My England XI
Last updated at 20:17, Thursday, 15 March 2012
With the Euros just three months away, now is the time for England to dump its flops on football’s scrapheap.
The ‘golden generation’ won nothing.
England, under whoever’s guidance, must embrace youth.
Lining up 4-3-3 and presuming all are fit and playing well, here is the side I want to start against France on June 11.
There is no Wayne Rooney, he’s suspended. Stewart Downing, who has flattered to deceive, is also out, while Andy Carroll would be watching from a bar in Benidorm.
There would be no emotional return for Paul Scholes. He’s a good player, but at 37, now is not the time to roll out Dad’s Army.
My XI have just 231 caps between them with an average age of 23 but are the future of our game.
Older heads are included – it’s important for balance, but all would be replaced after the championship is over.
Anyway, here we go . . .
Goalkeeper: Joe Hart He’s not only the obvious choice, he’s our only choice. The Manchester City shotstopper is the best in the world in his position. He is level headed, playing in a winning side and starring for both club and country.
Right back: Kyle Walker Walker just edges it ahead of Micah Richards. At just 21, Walker has already established himself as Tottenham’s best option and will continue to improve if given a chance.
Left back: Ashley Cole Like it or not he’s our best option. I’d love to say Leighton Baines or Kieran Gibbs but the truth is neither is as good as the Chelsea man, who has been poor by his own standards this year.
With 93 caps to his name, Cole’s organisational skills and international know how would be invaluable in this young back line.
Centre back: Phil Jones Jones has been the stand-out talent in the Premier League this season. He’s a quality young player with an incredible future ahead of him. At Manchester Utd he will only continue to progress.
Jones deserves a chance to play in his most natural position, which is why I’ve picked him in the centre of England’s defence.
Centre back: Chris Smalling At 6ft 4in Smalling is a man mountain. He’s an old-fashioned defender, who takes no stick.
Smalling’s partnership with his now Manchester Utd team-mate for the U21s at last summer’s Euros was possibly the only highlight. Smalling’s development has continued and he can be a huge asset to the senior team.
Midfield: Scott Parker This man should be in any England team. He can play the holding midfield role to perfection and would be the perfect cover for my young back line.
Midfield: Steven Gerrard This would be his last competition in an England shirt if I was boss. The Liverpool playmaker is still a driving force, and would be an asset to any national side. The Gerrard/Parker combination would give strength to our young spine.
Midfield: Jack Wilshere By far and above the best young talent on our great island. The Arsenal wonderkid would be a massive player if he’s fit.
Striker: Daniel Sturridge Sturridge would play to the right of my three-pronged attack. He is a livewire capable of great things. His pace and trickery would cause problems for any defender, and with 11 goals to his name, Sturridge is Chelsea’s shining light when it comes to goals.
Striker: Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain On the opposite side would be Arsenal’s young gun, one of the finds of the year. The Ox, as he’s affectionally known, starred against AC Milan as Arsenal came within a scoop of Robin van Persie’s boot of going further. He might be just 18, but he’s good enough, so he’s old enough for me.
Striker: Danny Welbeck Welbeck has kept Javier Hernandez out of the Manchester Utd team this year. He’s been a quality foil for Rooney, and come up with nine goals. He’s definitely a talent and worth blooding at the championships from the start.
lLet me know your England XI. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
First published at 19:23, Thursday, 15 March 2012
Published by http://www.timesandstar.co.uk
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