Connect in the back of the net
Taken from In The Stands

Goalkeepers



Joe Hart


Instrumental in Manchester City’s title winning campaign. Joe Hart shows passion for the shirt and is one of the world’s best keepers. 


His points winning saves against Aston Villa and Liverpool epitomised how important he is to Manchester City’s season, in which every point was vital as they won on Goal Difference to Man United.


Verdict: Definitely Should Go




John Ruddy


The Norwich goalkeeper this time last year was an unknown entity in the Premier League, but has been on top form throughout Norwich’s first season back in the Premier League. 


A few years ago, Everton released him from his contract and now for him to come back and show he is one of the best English keepers around shows how wrong they were.


Verdict: Impressive understudy to Joe Hart. Should Go.




Robert Green


Overshadowed by his infamous gaffe in the first game of the South African World Cup, Green has found it hard in the last two years. 


Yet consistently Green shows how good a goalkeeper he is. Unfortunately, his one blip against USA will be remembered forever.


Verdict: Shouldn’t go, the pressure of the USA gaffe will undermine him should he ever wear the English gloves again. Feel sorry for him, but David Stockdale was a better choice.



Defenders



Glen Johnson


Surprised in all honesty the Liverpool full back was included. Quite good attacking wise, Johnson lacks defensively and I will be surprised if he is England’s first choice Right Back at the Euros ahead of the impressive Phil Jones. Johnson did have a good first half to the season but tailed off in the second half.


Verdict: Should not go. Nowhere near as good as Micah Richards attacking wise or even defensively, with Richards playing more often than not in a Championship winning side with the best defensive record in the league. 


Baffled to as why Johnson was chosen ahead of Richards.




Phil Jones


Phil Jones has been extremely good for Man United this season. Despite his form tailing off at the end of the season, you have to remember he is only 20, the power and strength of the young lad is incredible for his age. Jones is also extremely versatile, able to play in Midfield, Centre Back or Right Back.


Verdict: Should go, can play in a number of positions and due to Glen Johnson’s inclusion and no Micah Richards or Kyle Walker, should be England’s first choice right back at the Euros.




Gary Cahill


Personally, I believe Cahill is overrated because he is a goal scoring centre back. He lacks awareness defensively and doesn’t even get in the Starting XI at Chelsea. 


Cahill has had an up and down season this year, while being quite good at Bolton, he’s been average at Chelsea. Injuries don’t help either.


Verdict: Should not go. Phil Jagielka of Everton has had a much more impressive season as the unsung hero at the heart of Everton’s defence. 


Jagielka should have gone to Poland/Ukraine not Cahill.




John Terry


In arguably his worst year in a Chelsea shirt, John Terry maintains his place in the England Squad. He has lost a lot of pace off his overall game, and has had shockers for Chelsea in multiple games this season. 


Most notably at Anfield in the 4-1 defeat to Liverpool and against Arsenal on his home ground. His off the pitch reputation is tarnished forever due to sleeping with best mate’s girlfriend and shouting racist comments at Anton Ferdinand of QPR and therefore should not be seen in an England shirt again. The court case lingers over Terry also.


Verdict: Should not go. Bad idol for children. Will undermine Captain Gerrard and cause disruption within the squad. Rio Ferdinand should have gone ahead of him.

Taken from Nairaland



Joleon Lescott


His best season as a Professional Footballer, Lescott has improved in all areas of his game since the arrival of Roberto Mancini at Manchester City. 


Excelled at the heart of the Man City defence, Lescott carried City through Kompany’s suspension and has the best tackling rate of any player in the Premier League.


Verdict: Should go. England’s best central defender at the moment.




Ashley Cole


Ever since Roberto Di Matteo became Chelsea’s manager, Ashley Cole has looked like getting back to his best. 


His attacking movements and defensive awareness is impressive for a left back.  The world’s best left back until recently, Cole is still England’s best full back.


Verdict: Should go. Great left back, has one more tournament left in him




Leighton Baines


Baines is the most consistent full back in the league. While possessing wicked crosses and ferocious free kicks, Baines is completely underrated as an English full back. Unfortunately, Ashley Cole is around.


Verdict: Should go. Extremely good and offers crossing to Andy Carroll when England are in dire need of a goal.



Midfielders





Gareth Barry


Barry is the unsung hero at Manchester City to the extent the players voted him second in the club’s Player’s Player of The Season Award. 


Largely underrated by the media and fans, Barry performs his job efficiently and goes about his business quietly, more of these characters are needed in the English dressing room.


Verdict: Should go. Immense at Manchester City this season.




Scott Parker


Scott Parker, throughout the last two seasons has turned into a completely different player. He is composed and commanding on the ball and at Spurs he makes the attacking flair of Bale, Van Der Vaart and Lennon tick. 


Parker is without doubt one of the best players at Tottenham, and could be very important for England too. He’s just abit overrated.


Verdict: Should go. Composing and efficient, with him and Barry in midfield, goals will be hard to come by for the opposition




Frank Lampard


Lampard is still Chelsea’s man of the moment and is still as important to them as he was 6 or 7 years ago. That is why Chelsea are in 6th place and need to move on from Lampard. England need to do so too. 


At 33 years of age, England – like Germany did with Ballack – needs to move away from players of his age and look towards the younger players.


Verdict: Should not go. Too old for England and will lack the same impact. Joe Cole, while out of the media spotlight at Lille, has been incredible and should go instead. 


Lampard has always has struggled in the England side alongside Gerrard, who is now captain.




Steven Gerrard


Gerrard has found his best form more recently at the back end of Liverpool’s season. However, Gerrard has been injury prone recently but that shouldn’t stop him going to one more tournament for England. 


