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Eriksson voices England shortcomings

May 19, 2004 13:07 IST

England coach Sven-Goran Eriksson says his squad for next month's European championship in Portugal has shortcomings in goal and up front.

"David James has done well and I have great faith in him but we don't have a Gordon Banks figure in goal," Eriksson was quoted as saying in British newspapers on Wednesday. Banks was the goalkeeper when England won the 1966 World Cup on home soil.

The Swede said there was a gap in class between first choice James and his deputies, Paul Robinson and Ian Walker.

"Beyond James there's something of a void in the position, which is unusual for England, who have a tradition of great goalkeepers," added Eriksson.

Eriksson, who named strikers Michael Owen, Wayne Rooney, Emile Heskey and Darius Vassell in his Euro 2004 squad on Monday, also believes England lack depth up front.

"It's our attack which is our weak point. We don't have as much cover as in other positions," he said.

"Owen is our top man. He's had injury problems and was not scoring for a while but he has recovered and he's at his best in the big games.

"Then we have Rooney, with his imagination and intelligence. But apart from those two, we don't have world class strikers."

However, Eriksson said his squad was strong in defence and midfield.

"Our defenders are strong and our midfielders brave and skilful," he said.

"Steven Gerrard is an excellent left-sided midfielder and we have seldom lost with him in the side."

England, who fell at the first hurdle at Euro 2000 but reached the World Cup quarter-finals two years later, open their campaign in Euro 2004 Group B against holders France on June 13 before facing Switzerland and Croatia.

Eriksson must submit his official squad for Portugal by June 2.

Source:
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