Who’s on the Plane to Brazil ?

What is the best method to use when picking a squad ? Do you go with the tried and trusted, rewarding the players that got you to the tournament in the first place despite the fact that qualification was achieved almost a year previously. This was Sven Goran Erikson’s choice even if those players were carrying injuries that would mean they wouldn’t feature during the group games and only come on to get even more crippled in the early knockout phases.

Most punters insist that you should pick a squad based on current form. Capricorn Research feels that this is a very shortsighted approach to management. Players should only be picked on the form they are going to be in during the tournament.

Roy Hodgson has the option to wait until his charges have slugged each other to the brink of exhaustion at the end of the winter break challenged Premier League season and will not doubt base his selection on how well they do against a Peru side who are obviously only coming over for a jolly. Capricorn Research believes this will make very little difference to England’s relatively dismal prospects in June and July so is prepared to announce the squad now. One clear advantage of this would be to encourage the chosen ones to pull out of any dodgy 50-50 tackles between now and the end of the season.

Starting with goalkeepers why does everyone pick 3 ? When was the last time a team had to play 3 different ones in a tournament anway ? Picking two makes sense as it means we can have another place for outfield players. It’s not as if we are spoilt for choice in the position anyway. In case of serious emergency we could always put Wayne Rooney in goal. He has shown enthusiasm for the position in training and it has the added bonus that he wouldn’t be able to get in the way of his fellow strikers thus allowing England to play at twice the normal speed.

It’s surprising Man United haven’t thought of this, surely it has occurred to Robin Van Persie.

Of course we have to take Joe Hart, but this immediately brings up the biggest problem that faces the astrology of football, a lack of accurate birthtimes. The noon chart for Hart shows the Moon at 9 degrees Capricorn which is fine but if he was born in the evening he would have Pluto conjunct it and Uranus in square for the whole season. This transit can often mean the peak of a career but there is usually some element of surprise involved.

Now this kind of thing might be fine for someone like Luis Suarez who has had this combination aspecting his Mars for the last 12 months. Eccentricity in a striker is usually applauded even if it manifests in the occasional bit of cannibalism, but in a goalkeeper ?  The thing to do is take Hart and hope he was born in the first half of the day, thus allowing his natural Moon in Capricorn safe handling to be unaffected by these two heavyweights.

The substitute keeper place is very tricky. Ben Foster would not have made a Fabio Capello squad until hell freezes over because he dropped out of international duties in order to spend more time with his family / club but as Roy Hodgson was manager of that club he will obviously be going to Brazil. Only problem with that is that he does have the Suarez moment of inspiration /  madness transit as Pluto is square and Uranus conjunct his Aries Sun. It could make or break him, unfortunately goalkeepers are more frequently remembered for their aberrations than their heroism and we don’t want another Robert Green on our hands.

Its tempting to look to Scotland for a replacement and Fraser Forster certainly has the advantage of not being tired after a full season standing around chatting to the fans at Celtic Park. The problem with him is that he’s a Sun / Moon Pisces, and whilst it could be said that there is a place for such a creature in football, its surely not in goal for England.

Jack Butland has the misfortune of being a Sun Pisces and having Pluto and Uranus aspecting his Mars so is far too much of a risk.

John Ruddy has the opposite problem to Forster in that he’d be knackered after having to play for Norwich but he’s a Scorpio so should be able to dig out a little bit extra from somewhere. The problem is the Pluto / Uranus thing again which seems to be on his Moon, if he’d been born the following morning he’d have had Jupiter on his Moon so probably would have been first choice.

On balance it has to be Hart whilst praying that he was born about midday and Ruddy and hoping that he was as close to midnight as possible.

At right back Kyle Walker has not been doing the business for Spurs recently, lets face it no-one has from Daniel Levy downwards, he’s got some nice Jupiter transits for the summer but these are blown away by Neptune being square to his Sun, so we don’t really want him wandering around in a vague and confused state particularly not in that heat.

Micah Richards seems to be the forgotten man both at City and England, but there’s nothing going on in his chart at the moment so no real reason for him to be remembered.

Fortunately Glen Johnson has just emerged from the same Neptune aspect so as long as he can remember which side of the pitch to play on we should be ok there. Talking of which its tempting to bring in club mate Jon Flanagan who is currently doing a great job for Liverpool in Johnson’s actual position. Flanagan has Pluto conjunct his Sun and probably Uranus conjunct his Moon which explains his sudden breakthrough at Anfield. It might well be a risk but he does have the spectacular Jupiter conjunct his Mars just in time to make a name for himself in the summer. It won’t happen of course, Hodgson wouldn’t dream of it, so he will have to be content with a new Liverpool contract instead.

At left back it has to be Leighton Baines as first choice. This would concur with most punters but the fact that he probably has Jupiter conjunct his Moon means he has to be on the pitch. The only concern is that an injury right at the end of the season as Saturn squared his Mars could scupper his chances. This being the case his Jupiter / Moon transit might mean a summer transfer but as it’s Jupiter it would have to be a step up so this would rule out Man Utd.

