There’s been a lot of debate recently, followed by a lot of pressure on manager Roy Hodgson as to who to take to France in the summer as part of the 23 man England squad. So I thought I’d give my say (yes I know I’m Welsh, but bare with me) …
(I realise that Hodgson might take more than two goalkeepers or more than three Center back’s in place of fewer Midfielders/Strikers but this is what I’d go for!) My chosen 23 are as follows:
In terms of goalkeeping, there’s only one man for the job really isn’t there? Step up, Joe Hart. He’s been consistent for many season now and even if City are having a poor game he’ll more often that not save them at least a point. Other than him though, I believe that Jack Butland deserves a chance should anything happen to Hart as he’s been superb for Stoke City this season and shown real promise.
In defense, I’d go for a starting back four of:
CLYNE CAHILL SMALLING ROSE
Nathaniel Clyne has shown his class since his move to Liverpool and deserves a starting place and Kyle Walker will provide decent cover should he pick up an injury at any point. Chris Smalling is probably England’s first choice Center Back at the moment so he needs to start, wheres as although Gary Cahill has had a hit and miss season for Chelsea, he’s nearly always looked solid when playing for his country. As for the third and final Center Back, I’d go for John Stones ahead of Phil Jones, simply because he’s had more game time this season. At Left Back, I’d start Danny Rose as he’s played well for Tottenham this season in their pursuit of the title, even scoring a few goals. Kieran Gibbs may get a first team place, but he has not played all too often for Arsenal this season so his fitness may not be up to scratch.
In Midfield, I’d start these four:
ALBRIGHTON BARKLEY ALLI STERLING
If any uncapped player deserves the chance to go to the Euro’s this season more than Marc Albrighton then please let me know! The Leicester City Winger has been a big part of their surprise campaign and will provide England with great crosses into the box. If i had my way, Ross Barkley would start alongside Dele Alli in the center of the park, as these two youngsters could be the bright spark that the Three Lions have lacked in recent years. On the other wing, Raheem Sterling should start, despite being rather unpredictable at times.
Mr versatile, James Milner has to be in there simply because he can play almost any position, whilst Adam Lallana also gets my vote. Mark Noble is often overlooked by England despite performing well consistently for West Ham, and that’s why I’d put him in, and I would also take Gareth Barry as he is a reliable player who can play anywhere in the middle too. West Ham’s Winger Michael Antonio gets the final place in my Midfield after a series of impressive performances recently.
Up front, I’d start with:
I know what you’re thinking, Rooney? Why is he even there? Well let me tell you, I’m not his biggest fan at all, but his record for England is incredible and he always gives his all for his country, so it would be hard to leave him out starting eleven, let alone the squad. Current Premier League top scorer Harry Kane gets my final starting eleven place, as he is quite simply just deadly. The underdog of the season/fairytale hero Jamie Vardy should be named in the squad as well as his efforts for Leicester this season have been incredible. Danny Welbeck and Jermaine Defoe would act as super subs as they so often have for their clubs (see Danny Welbeck vs Leicester City, 14/02/16).
To captain the country I’d give the honour and responsibility to Wayne Rooney as he’s the most experienced player within the squad and he has captained England on numerous occasions before, so why change everything eh?.
Those who narrowly missed out:
Phil Jones – Manchester United (not enough game time)
Eric Dier – Tottenham Hotspur (better Midfielders than him)
Danny Drinkwater – Leicester City (better Midfielders than him)
Jordan Henderson – Liverpool (overrated in my opinion)
Jordon Ibe – Liverpool (other Wingers are better)
Jack Wilshere – Arsenal (if he wasn’t injured so often he’d be class wouldn’t he?)
Daniel Sturridge – Liverpool (will most likely be injured)
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain – Arsenal (poor season)
Fraser Forster – Southampton (if I had not Goalkeepers then he’d be in)
Benik Afobe – Bournemouth (maybe someday, you heard it here first!)
Marcus Rashford – Manchester United (too young at the moment)
Posted by Arron Fôn Evans.