As an England fan, as many of our readers here, I’m sure squad predictions are flying about everywhere. So going on the basis of a 22 man squad, here is the squad I would take:
Goalkeepers: Joe Hart, Scott Carson, Fraser Forster.
Midfield: Aaron Lennon, Steven Gerrard, Frank Lampard, Scott Parker, Gareth Barry, Ashley Young, Adam Johnson
Now, there probably isn’t too many surprise inclusions and exclusions in that list, yet there probably is enough flexibility to utilise both 4-4-2 and 4-2-3-1 systems.
The exclusion of Andy Carroll and Darren Bent is quite obvious. Carroll has been poor all season, and two decent games now shouldn’t merit a place in the squad. Unfortunately Darren Bent has been injured for the majority of this season, thus he shouldn’t be risked taking.
With regards to Phil Jones and Chris Smalling, club level inconsistency’s and genuine lack of playing time can’t warrant international inclusion, and in my opinion they are very much over-hyped, particularly the former. Nevertheless they will both probably be in contention for the next major tournament as the ‘new breed’ of English players shines through.
Theo Walcott is a tricky one – pace is always needed in big competitions, but again his performances this season have fluctuated. Although if any absences in attack or midfield up until the tournament initiation, he and James Milner would be the first to call, with the latter missing my squad narrowly due to better options ahead of him, despite his obvious versatility.
Grant Holt also misses out, despite scoring 16 goals this season. He has been a revelation but a lack of top flight experience and big-game play on a consistent basis may lead him to be overawed in Poland. I also left out Danny Sturridge as in my eyes, it was a pick 2 of 3 situation also regarding Defoe and Welbeck, and sided with the goal-scoring prowess and experience of the latter two.
Now looking at it, its extremely hard to speculate which squad should head out. On reviewing, the likes of Barry and Terry being in the squad makes me feel a bit sick knowing that I’ve slated them most of the year – yet I’d take them to the Euro’s. But then again, I’m not Roy Hodgson. I’m just some bloke who got Burnley winning the Champions League in Football Manager. Ahem.
Comments and predictions welcome.