be doing it. Must be a Tigers thing.

    Would be quite happy with Abendanon at the back. I love having a pacy, attacking 15 who is keen to counter. Yes, he defence isn't great, but I agree with you that it has improved.

    Have heard a lot about Ashton, but in all honesty I have not seen him play, so I can't comment there.

    My initial ideas were about the kind of pieces that I have seen Smith employ at Irish, and how I thought those could translate to the England set-up. I'm a big fan of Geraghty as well, but I'm not sure he's a 10. Him and Barkley together at 10 and 12 could work though I think.

    Think Tait might be the biggest person hurt by Smith who doesn't completely suck. I don't think he runs hard enough to be a 13 in Smith's system, can't pass or kick well enough to play 12, and is lost on the wing. The only spot he might compete for is 15 in my mind.... and he's losing that race.
     
  18. Bullitt

    Bullitt Guest

    I also just remembered Olly Smith (regarding Outside centre). He always looked useful and maybe the move to France could have rejuvenated him a bit.
     
  19. ollybarkley

    ollybarkley Guest

    He's got to be a better option than either Noon or Tindall at this stage.
     
  20. gingergenius

    gingergenius Guest

    <div class='quotetop'>QUOTE (Teh Mite @ Oct 17 2008, 09:39 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}></div>
    Would you kiss your mother with those lips? :mellow:

    Granted, he's not Mils Muliaina, but Abendanon is certainly not a bad player. In fact he's rather good. He at least deserves a chance to have a go, if he screws up, fine cast him out. On the other hand he may thrive on the international stage, we won't know until he's given the chance.

    ob, a few interesting points.

    SH: Agreed that Care and Ellis are the likely pair of front runners for the shirt, Care for the Talent, Ellis for the club he plays at. I wouldn't be surprised if <strike>Ben Foden</strike> Micky Wilson is brought up through the ranks at Saxons level soon either after his recent performances, but I'll be happy if he's not picked for the national team. I'm biased and would rather selfishly keep him at Northampton.

    OH: Cipriani and Flood. No arguments there until Geherety returns to his early 2007 form.

    Wings: JSD I agree is a must. A pity he never gets selected. Sackey on the other hand is a liability defensively and lazy in attack, God only knows why he keeps getting selected (oh yeah, Wasps...). Strettle must be brought back up (assuming he can ever stay fit), meanwhile use Ojo. I also this it's more a case of "when" as opposed to "if" <strike>Chris Ashton</strike> Noah Cato forces his way into the England 14 shirt.

    IC: I know you are a huge Barkley fan, but seriously? He's been rubbish for Gloucester all year and never been good for England, why will that change now? We're more likely to see Rikki Flutey make his presence felt alongside Cipriani in the coming months. Allen, if he ever get back to his best, deserves a crack at making the place his own also. Failing that, Geherety (as you said) would slot into the role nicely, although he would be a weak link in the defensive line.

    OC: Hipkiss has been a favorite of mine for a while, but he needs to get back to his passing ways of 2 years ago and loose this image all English 13s aim for of a big meat head who only plays crash ball - A real shame <strike>Jon Clarke</strike> Kevin Sorrell was crocked by Noons clumsiness 2 years ago, he would have been perfect but has never been the same since. Tait would do a good passing game, but again is a defensive weakness and is highly over-rated for his running. God only knows who else is available that doesn't suck.

    15: I'm with Prestwick and would like to see Abendananananananananananananananananon given a shot. Maybe some adventurous play by running it from deep instead of just hoofing it all day may be the key to solving Englands problems... If so, why not use the best running fullback in the country? His deference is alright (not brilliant, just alright) but he's secure under a high ball and seems tough enough to cope with the rough and tumble.
    [/b][/quote]

    can you see what i did there?

    balshaw = quick, looks lovely going forward. prone to making huge matchlosing cockups because of moments of stupidity.

    abendanon = looks equally lovely going forward. couldn't even tackle me if he wanted to; and i don't want another england 15 chucking huge miss passes around in the 22 and taking stupid risks.
     
  21. Bullitt

    Bullitt Guest

    Yeah, you took my post, ignored the valid points I was making and replaced the player names with nobodys from Saracens then made yourself look like a complete cock.

    Again.
     
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