Ashley Cole has over 100 caps for England but his experience this year being replaced in the Chelsea team by a someone who’s not good enough to play right back coupled with the fact that he has nothing happening astrologically should be enough evidence to leave him out of the squad.

You know it won’t come to that however particularly after Hodgson gave him most of the Denmark friendly to get some practice.

Luke Shaw should get the nod as he’s got Jupiter conjunct his Sun and opposite his Moon in the summer. It is a few weeks early for the World Cup however and so he will probably stay at home and celebrate the transit by nicking Cole’s Chelsea place as soon as he steps on the plane.

In central defence for Gary Cahill there’s nothing much happening but as he’s the man in possession in a position where errors can be catastrophic, you’d take nothing much going on.

Ditto Phil Jagielka although if he was born in the very early hours he’d have Jupiter conjunct his Moon which we’d definitely take.

Ditto Chris Smalling.

Ditto Phil Jones, he’s had a Neptune period over the last year or so where confusion over which position is his best has hampered his selection but this transit has passed. One thing about Pisceans is their incredible adaptability so as a squad player he would be a good choice.

There are some calls for John Terry to be picked after his excellent season so far for Chelsea. This has been on the back of Pluto conjunct his Mars, which naturally symbolises the return of the warrior.

This transit is still around in the summer and if he was available, we should probably pick him. He’s not though so we can all think back to 2010 and know that a tournament without JT would probably be a relief.

Jolson Lescott has had a difficult time recently with Saturn opposite his Mars but this has moved away now. It would tempting to take him if he was born very late in the evening as Jupiter would be on his Moon but there’s no reason apart from that and we are supposed to be looking to build for the future.

If that was the sole criterion we wouldn’t be taking Steven Gerrard. He’s had an awesome season for Liverpool as he’s relocated to a spot in front of the back four. Every time a writer mentions this they are contractually obliged to remind us that he was the archetypal box to box midfielder or in astrological notation he has a Mutable T Square with the Sun and Moon and an apex Mars.

Of course Gerrard goes but by the end of next season Neptune gets into that T Square which is the footballing equivalent of Alzheimer’s. Those laser like 40 yard cross field balls will start to change direction half way across. So he should be given his golden handshake at the end of the tournament.

One very disturbing fact about the English team is that they don’t have a proper defensive midfielder in the mould of Argentina’s Javier Mascherano. Barcelona insist on playing him in central defence, but since he’s probably the tallest player in their team perhaps it makes sense although Argentina certainly won’t be so daft.

England get through the qualifying tournaments without one and assume they don’t need one until they get to the tournament proper to find they need two.

It might be tempting to turn to Gareth Barry particularly now he’s been told to sit in front of the Everton defence and stay there. The trouble with having the Sun and Mars in Pisces means you are inclined to wander out of position in the mistaken belief you are actual an all rounder. England’s biggest need is to sort out someone for this position particularly once Gerrard retires so let’s not go back to Barry.

Jack Rodwell was originally touted for the role but he’s another Pisces with Mars in meandering Gemini. We need someone who will just sit there.

What is really needed is a tenacious Cancerian like Spain’s Sergio Busquets who only ever moves sideways like his sign’s symbol, the Crab. Busquets incidentally should have a great tournament with Jupiter on his Sun.

Or perhaps a restraining, focused and pragmatic Capricorn like Brazil and Liverpool’s Lucas Leiva who creates the perfect obstacle to frustrate opponents.

Tom Huddlestone is a Capricorn although some say he’s most suited to this position and star sign because he can’t move quickly.

Jack Wilshere is another Capricorn who might be trained to make that position his future. He burst onto the scene as the saviour of English football a couple of years ago with Pluto conjunct his Sun. Unfortunately his Sun is conjunct the unpredictable and injury prone Uranus and the promises the whole Universe but often disappears into a puff of smoke Neptune. Pluto has left the Sun now and is conjunct Uranus so we should not pin our hopes on him anymore.

Incidentally Steven Caulker who was born 2 days before Wilshere has very much the same thing going on so we don’t bother with him at the moment.

Suggestions for the future might be Southampton’s James Ward Prowse or Chelsea’s Nathaniel Chalobah currently at Middlesboro on loan but there are no astrological reasons for taking them now. The lack of options mean we’ll have to go without a specialist and hope we can cover all the options with the ones we have.

Jordan Henderson has been on fire recently thanks to Pluto and Uranus aspecting his Moon / Mars conjunction in Aries. This will still be there in the summer so he is a cert and should be in the first eleven.

Michael Carrick’s name is usually put forward but often ends up missing out. There’s nothing happening for him good or bad so there’s no need to set a precedent.

Ross Barkley has nothing going on but he’s one for the future so lets take him along.

