Will England players ever be picked on form alone?

The England squad for this month’s matches against Scotland and Spain was announced on Sunday. It was another predictable line-up filled with the same players we see time and time again. Surely it’s time for a change?

In a press conference on Tuesday, Harry Kane said: “We know what it means [to face Scotland], so we’re all looking forward to it.” Are they really? Do England players actually look forward to playing any team? Because if they do, it certainly doesn’t show on the pitch.

England have seven points from three World Cup qualifying games so far and top their group, but their performances have been far from convincing or more importantly, entertaining. As former England captain Terry Butcher said recently, watching England is “purgatory.”

Picking players who are not in good form does not help. Harry Kane has just returned from a seven-week lay-off so is not fully fit but he is in the England squad. Charlie Austin who has scored eight goals in all competitions for Southampton, the most of any English player, would be a better choice than Harry Kane. Austin knew that he would not get picked for England while he played for Championship side QPR. He has moved to a Premier League club and he still can’t get into the squad. It’s baffling. What more does this talented striker have to do to force his way into the England squad?

Aaron Cresswell who had a brilliant season with West Ham last season has been called up to the England squad for the first time but this is only because other players pulled out due to injury. Cresswell himself has also just returned from a knee injury suffered in pre-season so he might be a bit rusty. Cresswell has earned the right to play for his country, after stellar performances at West Ham, and he is very proud to do so.

Finally, I would like to see Tom Heaton start against Scotland or Spain. He tends to be in the squad just to make up the numbers and I’m sure if England could pick just two goalkeepers, he wouldn’t be in the squad at all. Heaton has put in some fantastic performances for Burnley so far this season and he deserves to start for his country and add to his one England cap.

I think England will beat Scotland 1-0 and despite all the hype and talk of a passionate encounter, I’m expecting a rather drab affair. I will always support England and of course I want them to win but it would be good to see some new faces in the squad and a performance that the fans can be proud of.

Feature Image credit: Cushdy



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