The Half-Time Whistle

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The Big Match


Good evening and welcome to our coverage of England’s friendly with Holland at Wembley. This is the first match in charge for Brian Clough and the whole country is excited to see how he gets on.

Holland come here, having only ever won once at Wembley when a Johann Cruyff-inspired Dutch side won 2-0 with both goals from Jan Peters. The last meeting between these two countries was at The Amsterdam Arena when two goals from Jermaine Defoe brought England back from 0-2 down, to gain a 2-2 draw. The last 4 meetings have produced draws and you have to go back to August 2001 when Sven’s England were beaten 0-2 at White Hart Lane.

Clough has had his plans thrown a little into confusion with John Terry’s late withdrawal with an ankle injury. That could open the way for a debut for either Billy Wright or Bobby Moore.

In the studio, we have two pundits who are eagerly awaiting this match, Ian Wright, no relation to Billy which will become obvious when you see him, and Alan Shearer.

Evening, gentlemen.

Alan, this is an important match, despite being a friendly, isn’t it?

AS: Aye, it is. Brian Clough’s first match in charge and we’re all keen to see how he lines up his team.

Ian, do you think he’ll play 2 wide men with just 1 up front, or will he go with 3 at the back, do you think?

IW: Erm I dunno, to be honest. I just want England to win. When those guys put on the England shirt they need to bleed for their country, I just want them to give their all tonight and….

Yes, er, thanks Ian. Well, we can now get the latest team news.

Yes, I can reveal that Brian Clough’s first selection as England manager has handed debut caps to 3 players. Bobby Charlton, Stanley Matthews and Bobby Moore.

Moore comes in for the injured John Terry, Charlton in for Gerrard and Matthews comes in on the right. Clough has chosen Rooney up on his own in a 4-5-1 formation.

So here are the two line-ups

Enlarge this image Click to see fullsize

Ok, thanks for that. Well, chaps, is that a gamble from Clough to include players as young as Moore and Charlton straight into the full side or should they have gone into the Under-21’s first?

AS: Erm, no, he may as well put them in a game like this, where the result doesn’t really matter. Otherwise he’s bringing them into an important game when England must win. Gerrard and Terry are out so why not see who could take their place.

IW: I agree with Al. You need to give kids a chance and see what they can do. I hope we get to see Lineker and Greaves later on too, and maybe Phil Jones, but we’ll see how things work out first.

Ok then, thanks for that. Well, we’ll take a break and be back with the match highlights.


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