Resolved:England Will Pull Off An Upset And Proceed To The Round Of 16 Of the 2014 World Cup
Debate Rounds (4)
Yes, England may be in what you call, this World Cup's "Group of Death" along with Italy, Uruguay and Costa Rica. To start things off, without disrespect, I believe that we can take Costa Rica out of the frame since, let's face it, they're playing for the heck of it. Then there's Uruguay, I'd say England's predominant opponent, in which I am basically implying that Italy is almost for sure placing first in the bracket as they are a team who excels in tournaments (cept 2010). Many, more like most, people are discounting England in this tournament however I'd like to remind my opponent that Roy Hodgson has chosen a very talented, young squad with a lot of attacking flair, dropping many veterans such as Ashley Cole. Don't forget, this is an England team who dismantled Peru 3-0 just a few days ago. With the on-fire Danny Sturridge, young and fresh Barkley and Sterling, and solid defensive support down in the back with Baines, Cahill, Jagielka and Hart; many teams will find it very hard to break this team down. Defenses will have a nightmare trying to deal with the pacy English players. Yes, yes I know Uruguay have Cavani and Suarez; nevertheless, their defense, except the powerhouse in Godin, is far too weak and will have a hellish time trying to deal with the talented English offense. Though time will tell, England definitely have a very solid chance in qualifying for the round of 16, and by even potentially placing first in their bracket. England will, no doubt, prove to be a great dark horse in this upcoming World Cup.
So my opponent basically concedes that Italy is going to place first. I have no problem agreeing. We meet on this point.
Basically what this debate comes down to, then, is the fight amongst three nations for the sole remaining spot. I will argue that Uruguay is the nation that will ultimately claim this spot.
Contention 1. Firepower
My opponent has addressed the fact that Edinson Cavani and Luis Suarez are on the Uruguayan national team. These are the two strongest goalscorers in the world. This season, with Cavani pushed into an unfamiliar wide role, he was mitigated by Laurent Blanc's PSG side in favor of Zlatan Ibrahimovic. However, in the National Team, Oscar Tabarez has been known to use the 4-4-2 format, utilizing both of the powerful strikers in order to maximize the attacking flair and prowess of his side.
Meanwhile, Rooney and Sturridge are to be the catalysts of Roy Hodgson's side. The problem with this is clear. Rooney has been a central focus of the Manchester United side this year, and benefited from it. However, without the touches that he received in the season, he will revert to being the Rooney of 2012-2013, where he played second fiddle to Robin van Persie and saw a big drop-off in production. His varying degrees of failure for his international squad is also a major concern. An aging Steven Gerrard does not bode well either.
Contention 2. Momentum
Let's talk momentum here briefly. Heading into the Group Stage, England will face Italy first, with Uruguay facing Costa Rica. As my opponent states that Costa Rica is playing "for the heck of it", it is quite clear that Uruguay is the superior side and an overwhelming favorite to win it. Therefore with England facing the Juggernaut that is Italy, it is clear that Uruguay will have momentum on their side as they head into the second game, where Uruguay and England will face off against each other, which may prove to be the pivotal game.
Contention 3. Squad Choices
It's easy to point at the new exciting players in the English squad and have a sense of awe, but the inexperience of Ross Barkley, Raheem Sterling, and Luke Shaw will prove to be a factor that prohibits Hodgson from picking them, as he has shown in the past. That means that Hodgson will deploy less talented players in favor of experience, which may not be able to handle the Forlan-Cavani-Suarez front that Tabarez is likely to deploy.
Contention 4. Past
My last argument revolves around the specific matchups of each country in the group. England has always been vulnerable to Italy, and have been destroyed by Andrea Pirlo in almost every matchup. However, Uruguay have been able to match up favorably with Italy, losing on penalties to the Italian side in a heated affair in the Confederations Cup, which they should have won but for the disallowance of Cavani's goal in the 32nd minute, a controverial off-side call. If any side in Group D has the ability to defeat Italy, it is Uruguay, who also have the second best chance of advancing after the Italians.
