With the opening match of Euro 2016 just days away, I’ve decided to review the squad that England have taken and the changes I would’ve made. This may be an article that divides opinion, but I believe these few players would give England a better chance in the tournament.
Going: Joe Hart, Fraser Forster, Tom Heaton.
There isn’t really much room for debate in this position. Joe Hart is our undisputed number 1, so the other two goalkeepers are only going as backups in case he gets injured. Fraser Forster enjoyed a superb season at Southampton F.C, breaking the club record for consecutive clean sheets with an impressive 708 minutes without conceding, so he is definitely more than capable to fill in if necessary, which is why Roy has taken Forster with Hart to France this summer. The third and final goalkeeping place would’ve been taken by the sensational Jack Butland if not for the unfortunate injury he suffered in England’s 3-2 win over Germany in March. Therefore, Tom Heaton of newly-promoted Burnley F.C gets the call up which I completely agree with. He was crucial to Burnley winning the Sky Bet Championship and is a more than adequate goalkeeper. I don’t disagree with any of Roy’s picks here.
Going: Kyle Walker, Nathanial Clyne, John Stones, Gary Cahill, Chris Smalling, Danny Rose, Ryan Bertrand.
Scott Dann for John Stones
This may seem like a biased choice, however, Scott Dann has been without doubt one of the most consistent defenders in the league for the past two seasons despite Crystal Palace’s abysmal form recently. He is calm on the ball, can read the game exceptionally well and is almost never beaten to a header and would’ve been a leader in a dressing room that is severely lacking one. I would drop John Stones because to put it simply, he has forgotten how to defend. He is frequently found out of position, he isn’t strong enough when going in for tackles or headers and he takes far too many risks on the ball. This swap would mean that Cahill and Smalling would have genuine competition for those two starting 11 positions which Stones does not provide. This would be the only change I would make for the defenders because I think they are all more than capable to compete at the highest level.
Going: Dele Alli, Ross Barkley, Eric Dier, Jordan Henderson, Adam Lallana, James Milner, Raheem Sterling, Jack Wilshere.
Danny Drinkwater for Jordan Henderson
Drinkwater has just won the Barclay’s Premier League with Leicester City and has had the season of his life, mastered the defensive midfielder role and has found some sort of telepathic link with Jamie Vardy yet for some reason Roy has chosen to leave him at home and bring Jordan Henderson! He hasn’t hit any sort of form this season and doesn’t offer any sort of match-winning ability to the team whatsoever! Not only that, we now lose the man that helped Jamie Vardy to 24 goals this season which surely would’ve helped England because they know each other’s play inside out. Mark Noble is also someone who is unlucky to miss out on a call-up because he has been an integral part of a very successful West Ham United side this season, he has earnt the right to play this summer instead of Henderson however I believe he is still behind Drinkwater in the pecking order.
Wilfried Zaha for Raheem Sterling
Next is Zaha instead of Sterling. Sterling has been plagued by injury, he has dropped out of favour at Manchester City and has seemingly lost all the ability that got him his big-money move last summer. Whereas Zaha has gone from strength to strength, continuously embarrassing every full back in the league and growing more and more each week as a player. Yes, his end product may not always be great but neither is Sterling’s and that’s why I’d pick Zaha.
Michail Antonio for Adam Lallana
Finally, Antonio instead of Lallana. Firstly I want to say I rate Lallana extremely highly, but with the likes of Barkley, Alli and even Rooney playing in his preferred position I just believe that taking an out and out winger instead would give our squad some more diversity, which comes in the form of Antonio. He has made the jump to the top tier of English football look like a walk in the park and has helped West Ham United gain a European place for next season. He has scored vital goals and chipped in with a decent amount of assists too. Not only that, for parts of the season he was playing in an unfamiliar right-back role too so he would give us versatility which is always helpful.
Going: Marcus Rashford, Wayne Rooney, Harry Kane, Jamie Vardy, Daniel Sturridge.
At first, I thought Jermaine Defoe should’ve been called up instead of Marcus Rashford but I realised that Rashford makes our team a bit more unpredictable as the opposition won’t know too much about him. Sturridge is world class when he is fit so the fact he has made the squad is fantastic, he could be the difference between a win and a loss in very tight games. Jamie Vardy is one of the most in-form strikers in Europe at the moment, his pace and work-rate will help the team throughout the tournament. Harry Kane is the future of English football and will be our main man and Wayne Rooney is the country’s captain and seems to be relishing life in a deeper position so he was always guaranteed a place in the squad.
Feel free to leave your opinions in the comments, there will be mixed opinions on a few of my choices, however, none of us can change the squad now so all we can do is get behind the team and support them as much as we can!
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