England have announced their squad for the upcoming clashes with Scotland and France.
The only notable absentee is captain Wayne Rooney. I personally am happy with his exclusion because its time for him to retire and let the new generation step up.
Discover who has made the squad and my thoughts below.
- Jack Butland
- Fraser Foster
- Joe Hart
- Tom Heaton
This group is very consistent and regular.
Butland has impressed after coming back towards the end of this season so deserves his place, especially seeing as Stoke had nothing to play for when he returned.
The other three have had strong seasons at their clubs justifying their place in the squad. I however would of dropped Joe Hart for Ben Forster, who has been consistent for West Brom and produced some quality performances against the marquee teams.
- Ryan Bertrand
- Nathaniel Clyne
- Aaron Creswell
- Kieran Trippier
- Kyle Walker
Great mix of fullbacks because Walker and Trippier can get high up on the right flanks and help midfield if necessary on the wing.
The only concern has to be if both Bertrand and Creswell pick up injuries. That would leave the left flank exposed unless forced one of the right backers over to that side.
Centre backs –
- Gary Cahill
- Ben Gibson
- Phil Jones
- Chris Smalling
- John Stones
This defence looks quite young but Cahill should rally them along, if they face an experienced attack from the Scots and French.
Ben Gibson’s inclusion is a great reward for his efforts, despite Middlesbrough being relegated.
The only omission that surprised me is Michael Keane, who has been in strong form for Burnley all season and part of the March squad.
- Dele Alli
- Eric Dier
- Adam Lallana
- Jesse Lingard
- Jake Livermore
- Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain
- Raheem Sterling
Looking at this midfield, it definitely going to be a 2-3 formation with Dier and either Oxlade-Chamberlain or Livermore sitting deep.
Personally, I wouldn’t of named Oxlade-Chamberlain in the squad given his injury record. James Ward-Prowse (Southampton) or Tom Davies (Everton) would be my preferred options.
The former can play either on right wing or in defensive midfield whilst Davies has delivered consistently. With only the Scotland game being of importance, the Evertonian would be worth a risk to see how he fares in the national team.
I expect to see Alli in centre of the three behind whoever starts up front.
As for the attacking wingers, Sterling and Lingard surely must be the top options looking at that list. Rashford could come in from the forward list to help out if either get injured or struggle.
- Jermaine Defoe
- Harry Kane
- Marcus Rashford
A decent selection up front but I suspect that Defoe will come on as an impact sub more than be a starter.
Kane surely has to start for the Three Lions, after scoring 29 goals in the Premier League this season. Even though he missed the last round of internationals in March, Kane is by far our best hope against this Scotland side.
Rashford however will probably be considered more as a left wingman in attacking midfield than striker here.
All in all, a great squad but with only the Auld Enemy match being important for World Cup qualification, I would of liked to see more risks being taken in terms of squad selection.
To many, this squad feels like the same old except for Gibson only with some members from March being switched out for previous England players.