This is a golden age for English football, after the dramatic European games this week we fill all the finalist spots, can it get any better?
Of course it can, dominating the UEFA competitions follows England’s Under 17 & Under 20’s World Cup wins in 2017 plus the senior sides appearance in the World Cup semis last year. The next progression is for these young players to earn more starting spots within our top sides domestically and for us to win a international tournament.
This win could occur in a months time when we take part in the Nations League finals but by dominating the UEFA final spots its now created a selection headache for Gareth Southgate, the gap between the Europa (8days) & Champions League (5days) finals messes with his plans. What does he do, select his squad and wait for players to join up after their finals or press ahead with a squad of non finalists. The squads need to be submitted 10 days before the 1st game (27th May) 2 days before the Europa final. Injuries can mean players could be replaced which would mean Southgate maybe announcing a larger than needed squad (in theory standby players) just in case. I personally would not go this route as part of his success is keeping a club spirit in the camp, by naming his squad which would meet and stay together till the Holland game would keep continuity of the group. Its harsh on the lads who have played a big part recently but if they are not there they are obviously enjoying good times at club level. Nothing stops them joining up with the squad to show support espcially if they progress to the final. From the last squad named 7 players would miss out including captain Kane but he is injured and not totally assured to be playing anyway. On top of the 7 are another 5 (Loftus-Cheek, Trent, Ox, Gomez & Winks) who wasn’t named last time but would be challenging for a place. To me the following squad we could name is more than capable of winning:
Pickford, Butland & Heaton
Walker, Chilwell, Wan Bissaka, Shaw, Maguire, Keane, Stones & Rice
Ward-Prowse, Sancho, Foden, Lingard, Sterling, Maddison, Hughes, Choudhury & Davies.
Wilson, Rashford & Calvert-Lewin
A mixture of present and future players would after 3 weeks gap from the end of season produce the most amount of energy and desire to win a 4 day tournament.
However the Nations League ends up we will be kings of European club football due to our club sides but boy it would wind up the EU if we won in Portugal too.