In the last few minutes we have learnt the identities of the England players that will represent us in our opening UEFA Euro 2016 qualifier away to Switzerland after we meet Norway on Wednesday in an international friendly. Within this new England squad there is a new captain, Wayne Rooney due to both Steven Gerrard and Frank Lampard retiring from international football after the World Cup. Also in this quad, there are four uncapped players, Arsenal’s new signing Calum Chambers, Newcastle United’s young midfielder Jack Colback, Tottenham Hotspur full-back Danny Rose and Aston Villa’s Fabian Delph. Roy Hodgson will be hoping that this group of players will do well in the friendly then against the Swiss as our campaign to France 2016 begins. Now, already people are saying that this is one of the worst England squad to date, so here at RK Football Talk, we’re going to have a look.
Goalkeepers: With the England ‘keepers these are the three you would expect. Joe Hart has been England’s number 1 now for 3/4 years and is proving to be one of the best goalkeepers England has produced. Plus, with winning the league with Manchester City last season, hopefully he can pass on that winning mentality to the national side. Ben Foster has enjoyed his return to the England line-up after a few good seasons with the Baggies, though his club aren’t doing well, you can count their clean sheets down to him. His wingspan and reactions are certainly a credit to both club and country to provide experienced cover. Fraser Forster, currently with 2 caps to his name, will most likely be the third choice keeper and will get a brief spell between the sticks at Wembley on Wednesday but he is good talent to have if required. Having joined Southampton from Celtic in the summer, English football fans will be able to see what the 6ft7 man can do. Hopefully, he will get a chance to prove himself worth of the Three Lions and provide some excellent cover.
Defenders: England’s defence has come under much scrutiny in recent times due to us not being able to hold onto a lead or making mistakes and having to fight our way back into the game. Hopefully, this will be a new era of England defending. Gary Cahill of Chelsea was an outside runner for the England armband who can blame people for thinking that. Being part of the Premier League’s best defence last season and now a regular in the England XI show that he is a star. Who would have thought that just over 2 years ago he was playing for Bolton. Phil Jagielka of Everton will most likely be Cahill’s partner in the centre of defence. Having come into the England set-up after both Rio Ferdinand and John Terry retired, he has done well to live up to expectation. With 28 caps and 2 goals, he shows his versatility with both shutting out strikers and popping up with a goal when required. Leighton Baines has done well to fill the boots of Ashley Cole, with 26 games for his national side and 1 goal. He is a real asset, not only is he dynamic in going forward, his freekick and corner ability is something England need, especially with big players in the box causing issues. Phil Jones has been a fringe player both for his club and country, either due to injury or that the players in his position have been performing consistently. With centre-back being his preferred slot, being able to play both on the right of defence and in midfield have helped him to earn a place. Hopefully this will be a qualifying campaign the Manchester United man will do well in.
Now, we reach our first 0 capped player, Calum Chambers. Having ade the move from Southampton to Arsenal earlier in the Summer, many thought he wouldn’t feature. However, he has played in all their games so far this season and looks to have fitted right in. His performance in the back end of last season and bright start at Arsenal are signs that he has class and looks to be one for the future. Next up is Everton’s John Stones, the 20 year old has 2 caps to his name having been part of the World Cup squad for our pre-tournament friendlies against Ecuador and Honduras. Hoping to feature more after an impressive spell in the Everton line-up, he is certainly a future partner with Chambers. Finally, we have our second uncapped player, Tottenham defender Danny Rose. With Luke Shaw out injured with a hamstring injury, this is Rose’s time to shine. Rose has a lot of potential but injuries has plagued the 24 year olds career. Hopefully, a maintained spell of fitness and good spells will keep him in the Three Lions.
Midfielders: This is a new look England midfield with both Lampard and Gerrard retiring. Now, Jack Wilshere has been a real hot and cold player for the national team. With inconstant performances and being injured quite a lot of the times, this has halted the progression of the young man. Now 22 with 20 caps and still looking for his first goal on the international stage, he will be hoping that his recent club form will continue. James Milner is a reliable player within the England camp. He has been around it for a while and the 28 year old is nearing his 50th cap. With only one goal to his name though he isn’t as prolific as other midfielders in his position. Hopefully these matches will rekindle his England career and put him into contention with both club and country matches. Next on the list is England new boy Fabian Delph, now many people, including myself, are surprised to see him included in the squad. At 24 he is nearing his peak of performance but he isn’t consistent for Aston Villa which can make him a liability. Despite this, he has started the season well and hopefully he will make the most of his chance and prove us doubters wrong. Our final uncapped player is Jack Colback, the 24 year old made headlines when he moved to Newcastle from rivals Sunderland in the summer but it seems that the move was right. Having impressed under Alan Pardew he has achieved his first England call-up.
Now, Jordan Henderson is already Lampard’s replacement in many sense after the 2012 Euros. The Liverpool midfielder was called in after the former Chelsea man got a thigh injury and hasn’t looked back since. With 13 caps to his name he helps out in the engine room at Liverpool and now with England forming a good partnership with Wilshere. Hopefully, he will transfer his club form to England more to ensure a solid midfield role. Oxlade-Chamberlain may only be 21 but he plays with experience, pace and a good head. Defenders coming against him won’t know which way he’ll go until he has passed them. He has good ability to cross the ball and can also finish well. 3 goals in 15 games is good for the young midfielder but there is more to come from him. Townsend had a good start to his England career, netting a superb goal on his debut. But since then injury has prevented the young lion from making more than 5 appearances. With a bid from Southampton on the cards, he is hoping that this can take his mind off of his club future and a good spell in the national side will put to bed any uncertainties. Final midfielder is Raheem Sterling, Sterling had a good World Cup for England and has impressed for Liverpool in recent times. At 19 and 7 caps to his name, he is certainly one for the now and future. Hopefully, he can get a couple of goals and impress Roy and stake a claim for a starting role.
Strikers: First striker on the list is Wayne Rooney, I won’t go into too much detail as he will get his own paragraph as he has been announced as the new England captain. He is nearing the 100 and the 28 year old provides experience that many young players can look up to. Having netted his first World Cup goal in the summer, he will be hoping for a more lethal spell for England. Daniel Sturridge scorer of England’s other goal at Brazil has a lot to show for. He is fast, young and dangerous when playing against defenders. The 24 year old has 5 goals in 15 games and will be looking to add to that tally in the coming games. Without Suarez at Liverpool he can thrive and hopefully, this will help him excel for England. Liverpool’s new striker Rickie Lambert has also been selected. Having netted on his England debut he provides something different, rather than playing it forward, the ball can be lumped forward to him and his presence can cause issues. With 3 goals in 7 games, he has a good ratio going into this international break. Finally, Danny Welbeck. Welbeck has a lot of doubters to prove but his perseverance cannot be faulted. 8 goals in 26 games isn’t a stat strikers want but these matches may be the turning point for the 23 year old. He has time to prove his worth and lets hope he makes the most of it.
Wayne Rooney: Rooney was the front runner to be England captain in the wake of Gerrard and Lampard’s retirement. You can see why seeing he is now Man U captain and the impressive stats he has. In 95 games for England he has netted 40 times and won over half of his games. It’ll be interesting how he does as captain but I feel it is a good move. A player who has been with the national team for a while and one that continues to improve. He can act as a mentor to the young lions and hopefully lead a new England in 2016.
Don’t forget you can find us on Facebook, search RK Football Talk
Also, you can find my personal WordPress: http://www.matttye22.wordpress.com or Follow me on Twitter: @22MTye