Every English footballer dreams of playing at Wembley, and that dream has recently become closer than ever even for the common man. The FA Umbro Fives is the only five-a-side competition that gives the participants a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to win a title at Wembley and go through the same experience as teams playing a real Cup final, and it has inspired me to write a piece on the best English five-a-side team at the moment.
Keeper: Joe Hart
The future England number one could be the solution to national team’s biggest problem and his stunning saves at the start of the season have seen Manchester City fans forget all about Shay Given. Hart’s cat-like reflexes make him the perfect choice for the five-a-side goalie and he is definitely the one I would hire to keep opposition strikers at bay.
Player 1: Wayne Rooney
Even at Manchester United, Rooney runs around the pitch like mad, passing, shooting, tackling and harassing the opposition players and this is exactly the kind of player you would want for a five-a-side team. The problem would be to make him sit on the bench every once in a while, but that’s something not even Sir Alex Ferguson has succeeded in doing.
Player 2: Scott Parker
This may be a surprise inclusion for some of you, but since playing in tight spaces is Parker’s specialty, he would be one of key players in this team. I cannot remember the last time I saw the West Ham midfielder lose the ball, while his tackling and stamina wouldn’t be of harm either.
Player 3: Joe Cole
Every five-a-side team need one true artist and that has got to be Joe Cole. His football career is hardly blossoming at the moment, so maybe this can be the right time to ponder a switch to five-a-side. His impeccable technique makes him extremely difficult to guard, while his low centre of gravity only adds to the list of problems for his opponents.
Player 4: Bobby Zamora
If we disregard his injury for the time being, Bobby Zamora has got everything a five-a-side forward needs. He is extremely strong and therefore capable of holding onto the ball and laying it to his teammates, as well as shooting from almost every position on the pitch.
Sub 1: Steven Gerrard
Being one of the most complete players in the world, Steve G has got to make this team, even though the substitute status might be a bit harsh on him.
Sub 2: Phil Jagielka
Having played as a midfielder for a long time, the Everton defender has got the necessary passing skills to feature in this team, while his defensive qualities would be of big help when guarding the hard-earned lead.
Manager: Martin O’Neill
It would be hard to decide the manager of this side, but since Martin O’Neill is the only top gaffer that is also available, I’ll go with him.
Feel free to share your thoughts on this team and submit your own English five-a-side selections.
FA Umbro Fives
The FA Umbro Fives is the national 5-a-side competition organised by the English FA. The final will be played at Wembley, with participating teams going through the same experience as teams playing a real cup final and the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to score / win a title at Wembley.
The TheFA.com/UmbroFives website has all the details on how to sign up, plus highlights from previous finals, tips on 5-a-side football from Umbro. You also have the chance to win TEN tickets to an England match throug the FA Umbro Fives’ Facebook page, so check that out too.
Here’s the tournament preview video – have a look and share your thoughts in the comments:
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