So the major concerns with England heading into the world cup means that it is likely to be unable to progress. While Sturridge and Rooney make for a powerful attacking combo, Rooney's tendency to be a no-show in these international moments and Sturridge's relative inexperience means that the Cavani-Suarez duo will outshine them and outfire them.
The defense is also a wash, with the ever impressive Diego Godin an aerial threat to score, as he did in the Champions League Final, and an in-form Fernando Muslera, compared to the erratic Joe Hart.
It is quite clear that once analyzed logically that Uruguay, not England are the team to break through to the Round of 16.
As my opponent and I have firmly agreed that the main debate lies upon the performances and outcomes of Uruguay and England, I believe that, I, to win this debate, shall have the burden of having to prove why England has the overall more capable squad.
Now, moving on to my contentions
Contention 1. Youth
The best thing Roy Hodgson has done during his time as the English manager might as well be his decision to pursue a more youthful squad and leave out frail veterans i.e.: Defoe, Cole and Carrick for this upcoming World Cup. Hodgson has opted to select a very young squad with great amounts of attacking flair, energy and pace. With Sturridge, the second top scorer in the EPL this season, leading the line of a powerful offense consisting of Rooney(who offers a great deal of experience), Sterling and Ox-Chamberlain(whom both offer blistering pace that defenders will no doubt have great trouble with defending), Wilshere and Lallana(whom offer excellent vision and creativity), etc. (I can name many more), the below par Uruguay defense will find it very difficult to manage anything better than one or two goals given away.
Contention 2. Uruguay"s Lack of Support
Yes, admittedly, a Suarez and Cavani combo is no doubt excellent. However, the main problem that lies in the Uruguay squad is their midfield. For the offense of a team to excel, ones midfield must be capable of supporting the strikers. However, the Uruguay have a very poor midfield in comparison to that of England. Suarez and Cavani will not be able to perform to their most extensive level without a fully supporting midfield. On the other hand, yes Suarez + Cavani are both much better than Sturridge+Rooney; however, England still have a solid foundation in the midfield, lead by Steven Gerrard along with one of Liverpool"s best players this season: Jordan Henderson. Despite having no doubt one of the best offenses in the entire tournament, Uruguay"s supporting midfield will be a great let-down for the South American side.
England are definitely on their way to the knock-out stages because of their speedy, youthful side that will exploit Uruguay"s defensive weaknesses and overall better squad. What would you rather choose? A strong offense that is unable to deliver to their full potential due to a flimsy midfield, or an all-rounded squad without any significant weakness in any aspect?
mrnephew forfeited this round.
Lawrentian forfeited this round.
In his contention 1, there is the point that Roy Hodgson's excellent choice to insert youth into the starting lineup has rejuvenated the squad and thus create a better team, but that is a moot point, as we have all seen his tendencies to go with the older, more experienced lineup regardless of the talent of his youth. It will not have big impacts on games if the youngsters are used as substitutes in case of injury, and as such, will not make a mark on the games.
My opponent also mentions the weak defence as a concern for Uruguay. But in reality, we can see that it is not a bad unit, in fact, with Diego God"n and Diego Lugano, who is a wily veteran of his own right. Those two paired in central defence can limit the impact that Daniel Sturridge might have on this game.
In response to Contention 2, Uruguay is not devoid of options in midfield. Gaston Ramirez had a great showing against Northern Ireland just a couple weeks ago, while Cristian Rodriguez is also a solid, if unspectacular player.
But the fact remains, this is not about who would win in a head to head matchup, (although I still believe Uruguay would win) but rather who would make it out of their group next to Italy. And there is plenty of evidence that I provided in my contentions that show the likelihood of Uruguay's winning against Italy and Costa Rica, while looking at the past could show the lackluster English side.
And as a team equipped with the tactical formation of a 4-4-2, the Uruguayan side does not necessarily need its midfielders consistently delivering splendid balls to Cavani and Suarez, but rather through a chain of short passes to reach the intended target.
And, even if it might have been a slip of the keyboard, I agree that Uruguay has the better overall squad, and I strongly maintain that Uruguay are the best team in the Group after Italy.
Lawrentian forfeited this round.
mrnephew forfeited this round.
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