Gerrard always gives his all and is the best man to be the leader on the pitch.


Verdict: Should go. England’s best midfielder.




James Milner


Despite having games hard to come by in the second half of the season, Milner should be included due to his sheer tenacity and work rate. Milner is extremely versatile and that is useful in any tournament squad. 


He is also an extremely capable in most positions and his performance at Old Trafford earlier in the season was amazing, shows well what the 26 year old can do.


Verdict: Should go. Versatility useful.



Wingers



Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain


Oxlade-Chamberlain has been one of the breakthrough stars of the second half of the season. However, “the Ox” is unproven on the international stage and is still a teenager. This however could still work for him as fewer teams will be able to predict him as a player. 


Will almost certainly be an understudy to Walcott and Young and this will give him valuable experience. The Ox is an exciting talent and his inclusion shows us the future of England.


Verdict: Should go. Future of England, valuable experience. Exciting prospect.

Taken from the Telegraph



Theo Walcott


Walcott went to the World Cup in 2006 and didn’t play a game. Then missed out on the World Cup in 2010, so this in all fairness is Walcott’s first real tournament, and a stage to show what he’s really made of. 


The game against Croatia a few years ago showed us that Walcott can certainly perform on the international stage, and hopefully he’ll be one of the bright lights of England’s Euro campaign. One of Arsenal’s best players at the end of last season.


Verdict: Should go, quick feet and extremely fast. Walcott is a more mature Ox, and should start the games too.




Ashley Young


Young is still an extremely good player despite his inconsistent performances at Man United this season. Games against Arsenal and Tottenham showed what Young is capable of and hopefully he can use those performances in the European Championships. 


Young, however, is still hated by most of the English faithful because of those despicable dives against Aston Villa and QPR that even Sir Alex Ferguson himself condemned. 


Young could be one of the stars of the tournament, if he maintains the form he showed in the 8-2 win over Arsenal and the 3-1 win over Tottenham.


Verdict: Should go. One of England’s best wingers.




Stewart Downing


Oh dear. Downing, even before this season was an average player and not worth the £20 million Liverpool paid for him. This season, Downing’s been even worse. He’s scored none, and assisted none, even missing three penalties in the process. 


Against even the worst full backs in the PL, Downing looks afraid and lost. Downing should certainly not be going to these European Championships.


Verdict: Should not go. Adam Johnson, while not the hardest of workers, is a much better player than Downing while playing the same type of way. 


Alternatively, Aaron Lennon is also a much better player.



Strikers



Andy Carroll


Carroll, like Downing, has also been shocking this season.  Carroll has been dealt with well by even the worst Premier League defences. He also seems lost in many scenarios and often lacks touch and direction to his game. 


Until the FA Cup Final, where Carroll as a substitute showed us how good he actually is. Tricky with both feet and a powerful header, Carroll is extremely capable. But the question is whether he will perform at the Euros.


Verdict: Should go. Just. Even though Grant Holt has had an amazing season, he isn’t an international striker and is 31 years old. Carroll is 23.




Wayne Rooney


Despite being banned for the first two games of the Euros. Wayne Rooney is badly needed by an England side severely lacking in World Class players, of which Rooney is one. 


Rooney plays his best football off a striker, and in Danny Welbeck, the two Man United strikers can forge a special partnership for club and country. After scoring another 27 goals in the Premier League this season, there is absolutely no question that Rooney should be there.


Verdict: Should go. England’s best player.




Jermain Defoe


Defoe is the Premier League’s most prolific substitute with 20 goals, but while Defoe fails to start for Spurs, he constantly gets in the England set up. Defoe can often be seen as lazy and lacking with direction and strength up front. 


Jermain Defoe is lucky to be in Poland/Ukraine, his selection is based upon previous seasons, certainly not this one, where he has been constantly overshadowed by Emmanuel Adebayor. 


Darren Bent, who is also a quick striker like Defoe is unlucky to not have been selected, despite injury.


Verdict: Should not go. Darren Bent offers more up front, and if not Bent then Sturridge would have been the better option.




Danny Welbeck


Despite being a revelation at Old Trafford this season, the quick and dynamic Welbeck can often be criticised for being lazy. This criticism is just. 


He can be seen as lazy, but the moments of brilliance from Welbeck (such as his goal v Everton) justifies his position in the England set up. His link up play with Rooney is great and at 21 another young star looking to impress on the world stage.


Verdict: Should go, Gary Hooper is unlucky not to be a shoe in though, but Welbeck’s link up play with Rooney launches him in.

Pictures of selected England players (Taken from Tumblr)



Who should go instead?


Robert Green OUT, David Stockdale IN
Glen Johnson OUT, Micah Richards IN
Gary Cahill OUT, Phil Jagielka IN
John Terry OUT, Rio Ferdinand IN
Frank Lampard OUT, Joe Cole IN
Stewart Downing OUT, Adam Johnson IN
Jermain Defoe OUT, Darren Bent IN




Unlucky to miss out:


Gary Hooper
Grant Holt
Danny Sturridge
Aaron Lennon
Tom Cleverley
Leon Britton
Michael Carrick
Kieran Gibbs
Jack Rodwell (if he wasn’t injured)
Leon Osman
Peter Crouch


If not injured should be going:


Jack Wilshere
Kyle Walker
Chris Smalling


My England Squad (all injuries aside)



Hart, Ruddy, Stockdale, Richards, Walker, Jones, Smalling, Lescott, Jagielka, Cole, Baines, Barry, Parker, Wilshere, Gerrard, Milner, Ox, Walcott, Young, Carroll, Rooney, Welbeck, Bent.




Written by Henry Francis
Follow me on Twitter @TheHenryFrancis


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