The England debate: Brammer has his say, now have yours!
IT’S a new regime but Roy Hodgson has done little to change my view that the England team is not picked on current form.
How else do you explain the inclusion of Glen Johnson as first-choice right-back, the ordinary Stewart Downing in midfield and Jordan Henderson as one of five stand-by players?
Micah Richards, a recent star of the Manchester City title-winning squad does not even get a sniff, while Grant Holt, who has proved the doubters wrong week after week, with 15 goals in his debut Premier League season, has also been overlooked.
Holt should not be an automatic pick but he at least deserves a chance to show his worth and would have been useful at set-pieces too.
I feel we need more attacking options than Hodgson has picked and I would rather have gone for Daniel Sturridge, who can play in every position across the front-line, than Downing and perhaps another striker instead of Joleon Lescott, especially as the versatile Phil Jones can play in several defensive and midfield positions. Richards would have also been able to play centre-back, while Gareth Barry can play left-back.
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Versatility is the key for me and I also believe attack is the best form of defence with this current England squad’s defensive capabilities.
My Henderson gripe may seem a bit unfair, as he is only a stand-by player but should the injured Scott Parker not make it, and there is a chance that he might, then the Liverpool flop is likely to be the next name of Hodgson’s list.
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This is not a personal attack at Liverpool but it comes as no coincidence that three of the most questionable inclusions have come from Anfield and a team, which by the Reds’ standards, have had a pretty dismal season.
Andy Carroll has also been chosen, courtesy of his improving form towards the end of the season and while I think he could make an impact in Ukraine and Poland, had he not been a Liverpool player and had, let’s say, played for Wigan he would not have got a sniff.
Elsewhere, Norwich have been recognised with John Ruddy being selected as third-choice keeper and he definitely deserves his chance after a fine season but what’s the betting that had Ian Walker still been around, the former Tottenham goalkeeper would have got the nod?!
England managers seem to go for the safe bets, whether or not the players they pick are in form, and always plump for those with links to the top four or the fashionable London and north West clubs. While I think he deserves to be in the squad, Sturridge was never considered for selection by Fabio Capello whilst he was on-loan at Bolton.
On the flip-side, apart from Holt, Richards, the injured Jack Wilshere and possibly Michael Carrick (on current form), there are few other players there that I would consider unfortunate to have been left out.
The lack of quality players for Hodgson to pick from is alarming and the fact that we could, and probably will, end up with the fleet-footed Gerrard, Lampard, Barry and James Milner running the midfield this summer is a frightening prospect.
There are too many players in the squad that are in on past reputations, even though their association with England has mainly ended in failure, but Johnson and Downing aside, they are arguably the best of an incredibly uninspiring bunch!
My England squad: Hart, Green, Ruddy, Richards, Jones, Cahill, Terry, Baines, Johnson. Cole, Barry, Young, Parker, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Walcott, Milner, Lampard, Gerrard, Rooney, Welbeck, Sturridge, Holt, Defoe.
Agree or disagree? What would you have done?