Its not clear why Adam Lallana is doing so well at the moment because he shouldn’t be, but anyone who can play like he did for 20 minutes against Denmark whilst Saturn is square their Mars deserves to be on the plane, particularly considering the transit will be out of range during the World Cup.

In a mirror of Lallana’s situation it really doesn’t make sense that Ashley Young is underperforming as his transits are currently quite good. If he was born late on his birthday, the renaissance of Young is still to come. It may be that he has a good tail end of the season but that could coincide with a move away from the goldfish bowl of Old Trafford to somewhere he can repair his reputation quietly. The transits will have worn off by the time the tournament starts so no point in taking him.

James Milner is a classic understated Capricorn workhorse who will do a job for your even whilst lacking the flair that many of the other wingers have. He is a must because Pluto is conjunct his Sun so this year will be a turning point for him.

Jonjo Shelvey has Neptune conjunct his Sun so there’s no point in even thinking about him.

Tom Cleverley seems to get the blame for most things. It’s tempting to ask what he has done to deserve his name being booed even when he stays on the bench. Its not his fault, like a lot of United players and the manager he’s just had Saturn in aspect to his Sun this season. Its still there for the World Cup so lets leave him at home. Next season is bound to be an improvement for him.

Exactly the same stuff applies to Wilfried Zaha.

Andros Townsend was on fire at the end of the qualifying campaign charging at the defences of Montenegro and Poland like a space monkey propelled by a Jupiter transit. Since then he seems to have lost his laser like direction and gone back to the classic Cancerian mode of always running sideways. Fortunately Jupiter returns in June so we should take him along for the ride, it promises to be just as entertaining as before. The only problem is that it peaks just before the tournament so we’ll have to hope the rocket fuel doesn’t burn out too quickly.

Adam Johnson’s birthday is two days earlier so he has the Jupiter / Sun conjunction too but it peaks at the beginning of June so whilst he might well turn it on against Peru and Ecuador in the pre tournament games it will probably be tantalisingly out of reach when the real thing starts. A bit like his career really.

We’ll take Alex Oxlade Chamberlain on the basis that he has already scored in Brazil and hope that he was born in the evening, giving him Jupiter conjunct his Moon for the tournament.

Rooney has to go, but we shouldn’t expect too much as there’s no transits to speak of. But perhaps not expecting too much might be a novelty that works this time. And he has a safe pair of hands should the need arise.

Talking of great expectations brings us to Daniel Sturridge who has been red hot this season. There’s nothing much happening for the tournament but he’s in the team even if its just to confuse Luis Suarez into running alongside him with his arms in the air screaming for the pass that never comes.

Danny Welbeck has had Neptune square to his Sun and Mars recently so people are naturally confused as to why he’s in the team in the first place. He will undoubtedly go but there’s no astrological reason to support it.

What about the token totem pole, Andy Carroll. Many people will laugh at the idea but the astrology suggests he will come good but just not yet. He has the Sun conjunct Neptune in Capricorn which says a lot about the £ 35m transfer that occurred when Pluto was conjunct Neptune. It goes on to the Sun in 2016 so that should be his time. He has got Uranus square his Sun this summer so he might be worth a shout just to bring him on as a surprise battering ram.

Many might think if we wanted a player like that we should go for Rickie Lambert, but he is not one for the future and has no transits to speak of so it would be a waste of a place.

Raheem Sterling has a good chart for a top footballer but there’s nothing particularly going on at the moment despite his big breakthrough this year. Lets take him anyway.

Everyone is assuming that Jermain Defoe is past tense, but he is only 31 and he has Pluto square and Uranus opposite his Sun this year. This might be useful in Brazil but it is almost certainly the thing that sent him over to the US and as he has no future with England we’ll leave him out.

These are all the usual names that get put forward but the last couple of places should be filled by looking to the future. Given that Crystal Palace defender Joel Ward deserves a look, their defence has been their strength this season and much of that is down to him. Any defender with the Sun / Moon conjunction in Scorpio has got to be considered and he does have Jupiter square his Mars during the tournament. He can also play in defensive midfield so maybe we should groom him for this role.

And finally what about looking outside the Premier League to prolific Burnley striker Danny Ings ? He is surely one for the future and he does have Jupiter conjunct his Sun for the end of the tournament so what price him scoring the winner in the final ? Hodgson obviously won’t take him, so if Burnley don’t go up to the Premier League, Ings will celebrate his Jupiter transit by going elsewhere.

So there we have the Capricorn Research 23. The team to play the opening match should be..

Hart,  Johnson,  Cahill,  Jagielka,  Baines,  Gerrard,  Henderson,  Milner,  Townsend, Oxlade Chamberlain,  Sturridge,

With a bench of

Ruddy,  Shaw,  Jones, Lallana, Sterling, Carroll, Rooney

And these guys along for the ride

Smalling, Flanagan, Barkley, Ward, Ings

Of course the big shock is dropping Rooney. We might not win the World Cup but we’ll at least get the record for the highest paid sub and you never know we might just need that 3rd goalie.

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