Montenegro striker Mirko Vucinic has questioned the rationale behind England picking back-up central defenders Chris Smalling and Joleon Lescott in Podgorica on Tuesday night.
Mirko Vucinic has laid into Three Lions head coach Roy Hodgson for selecting out-of-favour defenders in crucial World Cup qualifier.
“I certainly do see that as a source of weakness because, if they do not play for their own clubs, I don’t see why their national coach should pick them for the team,” said Vucinic.
SOURCE: Sky Sports
Montenegro forward Mirko Vucinic has joined his coach Branko Brnovic in using the build-up to Tuesday night’s crucial World Cup Group H qualifier against England in Podgorica to lay into his opponents with a barrage of criticism.
The home side’s excitable manager lit the pre-match touchpaper by stating that Roy Hodgson and Co were running scared of his side, and went on to claim that the English media were already making excuses for the inevitable defeat that is awaiting them in this tiny Balkan state.
And now the Juventus centre forward has followed his boss’ lead by jumping on the bandwagon and launching a scathing attack on Three Lions centre-backs Chris Smalling and Joleon Lescott.
The eagle-eyed Vucinic feels that the duo are “a source of weakness” in the visitors’ team because neither defender plays regularly for their respective clubs back in the Premier League, Manchester United and Manchester City.
However, while the Montenegrin is correct when he points out that neither player is on present showing a first-choice pick at either Old Trafford or the Etihad stadium, the pair have been selected more regularly at international level.
For starters, Lescott has been involved in 24 contests for the Premier League champions to date this campaign, although seven of those did come via the substitutes’ bench, and a further five internationals with the Three Lions, while Smalling has made 20 appearances for the Red Devils in a season badly interrupted by niggling injuries, with five of those coming as a sub, and two more for his national team.
Smalling and Lescott will have to shake off the cobwebs quickly, and the Montenegro strikers who will be their direct opposition will be a concern. Fearsome duo Vucinic and Stevan Jovetic are sure to have their hands full come kick-off time.