The Extended Squad has Been Announced

So the England squad for the upcoming European championship was announced this week. Roy Hodgson has managed to retained some of his favourites whilst thankfully deciding that some finally don’t warrant a place.

Goalkeepers

Fraser Forster, Joe Hart, Tom Heaton

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Absolutely no surprises here. Pretty straight forwards options. Not going to find anyone complaining about this selection. It’s just a shame that Jack Butland got injured as I certainly reckon he would have been pushing for the number 1 shirt as Hart’s form can be patchy.

Defenders

Ryan Bertrand, Gary Cahill, Nathaniel Clyne, Danny Rose, Chris Smalling, John Stones, Kyle Walker

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No complaints at all about the Full Backs. All are very useful players who get forward quite well. Sometimes their defence can be a bit suspect but that is a compromise that has to be made. However, ONLY 3 CENTRE BACKS??? Surely that isn’t enough. That’s not to mention their quality. John Stones seems to have all the talent in the world but he has not had a good season for Everton. Cahill doesn’t seem to have been that good for ages, but I suppose he provides a bit of experience. Chris Smalling is just a mistake waiting to happen, although of the three he has probably been the one in the most reliable form. I just can’t be happy with these options for centre back. There must be someone else, anyone else, if for no other reason than to provide depth. What are the options? Oh. Phil Jagielka you say. Never mind. I think 3 is plenty. I guess Dier has played centre back before and could cover in an emergency.

Midfielders

Dele Alli, Ross Barkley, Fabian Delph, Eric Dier, Danny Drinkwater, Jordan Henderson, Adam Lallana, James Milner, Raheem Sterling, Andros Townsend, Jack Wilshere

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I personally feel this is where the team starts to become a bit more exciting. There’s plenty of talent here for sure. You have Dele Alli and Ross Barkley that can create something out of nothing and change a game single handedly. There’s plenty of reliability there too with Dier, Drinkwater and Milner. You also get bags of pace and energy from Sterling, Townsend, Henderson and Lallana. Great versatility here that will allow Hodgson to be flexible tactically. Delph though? I suppose you could say look at what Villa have been like this season since he left? That’s probably clutching at straws though. And I simply can’t find any justification whatsoever for Wilshere. He’s been injured all season. He’s not even that good. He must be holding a copy of a Roy Hodgson sex tape or something, I can’t think of any other reason he is in the squad. Worse though, is that it sets a precedent that some players are above the rule of players that have been playing a lot and have been in form, particularly when you have people like Mark Noble at West Ham who has been putting in 110% effort every week and been playing brilliantly.

Forwards:

Harry Kane, Marcus Rashford, Wayne Rooney, Daniel Sturridge, Jamie Vardy

England v Lithuania - EURO 2016 Qualifier
LONDON, ENGLAND – MARCH 27: Harry Kane of England celebrates after scoring on his debut during the EURO 2016 Qualifier match between England and Lithuania at Wembley Stadium on March 27, 2015 in London, England. (Photo by Ian Walton/Getty Images)

This is also very exciting. These players have plenty of goals amongst them. You have one of the most complete centre forwards in football in Harry Kane, one of the best finishers in Daniel Sturridge, and huge amounts of endeavor and impact in Jamie Vardy. Wayne Rooney is captain so he has to play. Whatever people say about him, he is class and that is permanent. However, if he is to start he may have to relocate to midfield, which he has proven he can do. Rashford is talent and has been a revelation this season but I don’t seem him making the final squad. He’s a player for the future though and this will be a good experience for him.

So all in all I feel that this squad is actually pretty good, almost as good as it could have been. Saying that, do I think England will see success? No, not a chance. But I do feel that it may be more enjoyable than recent previous tournament for England. Due to the resources at their disposal I’m hoping that we will see an attacking mentality with the players encouraged to go out there, enjoy themselves and maybe cause an upset or two. It’s also a relatively young team and provides a very good core of players as England look to the future.

Feeling un-expectant but positive for the future. You can’t help but get excited about a major international tournament.

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