With the upcoming England friendlies the FootballDons have decided to have a look at what the England squad would be in this moment in time if we were in charge. That’s not to say that this list won’t change before the final announcement, but we will be making updates to this as the season goes on, explaining why we are including/excluding certain players. To fuel a bit of debate the two of us have chosen different squads and the reasoning behind each position. The squad will be made up of 23 players at all times, with the quantity of player in each position left up to the respected Don. Let us know who you thinks is better:
*Don 1 will be bold, Don 2 italic. Differences will be underlined.
GK – Joe Hart, Frazer Forster, John Ruddy
For me, these three pick themselves. Although Joe Hart has had a lot of trouble at club level, I would still expect him to be first choice when England kick off their campaign next summer. Forster and Ruddy are his two obvious backups, with Forster probably second choice.
GK – Joe Hart, Frazer Forster, Ben Foster
For me I’d include Ben. He was on top form before being injured and by the time he’s back he can settle back in and regain this form to reach the plane for the World Cup. Of course, Hart is number 1, he just needs to rediscover the grit of performances he was having on FIFA for me the other night and when at Birmingham.
DEF – Glen Johnson, Phil Jones, Chris Smalling, Gary Cahill, Phil Jagielka, Leighton Baines, Ashley Cole
I’ve decided to go for 7 defenders with only 1 specialist right back, due to the fact that either Phil Jones or Chris Smalling can do a decent job in that position. Kyle Walker just doesn’t cut it for me defensively and so he’s out. Cahill and Jagielka would be my first choice centre back pairing, with Ashley Cole starting left back due to his experience on the big stage. That being said if he can’t hold down a place at Chelsea, I’d start to sway towards Baines.
DEF - Phil Jones, Phil Jagielka, Gary Cahill, Chris Smalling, Glen Johnson, Leighton Baines, Ashley Cole, Michael Dawson
Dawson will squeeze into my plane via the luggage area of the plane. His form so far has been consistent and strong. He’s a leader, and even if he doesn’t play he will be great to have around and is a capable back up to Jagielka or Cahill. No Walker cause he can’t defend and both Jones or Smalling can do that job as back up.
MID – Andros Townsend, Michael Carrick, Frank Lampard, Steven Gerrard, James Milner, Jack Wilshere, Adam Lallana, Theo Walcott, Ravel Morrison
I’ve gone for the rough guide of picking 4 wide men and 4 central midfielders, with Ravel Morrison my wildcard option. My starting 4 at this current time would be Townsend and Walcott on either wing, with Wilshere and Gerrard in the middle. Of course a lot of this depends on the fitness of Wilshere and Walcott who are both currently injured. This would leave me Mr Reliable James Milner, in-form Adam Lallana and the experience of Michael Carrick and Lampard waiting in reserve. The reason I’ve included Morrison is that I feel like apart from Wayne Rooney, England don’t have anyone who can play an attacking Midfield role and make something happen out of nothing. I was torn between Barkley and Morrison but due to Barkley’s lack of action in recent games and Morrison’s form I’ve gone with the West Ham man. I know he’s only been playing in the Premier league a short time and it could be a risk, but at the end of day he probably won’t be needed so I see it as a risk worth taking.
MID – Michael Carrick, Steven Gerrard, James Milner, Jack Wilshere, Andros Townsend, Theo Walcott, Adam Lallana, Ravel Morrison
Midfield is your engine room. And it has to be full of super fit, hungry, fresh players during tournament football. Unfortunately Lamps misses out for me. The last 5 games his form has slipped for club and for country he has not preferred and even when he came on did not put a stamp on the game. With age, naturally his box to box energy isn’t as it used to be, but I see Gerrard being able to offer more as a defensive minded midfielder. Milner can play anywhere so he’s in, Wilshere, Townsend, Lallana and Morrison all have creativity and drive, which will be essential for us. They aren’t experienced Internationals, but frankly I don’t care. If they put the shirt on, play for the country and to their talents that’s all we can ask for. Walcott’s pace is always an outlet worth having as well.
STR – Wayne Rooney, Daniel Sturridge, Danny Welbeck, Andy Carroll
Probably the hardest area on the pitch to choose from. Of course Sturridge and Rooney are in and these two would be my starting pair. That leaves just two spaces for backup options. Welbeck has been a key part of Hodgson’s England reign and can do a job on the wing so he’s in. The last space was a straight up fight for the typical ‘big-man-last-5-minutes-so-lets-lump-it-up-there’ option between Lambert and Carroll. I’m not sure why but I’ve gone for Carroll. Maybe it’s his ponytail. I just hope he will have emerged from the physio room by then!
STR – Daniel Sturridge, Wayne Rooney, Danny Welbeck, Rickie Lambert
I’m actually quite content with my strike options. So far all have shown form, albeit Welbeck’s only seems to come for England. Sturridge has been in very good form so far from Liverpool so I’m hoping he can continue this and prove his worth on the biggest stage. Rooney needs to steer clear from injuries and be our talisman as all of England keeps expecting him to be. He can almost have a free role if he plays off of Sturridge, which would work well. Welbz can deploy from the left or right depending on formation we play so he offers different aspects which is key. Lambert hasn’t looked out of place at all with his recent call ups and he even showed his excellent link up play with the attacking midfielders for England when he played. A good striker to bring on I think.
So there you have it. If you take FootballDons opinion seriously (and you 100% should), the following are certainties at this time and might as well pack the suitcase, purchase the sun cream, wack out the sunglasses etc: Hart, Forster, Johnson, Cahill, Jagielka, Cole, Smalling, Jones, Baines, Gerrard, Carrick, Milner, Townsend, Walcott, Morrison, Lallana, Rooney, Sturridge, Welbeck. That’s 19, leaving just 4 places up for grabs.
Who do you think should make the squad?