It’s that time again, Euro 2016 is closing in and Hodgson is expected to announce his 23 man squad on Monday.There is a sense of excitement in the air for all England fans as the Three lions bid to win their first major tournament since the famous 66′ world cup victory on home soil.
So, without further a do here is how I feel England should line up against Russia in their opener.
Goalkeeper – Joe Hart
England certainly have a fair bit of strength ‘between the sticks’ . Fraser Forster, Tom Heaton and Ben Foster all spring to mind as very good keepers but I think that this position picks itself. Joe Hart has been a mainstay since he made his debut in 2008 and made over 50 appearances for the Three Lions, gaining valuable experience in doing so, which is something the other candidates don’t have.
Right Back – Kyle Walker
An ever present figure in what has been an impressive season for Spurs, Walker has made 32 appearances for the London club and has really stamped his authority as a consistent performer in the top flight. As well as seemingly improving on his defensive positioning, he would be a real asset to England in an attacking sense as going forward we lack width and this is where Walker can be a handful for the opposing full back, providing we have cover. Nathaniel Clyne is the only real challenger in my opinion, but based on form Clyne has been nowhere near up to the standards that Walker has set, especially after his big move to Merseyside.
Centre Back – Gary Cahill
For me, Gary Cahill is a certain starter in a position where England don’t have much strength. His ability on the ball coupled with his experience in big games is something that gives him the edge over his competitors. The Chelsea man also offers a threat from set pieces which will be crucial for the Three Lions in both boxes. Along with these key attributes, he has learnt from the best, playing along side John Terry, who is one of England’s all time greats.
Centre Back – Chris Smalling
One of the stand out performers in a largely poor Utd side, the former Fulham man Chris Smalling has improved on his reading of the game and looks very competent in a positional sense. Being a key figure for United will have done nothing but good for his confidence and I believe that he can strike up a great partnership with Cahill.
Danny Rose – Left Back
Another product of Tottenham’s fantastic season, Danny Rose plays with bags of energy and has that youthful presence about him where he comes across fearless. Its not very often in the modern game that we can say about a full back finding the balance between offering the width going forward but also being sound defensively, but this man seems to have got it spot on. His surging runs down the left flank are always a danger to the opposing full back, but his game is now mature enough to marshall an opposing wide man.
Defensive Midfield – Eric Dier
What a fantastic season this man has had, by far the best holding midfielder in England’s ranks. With Dier you really feel that sense of protection to the back 4 and to act as an ‘anchor’ in the middle. England cannot underestimate how crucial he will be if we are to succeed this summer, as he offers to insurance to the more forward thinking players, whilst giving them that license to roam.
Defensive Midfield – Jack Wilshere
Many people will rightly say that he hasn’t played enough football this season, which would be correct but England don’t have enough quality in this area and Wilshere is someone who, providing he gets fit, is a class act in a Three Lions shirt. The Arsenal man is superb on the ball, and will collect it from deep and start attacks with a fantastic range of passing and excellent drive from midfield. England don’t really have anyone with his attributes and that’s why I feel he will be involved.
Attacking Midfield – Ross Barkley
An exciting player with the ability to go past people and make things happen, Barkley will add flair and drive to this England team which is desperately needed instead of Roy’s usual conservative approach. Barkley will combine well with the likes of Alli and Lallana as England go at teams instead of sitting off. On top of this, He possesses an eye for goal and doesn’t come across as someone who will shy away when England need him most. Must start.
Attacking Midfield – Dele Alli
What a player this guy is proving to be. The young player of the season will be raring to go in a major tournament and show that he will not hide away from the situation. Playing much further forward as he did towards the end of the season gives him that opportunity to score goals and make assists, something which the former MK Dons trainee did in abundance. If allowed this ‘free role’ he can be a real threat to the opposition.
Attacking Midfield – Adam Lallana
Lallana completes the attacking trio perfectly, his flair and dribbling means he can be a very dangerous player, along with his brilliant use of both feet, which not many players have. He is a perfect foil for Danny Rose on the left hand side as Lallana will look to come in field and run at players whilst Rose will offer the overlap. If this guy is on it, he will sure be an influential player in France.
Striker – Harry Kane
An absolute guaranteed starter for me, Harry Kane is nothing short of class. He has everything you need to become a top striker. The Spurs front man can score a variety of goals as well as linking up the play. With Alli playing just behind, he already has that connection and you feel that they can transfer this fine form to the national scene.
What do you think of my team? Would you make any changes? If so, let us know in the comments below!