The England Squad
I am trying, really trying to get behind the new England manager but the FAs choice, and now his choice of squad, are baffling me. Without wanting to cause public outcry I would like to pick through the England squad and give my thoughts. For easy of use lets take a position at a time…
Goalkeepers –Well what can you say here? Joe Hart no. 1. Had to be. There is not other really good English keeper so it’s just who can you get. Hodgson has done well here.
Defence – A bold move to drop Ferdinand but the correct one I think. I have never really rated him, he makes too many mistakes and is not a leader like John Terry. Terry had to go for backbone but I think he should be on the bench. Glad to see Jones and Cahill in there as they should have the passion we need. I think Cole is a must and Glen Johnson deserves his place. Would have liked to see a little more youth and with the massive miss that is Kyle Walker maybe we could have had someone like Martin Kelly from Liverpool.
Midfield – So far so good, but this is where I feel it goes a little strange. We have had many a tournament with the old guard in place and not been successful. This is the first tournament we have been in for a while where the nation has no expectations. Would it not be a great time to introduce some youth? We know Lampard and Gerrard can not play together and both are aging. Lampard does not play well for England and Gerrard keeps getting injured. Would this not be the perfect time to drop them and look at someone others like Jay Spearing and Jack Colback? Further to this, the one thing we have an abundance on is fast midfielders. Arron Lennon does not have a look in where are Ashley Young and James Milner who have had rather uneventful seasons continue to get selected. It is almost as if Hodgson is scared to change the midfield.
Forwards – The strangest omission of all to me is Peter Crouch. He has the best international stats of all English strikers, is a constant threat, does not moan but gets on with his job and comes back to collect the ball a lot. Welbeck deserves to be there due to his work rate and Andy Carroll is improving and can offer a different dimension. My concern is with the other two, Jermain Defoe can’t get into the Tottenham side and when he does he does very little and Wayne Rooney has not played well for England for ages and is suspended for the first two games. Could we not have taken some youth or say, what the heck lets take Grant Holt, he’s done it for seasons for Norwich and it’s his last chance!
Standbys – The confusion continues. Yes Butland as there are not any other keepers and I can understand that Jagielka has played well in the past and can be relied on. But Henderson, Johnson and Sturridge have all had poor seasons. Atleast the others I mentioned (Kelly, Spearing, Colback, Lennon, Crouch and Holt) have had good seasons. Maybe even stick some more youth in there i.e. Fraiser Campbell, Danny Rose or Jonjo Shelvey.
In conclusion, whilst I will be hoping this squad does well and will be behind them 100% my concerns are that Hodgson has gone with the age-old formula. A formula which has yet to work. If we look elsewhere, the Italians pick players in form and the Germans build from youth and their youth systems. I worry that until we change our mentality we will continue to be the perennial underachievers.
Anyhow, rant over….COME ON ENGLAND!