England manager Roy Hodgson has confirmed his 23-man squad for the Euros this summer, but he has left many people questioning his decisions. Before hand, Hodgson had a 26-man provisional squad and has had to let go of three players on the May the 31st UEFA deadline.
The three players that would have been dreading a call from the boss were Fabian Delph, Andros Townsend and Danny Drinkwater. Starting with Delph, his fate was almost guaranteed due to him picking up an injury over the last few weeks, which would have seen him miss the championships anyway, and I don’t think Hodgson would have selected the Manchester City midfielder over the more obvious choices in this position.
Moving out wide to Newcastle United’s Andros Townsend, he made brief impacts against San Marino during qualifying and against Italy in a friendly last year. However, England now have only one out-and-out winger in Raheem Sterling, so this could maybe suggest that the England manager is opting for a more compact midfield approach this summer, having seen his side get exposed at the World Cup in the middle of the park.
In my opinion, the biggest player to be left out is title winner Danny Drinkwater of Leicester City. The central midfielder has had an incredible season with the Foxes, playing alongside Frenchman N’Golo Kante throughout the campaign forming a formidable partnership on their way to glory. It has been said ever since the last World Cup that Hodgson has a reputation to choose players based on who they play for rather than how they play. For example, if you play for Liverpool then you are selected over someone who plays for a ‘lesser name’ side like Leicester. The likes of James Milner and Jordan Henderson being selected sees Hodgson as being biased towards Liverpool, just because they are more of a popular club. What we are seeing with other countries is that managers are picking players based on mainly form with experience to go with it, but it’s obviously disappointing to see players like Drinkwater miss out on these kind of opportunities. Well, we won’t be seeing those incredible passes over the top to fellow club mate Jamie Vardy that was so effective last season, which just puts a little dampener on things.
A player that has come out of no where to be on the plane is 18-year-old Marcus Rashford. The Manchester United youngster has burst on to the scene quite impressively, after scoring in big games for United, including the Europa League and a winner in the Manchester Derby. Adding to this, on his debut against Australia he managed to get on the scoresheet within the first threee minutes of the game with a controlled volley.
Despite these achievements at such a young age, I think that strikers such as Andy Carroll and Jermain Defoe will be feeling a little annoyed to miss out, having both played for England in major tournaments before. Defoe managed to bag 15 goals for Sunderland in the Premier League this season, scoring in big games to keep the Wearsiders up. Andy Carroll featured at the other end of the table, with high-flying West Ham United. Possessing strength combined with terrific aerial ability, the Geordie showed this throughout the season, causing defences all sorts of problems. Featuring at the last Euros under Hodgson, he managed to get a goal against Sweden in Kiev, showing that he can have an impact at that level.
Although it is may be unfortunate for these two forwards to miss out, Rashford does show great potential and could spring up a surprise if he does ever feature in France. I think that the teenager needs time to settle into the squad, but we are seeing him being included to quickly. There is still a lot of talent at Hodgson’s disposal, with exciting prospects such as Dele Alli, Harry Kane and Jamie Vardy featuring at a major international tournament for the first time ever. Certainly interesting times lie ahead and we should look forward to how The Three Lions get on. It is England after all, anything can happen.
Written by Joe Dutton
Sources: Metro and Mirror