Skip to main contentAccess keys helpA-Z index

[an error occurred while processing this directive]
watch listen BBC Sport BBC Sport
Low graphics|Help
Last Updated: Thursday, 6 September 2007, 08:42 GMT 09:42 UK
Hansen's column
Alan Hansen
By Alan Hansen
BBC Sport football expert

Paul Robinson
Robinson could be in danger of losing his England place

I cannot see how goalkeeper Paul Robinson can play for England against Israel on Saturday - he has made too many mistakes recently.

The thing about goalkeepers is they not only have to have 100% confidence in themselves but everyone else also has to have 100% confidence in them as well.

And I think that confidence has gone. I am not saying Paul Robinson won't be back but I think he needs a period of rehabilitation.

So I feel that Steve McClaren will pick David James, who has also made mistakes in the past but I believe they have been down to lapses in concentration and I feel that the older James has got, the better he has got.

But there remains the dilemma - because James has made errors as well.

At the other end of the pitch, I think Andrew Johnson should partner Michael Owen in attack.

With those two through the middle England won't have a lot of height there. But there will be a lot of pace and movement and given the limited options England have got right now, I think they would be the most natural pair.

England also have problems in midfield, where they could be without Frank Lampard and Steven Gerrard.

Even though some top players are missing, England really should be able to beat Israel at Wembley

Alan Hansen

If they both miss out, then I'd expect Owen Hargreaves and Michael Carrick to step into the breach. The difficulty is that both are holding players, but there isn't really anybody else England can put in there.

Because of the pair's natural defensive tendencies, it could leave England struggling to get forward. Yet it might release the wide men - I would choose Shaun Wright-Phillips and Joe Cole - to provide support for the strikers.

Wright-Phillips has been playing exceptionally well and he also made an impact when he came on against Germany in August. I think he will give England some balance - along with Cole on the left - but admittedly it is not a perfect set-up.

Where England are strong, though, is across the back four.

Lining up with Micah Richards, John Terry, Rio Ferdinand and Ashley Cole, I don't expect England to have any problems in this area.

And the bottom line is that, even though some top players are missing, England really should be able to put out a side good enough beat Israel at Wembley.

  • Alan Hansen was talking to Ian Hughes

    Hargreaves adds to McClaren woes
    06 Sep 07 |  Internationals
    Benayoun aiming to stifle England
    06 Sep 07 |  Internationals
    Lampard ruled out of Israel match
    04 Sep 07 |  Internationals
    Heskey pleads for England chance
    04 Sep 07 |  Internationals
    Pick your England XI
    31 Aug 07 |  Internationals
    Bentley & Young in England squad
    31 Aug 07 |  Internationals
    Beckham out of England qualifiers
    31 Aug 07 |  Football


    The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

    Daily and weekly e-mails | Mobiles | Desktop Tools | News Feeds | Interactive Television | Downloads
    Sport Homepage | Football | Cricket | Rugby Union | Rugby League | Tennis | Golf | Motorsport | Boxing | Athletics | Snooker | Horse Racing | Cycling | Disability sport | Olympics 2012 | Sport Relief | Other sport...

    Help | Privacy & Cookies Policy | News sources | About the BBC | Contact us