This summer marks the European Football Championships taking place in France. England will be there again, but who should be on the plane (or Eurostar) across the channel?
You’ve heard the rest, now hear the best! Part three of our England squad selection because we think we know best.
Kelsey and Ryan have made their selections and starting XI for this years tournament in France, will they be right? Not so sure, but one thing that is consistent is that Roy has a great dilemma with so many English players hitting form and playing well.
If you listen to the podcast you’ll know that I’m a firm believer in form and that if a player is in great form then he should be playing in the Euros as he has earned his shirt, but I am approaching this with a more open mind.
So lets start with the man with the gloves and as been said before you can’t deny Joe Hart will be starting every game at the Euros, baring injury. Excellent shot stopper when under pressure and as Butler said yesterday when on his game Joe Hart is up there with the best but keeping him motivated and at his is best is in form and future England number one, Jack Butland.
The Stoke City number one has been in unreal this season and helped thrust City up the table, but quite simply you have to take Joe Hart to the Euros and you can not sit him on the bench behind this lad. The tournament experience will be good for Jack and if England qualify from the group with one game spare he could play.
Final keeper is a different one to that has been said so far. Tom Heaton makes it on to the plane for me. In decent form at the moment with Burnley gunning for promotion from the Championship.
He was included the recent friendly squad, mainly due to injuries. I would take him, he’ll be sharp off the end of a hopefully successful season for Burnley but probably won’t play as i can’t imagine Butland and Hart going down.
Joe Hart, Jack Butland, Tom Heaton
Now on to defence to protect those goalkeepers and the first few are easy to pick. Nathaniel Clyne has been told he is England’s first choice right-back by manager Roy Hodgson and who am I to argue, quality player and the best English right back we have available. The Liverpool full back will need a meteoric slump to fall out of the squad altogether.
Manchester United man, Chris Smalling has matured as a player from the end of last season and this season thus far, improving his value as previously discussed on the podcast, making him easily first choice centre back.
Gary Cahill will be along side him. Now I said earlier i’m a man about form, but this is an exception this is a different type of form, England form. Cahill is vice captain of the squad and if you go with the rule of the captain needs to play no matter of form and so should the vice-captain especially with Rooney, the captain, up top, the experienced head of Cahill will control and steady the young defence and can see what is going on ahead of him.
Finally left back is Leighton Baines, simply because Luke Shaw isn’t available! He was Roy’s man back in Brazil and has good form for England in the position before Shaw snatched the place from under him.
Coming very close to toppling Cahill for me was John Stones who has been brilliant this season and I would switch Cahill and Stones for different opponents as Baines stills brings the experience and steady ship to the defence.
Also on the plane snapping at the heels of those four will be Phil Jones. The versatile United man will be perfect back up for most defensive positions along side Danny Rose who is a more than capable replacement for Baines at left back. Finally Phil Jagielka finished the defenders on the plane.
Nathaniel Clyne, Gary Cahill, Chris Smalling, Leighton Baines, John Stones, Phil Jones, Danny Rose, Phil Jagielka.
Midfield and this is a position where Roy has plenty of options. Im going for two mr reliables in the middle with James Milner and Jordan Henderson. Some call them boring I call them reliable.
They do what they’re supposed to do, link up the play in the middle and get back and support the defence. Henderson can play in many formations and Milner is a great asset off of the bench.
Raheem Sterling will be my left winger in my traditional, Mike Bassett, four four f**king two formation. Since joining Man City he’s slotted in well and off field antics have been put behind him and he’s playing quality football. One of the senior players in the England squad now with plenty of experience with the three lions on his shirt.
Right wing will be filled by Theo Walcott. excellent pace and skill on the ball and works really hard, whats not to like also like Sterling he has bags of international experience with England.
Midfield back ups for me have to be, Dele Alli who again like so many England players, has been in great club form recently. His rise has been shown up even more considering he was at MK Dons in League one not to long a go, a future England star for sure. Jack Wilshere and Ross Barkley prove good replacements for Milner and Henderson with Barkley being able to compliment Wilshere.
Final midfielder on the plane will be Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain. I really rate this lad but as an impact player. He can bring an added bite to a stale game if needed and as we know England can have some stale games…
Raheem Sterling, James Milner, Jordan Henderson, Theo Walcott, Dele Alli, Jack Wilshere, Ross Barkley, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain
Now strikers! Again if you listen to the podcast I have said many times that I think club form means a lot and if we did this a few months back it would have been different, but now the England captain is in there.
Wayne Rooney has to go and has to start. He’s hitting form at the right time and if he can keep it going with out getting injured there are goals in abundance.
Starting along side him, sorry Leicester fans, its the other in form England forward and thats Harry Kane. Kane is maturing week in week out and scoring in the process. Really cant wait to see what he will bring to England this summer.
The reason i’ve chosen Kane to start along side Rooney instead of Jamie Vardy is that i think Kane and Rooney compliment each other better.
Vardy should go and deserves to go on the season he has had and will play a very key part in any success.
My final striker on the plane is a choice of two depending on injury rehab. If he can make it my first choice would be Danny Welbeck. Top scorer in qualifying for England, he has outstanding international form.
If he can’t make it Daniel Sturridge goes instead. Adds something a little different from the other.
Wayne Rooney, Harry Kane, Jamie Vardy, Danny Welbeck OR Daniel Sturridge
Clyne —– Cahill —– Smalling —– Baines
Walcott —– Milner —– Henderson —– Sterling
Rooney —– Kane
Want more chat on England? listen to us discuss the options for Roy on the latest episode of the Sports Podcast.