Written by Alex Honcoop
As you would expect whenever a National Team squad is announced, there will always be a debate on social media as to who should/shouldn’t be in the squad.
The question of big club bias was again raised as a couple names were left out having seemingly played better over the past couple months.
Nevertheless, here are my thoughts on the Strikers in and just outside the current England setup.
credit enviro warrior
Although missing over a month through injury, Harry Kane is still England’s best striker right now. The youngster busted the myth of him being a one season wonder in style by scoring twenty-five times and claiming the Golden Boot last season.
The Tottenham man struggled in his first three matches and didn’t find the net until a 4-0 away win at Stoke. He also found the net one week later in the same game where he damaged ankle ligaments which ruled him out for nearly two months.
Tottenham’s struggles without him says all you really need to know. Before last weekend’s game at Arsenal, Spurs had only scored once in their last four matches and the only goal they did score, was from a dubious penalty decision at home to Leicester.
The 23-year-old is quite strong but his main strength is his lethal finishing. His partnership with Attacking Midfielder Dele Alli will also be crucial for the future of English Football. For me, Kane is without a doubt England’s best Striker at the moment.
credit Tieu Vu
Since his breakout season last year, Vardy has been labelled a one season wonder by some people, and a top Striker by others. I personally don’t agree with either of those theories, however I believe there was an element of luck in his tally of twenty-four goals last season.
My reason for that is if you take away his record-breaking run, Vardy only scored eleven goals in the other twenty-five games. If you do the maths, he would’ve end up on around sixteen goals last season.
Sixteen goals are still a decent return for your main striker but still isn’t quite as good as other ‘top’ Strikers. In saying that, I feel Vardy’s work ethic and pace makes him a vital asset to any team he plays for.
Many fans believe that Vardy doesn’t deserve his place in the squad however I disagree with that. For the reasons mentioned above, he definitely deserves a spot and if he is still around in 2018, he should be starting games against possession based sides in Russia (if we make it).
Since the 2013-14 season where he and Suarez almost led Liverpool to their first League title in twenty-two years, Sturridge has struggled with injuries. In his first season-and-a-half, he scored thirty-one goals in forty-three games.
In the two seasons after that, Sturridge has only made twenty-six appearances. This season has been a different story altogether with the Birmingham born man not even getting into Jurgen Klopp’s starting 11 with the skillful trio of Coutinho, Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane getting the nod ahead of him.
The Liverpool man would have felt quite unlucky to not have foundd the net against Watford in their most recent encounter. He had a couple decent chances and one long shot that was brilliantly save by second-choice Watford Goalkeeper Costel Pantillimon.
Although he doesn’t start regularly for the Reds, Sturridge is also deserving of his spot in the England squad but in my opinion, is the third best English Striker behind Vardy and Kane.
The 19-year-old burst onto the scene early this year by scoring four goals in his first two matches including a double against Arsenal. His form was so good that he was even called up to the England squad for the Euro’s.
Rashford for me is the one that isn’t deserving of his place and in my opinion, is very overrated. There is no doubt he is an incredibly talented teenager but right now, he isn’t one of the four best English Strikers.
An argument could be made that it is good to give a teenager experience in playing for England, but I would rather a Striker who is at present better than him.
The United man managed to find the net on five occasions in the League last season but his shot conversion rate was ridiculously high. His percentage of shots that became goals was approximately double Cristiano Ronaldo’s at one stage.
Those numbers either point towards the fact that he is an incredible finisher, or he is getting a tad lucky in which case the latter is far more likely. In saying that, I believe that Rashford is incredible for his age but is a little over-hyped by the English media. As is almost every good, young, English player.
Those who missed out
Out of those who didn’t make the cut, Charlie Austin is the most deserving of a spot and is the man I would have in the squad over Rashford. Since his return from injury, he has scored five times this season which is a decent return. He is also great at heading the ball which is a good asset to have for a player coming off the bench.
Although I believe Jermain Defoe is a better all-round player than Austin, given a fairly similar player is already in the current squad in Jamie Vardy, I would rather have Austin in there.
Defoe is another player who just missed out but however, I don’t think he should be there. Although I fell he is a brilliant Striker, his penalty goals massively boost his goal scoring record. The Sunderland man found the net on fifteen occasions which almost singe-handedly kept Sunderland in the Premier League for one more season.
Another player you could just about make a case for is Troy Deeney. The Watford man won more aerial duels than any other player last season which as I mentioned in the paragraph about Austin, is a brilliant asset to come off the bench.
Although I didn’t feel he is individually better than any of the current Strikers, his aerial threat is brilliant to have when struggling to break down a defence.
There were a couple other players I didn’t feel deserved to be in the squad but I decided to focus entirely on the Strikers. England face Spain tonight and it is rumoured that Jamie Vardy will be starting which I have mixed opinions on.
Do you agree with these opinions? Who is England’s best striker? Let us know in the comments below!
featured image by enviro warrior