Welcome to @Dominiho7’s office, the place he will sit and ring all the players to tell them if they have or haven’t been picked for the World Cup this summer…..
Oh yes and pigs fly to. If only that was the case.
Instead I will have to make do with suggesting a squad I think should be the one to represent England this summer. Enjoy reading.
The goalkeepers pick themselves really, perhaps the smallest pool of keepers to pick from in a long time for England. John Ruddy will be gutted to miss out but Foster has more experience at this level than Ruddy and Forster has proven himself on the Champions League stage.
Following on from Kyle Walker’s suspected hip injury, risking him probably isn’t worth it. Many may point to Jon Flanagan for back up to Glen Johnson, but for me Clyne deserves inclusion over Flanagan ashe offers abetter attacking threat and is generally a better ball playing right back.
What? No Ashley Cole, that’s right folks I have omitted the 100+ appearance left backin favour of the next generation and that is Luke Shaw. Baines makes the squad regardless of whether Cole is included; for me Baines will be the starting left back. Shaw has been in great form all season and fully deserves a place on the plane to Rio. Why not send the youngsters alongas he is part of the future of our game after all.
Phil Jones/ Steven Caulker
As much as I would love to include John Terry here as he is retired from International football I can’t and I don’t believe that any amount of persuading would get him to come back. Whilst not your TonyAdams, RioFerdinands or SolCampbells, we can still call on a decent back line. Jagielka and Cahill will more than likely be first choice withJones and Smalling as back up. Following on from Jones’ shoulder injury, Hodgson is currently sweating over his fitness. With that being said I have included an ‘either or’ pick andthat man would be Steven Caulker. Now I know he has suffered relegation with Cardiff this season but he is the best of the rest when it comes to centre backs.
The captain is assured a place on the plane and in what will most likely be a 4-2-3-1 will fit in nicely as one of the 2 in the middle. He has been excellent for Liverpool in that role this season and after theend of season heartbreak, one hopes he will be determined to put this right. He hasn’t had the best of seasons but in terms of ball retention Carrick brings quality to the table. What this does mean however is you miss a natural holding midfielder, someone that’s sole job is to break up attacks and then allow the more creative players to push further forward, aka a Scott Parker or Gareth Barry. I don’t believe you necessarily need that type of player and believe Carrick and Gerrard could easily do that job for their country. Barkley has been a revelation for Everton this year and at twenty years old has a massive future ahead of him and will more than likely be used as an impact player this summer. Likewise with Henderson it will be good for him to go for the experience even though he may not get much game time. Before this season he was the butt of many a joke but thanks to Liverpool’s incredible season and the consistent form Henderson has shown he has done much to dispel these jokes.
With the ability to double upas a winger, Danny Welbeck above allshould feature in the England side at some point. Lallana has been brilliant for Southampton this year, whilst Sterling has made a huge contribution towards Liverpool’s title bid. The Ox has been in and out of Arsenal’s first eleven and if he can show the impetuous he demonstrated at Euro 2012, then he could become an important squad player for the side. It’s about looking towards the future at the end of the day.
Not overly blessed with top strikers anymore the above five are easily the best of the current crop available to the Three Lions and one would fully expect them to be on the plane to Brazil. Defoe doesn’t merit inclusion in the squad; not because he now plays in the MLS, but I think the four I have chosen have more to offer in all round play than Defoe would; having said that however I would use three of the strikers in my starting 11 so a fifth striker is a must. My pick would have been Jay Rodriguez but due to an unfortunate anterior cruciate injury I will have to look elsewhere. He would be the squad’s wildcard but following on from his performances for the past two months Connor Wickham would be brought into the squad. Chances of him playing would indeed be remote but he warrants inclusion more than players like Carroll, Bent and calls can be made for Crouch but he is 33 now and it is vitally important England also plan for the future.
Not much is expected of England in this tournament but I would fully expect to see the Three Lions in the second round at least. A draw with Italy is the most likely outcome of the opening game, whilst wins over Uruguay and Costa Rica should be forth-coming. For all the fire power Uruguay have they can be suspect at the back and scraped through qualifying. Whilst we shouldn’t under-estimate any team. Costa Rica will be seen as the weakest of the four sides and anything less than three points will be seen as a failure. Qualification from Group D means we would meet any of these three; Japan, Ivory Coast or Columbia. I would be rather surprised to see Greece qualify over any of those three. Each team has their strength’s but Ivory Coast would probably be the easier of the ties. But they have Yaya Toure and Drogba? Whilst that is true the Elephants side is now rather aged and will most likely struggle to make an impact.
I think England will make the quarter finals but could come face to face with Brazil, Spain or Holland, which will probably spell the end of their World Cup dream. Holland are beatable however, where they may well be suspect at the back.
So there you have it my England squad plus a mini run down of how I feel England willfair in Brazil this summer. As always we want to hear your thoughts so please comment below.