The latest England squad has been announced with plenty of familiar big names unselected. Wayne Rooney, Daniel Sturridge, Theo Walcott and Jack Wilshire have all been left behind after years of being amongst the expected names involved (injury permitting).
Is Gareth Southgate setting up an new era for England with a fresh batch of players that aren’t vulnerable to injury?
- Fraser Forster (Southampton)
- Joe Hart (Torino)
- Tom Heaton (Burnley)
That selection for between the posts picks itself. All three are by far the best available to Southgate. It would be great to see Jordan Pickford chosen if a spell out hadn’t put paid to his chances.
- Ryan Bertrand (Southampton)
- Luke Shaw (Manchester United)
- Kyle Walker (Tottenham Hotspur)
- Nathaniel Clyne (Liverpool)
- Ben Gibson (Middlesbrough)
- Michael Keane (Burnley)
- John Stones (Manchester City)
A great selection in defence but would of experimented a bit in this group to freshen up the back four. Its nice to see Gibson finally getting the chance to prove himself after consistently delivering great performances for Boro.
- Dele Alli (Tottenham Hotspur)
- Ross Barkley (Everton)
- Eric Dier (Tottenham Hotspur)
- Adam Lallana (Liverpool)
- Jesse Lingard (Manchester United)
- Jake Livermore (West Bromwich Albion)
- Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (Arsenal)
- Nathan Redmond (Southampton)
- Raheem Sterling (Manchester City)
- James Ward Prowse (Southampton)
This has to be the most varied midfield in years. Looking at the names above, I suspect that there will be a holding midfielder with four attacking up front behind the striker.
Oxlade-Chamberlain however isn’t an Arsenal regular so he perhaps should be dropped. By doing that, you would have quite a unusual squad with no Arsenal players included but something has to give to progress the ‘Three Lions’ forward into the future.
Spurs’ Harry Winks certainly would of been a better option than the Gunner if Southgate is to freshen up the squad. He too can play either defensively or attacking and would add a stronger presence to the squad than an injury prone player like Oxlade-Chamberlain.
The inclusion of Nathan Redmond and James Ward Prowse suggests that Southampton’s investment in youth is paying off now with players called up for the England first team.
The same pretty much can be said of Tottenham Hotspur with already established Dele Alli and Eric Dier.
- Jermain Defoe (Sunderland)
- Marcus Rashford (Manchester United)
- Jamie Vardy (Leicester City)
A decent strike force up front with no usual suspects named in the team.
Harry Kane’s injury probably benefitted Defoe the most, who finally gets his first call up since November 2013. Hopefully, he can prove that this was a great decision and shut the door on any chances that Rooney has of getting back into the fold post season.
You have to wonder if Ademola Lookman would of been given a chance to wow, should Vardy of not rediscovered his best form in the past month.
Southgate is definitely making progress with a squad average of 25 years. This is younger than the squad that went to the UEFA Euros, last summer but demonstrates a clear blend of youth and experience is consistent in the chosen team.
If more young players start coming through the ranks quickly, there is no reason why England can’t become major threats as long as the players are mentally strong and versatile.