England should use Danny Welbeck to stop Italy legend, says Paul Scholes

Former England midfielder Paul Scholes feels Danny Welbeck could do a job on Italy legend Andrea Pirlo next week

The Sport Review staff
By The Sport Review staff
danny welbeck
Manchester United striker Danny Welbeck Football.ua/Wikimedia

Paul Scholes believes Roy Hodgson should use Danny Welbeck to man-mark Andrea Pirlo when England face Italy in their World Cup opener.

The former England midfielder was part of the United side that got the better of Milan in the Champions League in 2010 as Sir Alex Ferguson assigned Park Ji-Sung with the task of marking Pirlo out of the game.

And Scholes hopes Hodgson has learnt his lessons from England’s quarter-final loss to Italy at the Euro 2012 quarter-finals and pays more attention to the 2006 World Cup winner in Manaus on 14 June.

Looking at the squad, Danny Welbeck – a good defender who can nick the ball well – could be an option and would be a bold decision, one which gives England a creative outlet, and saddles Pirlo with defensive work

Paul Scholes

“Against Italy in the heat we need all our ‘footballers’ to play. Possession is everything. Then there’s Pirlo,” Scholes wrote in Paddy Power blog.

“He was outstanding in the World Cup in 2006 and got three man of the match awards six years later at Euro 2012.

“Even though England’s Euro 2012 game against Italy finished 0-0, we paid nowhere near enough attention to him. Pirlo is not renowned for his athleticism, and he’s 35 now, but that day he ran 11.58 kilometres, more than any England player.

“He also had more passes (131) than England’s four starting midfielders.”

Scholes continued: “Roy Hodgson seems to have underestimated him in 2012, which surprised me given Alex Ferguson tactics previously to stifle Pirlo.

“In 2010 before Man United played AC Milan in the Champions League, Sir Alex gave very specific instructions on how to take care of Pirlo. Man-marking him was a huge part of our pre-game plan – I played against him when Milan beat us 3-0 at the San Siro in 2007. We didn’t man-mark him. He destroyed us. We learned, and it was painful.

“Park Ji-Sung was the perfect man for Pirlo in 2010 and never gave him kick (in a 7-2 aggregate victory). You could even see Pirlo getting frustrated and having little kicks out by the end.

“For Manaus, we need an ‘English Park Ji-Sung’ – one England player designated to man-mark him. Looking at the squad, Danny Welbeck (below) – a good defender who can nick the ball well – could be an option and would be a bold decision, one which gives England a creative outlet, and saddles Pirlo with defensive work.”

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