Written by David Robinson
England take on Turkey tonight ahead of their first of two international friendlies this week. The Three Lions will be without several names due to both Manchester United and Liverpool being in action in the FA Cup Final and Europa League final respectively. This means that Roy Hodgson will not have his strongest side available for selection. I believe that International friendlies are of limited use and interest however I still think we can take away a few pointers from the match tonight and on Friday vs Australia.
credit Ronnie Macdonald
With this English side, there is plenty of competition for places and while that doesn’t mean we are blessed with real quality throughout, we do have options and these friendlies are a chance for certain individuals to stake a claim in the side. I believe Jack Wilshere particularly has a task on his hands to first of all prove his match sharpness but then prove himself as a player in these games. Wilshere has barely kicked a ball all season but he has performed well when playing in an England shirt in the past and with the squad not full of quality in midfield department, he has a chance to start in the Euro’s which should really not be the case with the season he has had.
Another question mark I hold is over Jamie Vardy. The Leicester forward has been one of the form players of the season however that was part of a counter attacking style which England don’t often deploy. He is not the most talented footballer but can offer certain qualities which can frighten the defence. I would like to see him in a game where Hodgson’s men occupy a lot of the ball and see what he can produce because as it stands I feel like he could create more of an impact as a sub against tired legs and with the game more stretched.
credit Ben Sutherland
I don’t think much should be made of the results or performances in these friendlies however I think individual performances could prove to be useful for Hodgson particularly in defence where we look vulnerable. Developing a central defensive partnership could prove to be pivotal but this will not happen due to Chris Smalling missing out. This does on the other hand offer an opportunity for the likes of Stones and Bertrand who could do with impressing the most as these spots are up for grabs however I deem them just behind in the pecking order.
Overall, as an England fan, we would want to see relationships on the pitch being built over these next two games and plenty of eye catching individual performances with exciting building ahead of the Euro’s in France this summer. However these opportunities will not tell us much as to what to expect come the match against Russia come the 11th of June.
Do you agree with this England fans? Who needs to impress the most in these upcoming friendlies? Let us know in the comments below!
featured image by Ronnie Macdonald