Football

England Squad: Decent selection or time for change?

England have announced their squad for the latest qualification rounds in their battle to reach the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia.

Two wins and slip ups from Slovenia and Slovakia will almost certainly secure the Three Lions a place in Russia next summer.

Captain, Wayne Rooney has retired from international football, opening up the captaincy role.

 

Goalkeepers:

  • Joe Hart (West Ham – on loan from Manchester City)
  • Jack Butland (Stoke City)
  • Jordan Pickford (Everton)

Gareth Southgate has gone for a decent keeper line up but I would of selected Ben Foster from West Bromwich Albion because he has been impressive in goal so far for the Baggies with two clean sheets.

 

Defenders

  • Ryan Bertrand (Southampton) – LB
  • Aaron Creswell (West Ham) – LB
  • Harry Maguire (Leicester City) – CB
  • Gary Cahill (Chelsea) – CB
  • Phil Jones (Manchester United) – CB
  • John Stones (Manchester City) – CB
  • Michael Keane (Everton) – CB
  • Chris Smalling (Manchester United) – CB
  • Kyle Walker (Manchester City) – RB
  • Kieran Trippier (Tottenham Hotspur) – RB

A decent selection for defence but would of included Middlesbrough’s Ben Gibson in ahead of Phil Jones and Chris Smalling. Just because Boro are in the Championship, it shouldn’t stop Gibson from being selected solely for not being in the Premier League.

Its great to see Maguire finally called up because he is a good solid centre back, who has been brilliant at Leicester in the few matches that he has played since joining.

 

Midfielders

  • Eric Dier (Tottenham Hotspur) – DM
  • Nathaniel Chalobah (Watford) – DM
  • Jake Livermore (West Bromwich Albion) – DM
  • Jordan Henderson (Liverpool) – DM
  • Alex Oxlade Chamberlain (Arsenal) – DM
  • Raheem Sterling (Manchester City) – Winger
  • Marcus Rashford (Man Utd) – Winger
  • Danny Welbeck (Arsenal) – Winger/Striker
  • Jesse Lingard (Man Utd) – AM/Winger
  • Dele Alli (Tottenham Hotspur) – AM

This midfield seems to be the same old with addition of Chalobah, who has been brilliant for Watford since joining earlier this month.

Welbeck is really the only player who doesn’t merit a place and would be swapped out for Demarai Gray in my opinion. If can’t even start for Arsenal, why is he worthy of a place in the England squad?

I am normally critical of Oxlade Chamberlain’s inclusion but over the past few weeks, he has earned his spot, despite a terrible injury record.

 

Forwards

  • Harry Kane (Tottenham Hotspur)
  • Jamie Vardy (Leicester City)
  • Jermain Defoe (AFC Bournemouth)
  • Daniel Sturridge (Liverpool)

A decent strike force but Defoe has only featured once for Bournemouth so that is a bit questionable, when could give it to West Brom’s Jay Rodriguez, who has been in strong form so far despite not scoring yet.

As for Daniel Sturridge, he has a terrible injury record and now is the time to start looking to the future rather than going for a dodgy player, who has only one start this season like Defoe.

Dominic Solanke might only be 19 but has already proved that he is worth a risk, given his performances at the FIFA U20 World Cup this summer.

 

In summary, a good squad although there are perhaps one or two many centre backs for my liking and the Man U pair don’t cut the mustard for me quality wise.

The only questionable selections are Welbeck, Defoe and Sturridge for similar reasons at a time when should be promoting some of the young talent coming through.

In my opinion, whether they play for Premier League or Championship, it shouldn’t be used as an excuse to not select them. As said above, Ben Gibson deserve a place but isn’t included mainly due to playing championship football.

 

To answer the title of this post, I have to say that whilst the squad is decent, its time for change to keep several stars on their toes.

 

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