Papers: Play Wayne up front
Never question the manager's team choice
The build-up to England’s game against Slovenia reminds me a little of our preparations for the final European Championship qualifier in Turkey in 2003. That was a make-or-break game dominated by a hullabaloo. We’d had Rio Ferdinand’s missed drugs test, the possible strike and when we flew to Istanbul, I couldn’t see how we could get a performance. But then we arrived in Turkey, we started focusing on the game and, from somewhere, we pulled out a great team performance. England can, and should, beat Slovenia if they play anything close to their capabilities. That starts with the right team being picked and I’ve made my feelings very clear. England must go with a five-man midfield with Wayne Rooney up front. [But] whatever has been said about player power, I’m sure the lads don’t need to tell the manager what XI to play. That should never happen. I would never dream of approaching Sir Alex Ferguson about the line-up. We’ll have discussions about how we’ve played or matters around the team, but you just don’t stray into the realm of selection. Gary Neville, The Times
James Lawton in The Independent says that one flash of inspiration from Wayne Rooney can lift the gloom surrounding England. He writes: "Despite the fear hanging over England, the power of a great player to change the destiny of a team must not be forgotten".
The Guardian, amongst others, report that free transfer Joe Cole will not be joining United, and instead will join Arsenal or Tottenham. However, that's contradicted by Spurs boss Harry Redknapp's thoughts in The Times. He says: "I've got a feeling that [a move to United] might be done. It wouldn't surprise me." But most signs point to Cole staying in London rather than moving up north.