Sunday, 7 November 2010

Why is Cueto Still in the England Team?

Mark Cueto
Cueto: Not good enough!!
I’m a Sale Sharks supporter (for my sins) and it was brilliant to see Sheri back in an England Jersey, the dodgy Aussie scrum ought to be pretty nervous. Naturally I also had my eye on the other Sale man on the pitch, Mark Cueto. If you have ever had the displeasure of watching the Sale Sharks you’ll have noticed (if you weren’t already asleep) that we don’t exactly have the most exciting backline in the world. Now I promise I’m not blogging about Sale’s woes,  let’s be honest, nobody really cares. No, I wanna ask a question, why the hell is Mark Cueto still in the England team?

I repeat, I’m a Sale Fan, and a huge admirer of Cueto. But the guy doesn’t score tries, doesn’t counter attack, doesn’t make hard yards in midfield, doesn’t really do much with the ball, at least not at the highest level. He is a great kicker, He’s positionally aware, solid in defence, but that’s not enough. Compared with Foden and Ashton, who were constantly looking for work, his lack of spark was seriously shown up yesterday 

By the Way Cueto is not the worst player in the England team. Personally I give that mantle to Mike Tindall. I don’t care what he has achieved, you can’t be in the centre at test level and not possess basic handling skills (although I suppose Paul Scholes has had a pretty useful career as a midfielder without being able to tackle).

The reason I’m picking on Cueto is that England actually have options out wide. Either Armitage or Foden (depending on who’s wearing 15) could do a better job. David Strettle offers more pace, so does Ugo Monye and the in-form Topsy Ojo. All these guys have caps already and have played well for Engalnd on one occasion or another. More importantly all these guys (with the possible exception of Monye) are playing for teams with confidence. All the ‘risky’ selections of the last twelve months (Youngs, Lawes, Foden and Ashton) have paid off. These are the guys who are making England look remotely dynamic.

People are right to be positive about England yesterday, but they still lack cutting edge in attack. There were some positive signs, but they also failed to create a single clean break. England’s backline problems run deeper than one player, there is no doubt about that, but this is one issue  with a simple solution. It’s a total no-brainer, Cueto needs to go.

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