England’s Euro Squad

Given Roy’s revelations that he’s considering taking Man Utd’s man of the moment Marcus Rashford and Arsenal’s answer to Darren Anderton (Jack Wilshere) to Euro 2016, we felt compelled to give our view on the imminent announcement of the final England 23.

It’s only a few weeks away, thousands of fans from all over Europe will descend on France in the hope of seeing their nations perform and do the best they can.

In other cases the expectation is slightly higher. They are looking for a prolonged campaign culminating in appearances in a semi-final or even the final itself. One of these nations will be England.

The media and many fans claim to have “the best league in the world” so the time has come for the national team to start backing up that claim and prove they have what it takes to perform in more than quality-lacking qualifying groups. This is a chance for Roy Hogdson to put together the best squad any England manager has had at his disposal for decades.

So we are going to take a look and suggest (based on current form and Injuries aside) who the three lions should be taking across the channel :-

Goalkeepers x 3

J Hart – F Foster – J Butland

  • These 3 are all capable of being England’s No1 at any given point
  • Yes Hart will start but not a position for England to worry about

Defenders x 8

C Smalling – G Cahill – J Stones – P Jagielka – D Rose – A Cresswell – K Walker – N Clyne

  • 2 right backs, 2 left backs and 4 centre halves
  • A good mix of youth , experience and versatility
  • Full backs should all be hungry and fighting to make the place their own

Midfielders x 8

R Barkley – D Drinkwater – E Dier – D Alli – J Milner – T Walcott – R Sterling – M Noble

  • Not the nation’s strongest area, need to be grateful for the Spurs duo of Alli and Dier’s progression this year.
  • Not blessed with good enough width and having to take players who are too often hit or miss (Walcott & Sterling)
  • We can only see a Midfield diamond working given the players available
  • Certainly an opportunity for Barkley to prove if he is the player we think he can be
  • Drinkwater in on total merit and Milner a safe option.

Dier-and-Alli-Image

Forwards x 4

W Rooney – H Kane – J Vardy – J Defoe

  • Currently blessed in this area, the best striking options since the late 90’s
  • Captain and all time top scorer is a must, not matter of club form
  • Kane & Vardy will turn up and play without fear
  • Defoe is scoring goals in a poor team, is a poacher and rarely lets anyone down. A solid back up option instead of a half fit Welbeck or a fragile Sturridge.

Leaving at home

GK –  B Foster, T Heaton, J Ruddy

Def – L Shaw, P Jones, G Johnson, L Baines, K Gibbs, C Chambers, R Bertrand

Mid – F Delph, J Wilshere, A Lallana, M Carrick, J Henderson, A Oxlade-Chamberlain, J Lingard

For – D Sturridge, D Welbeck, S Berahino, C Austin, A Carroll

Mentions have to be given to players that the FA should be looking to include going forward, some will be controversial names but moving away from a “top team” players focus is a must for progression:-

Joel Ward & W Zaha (Crystal Palace)                                  B Afobe (Bournemouth)

Reece Oxford (West Ham)                                                     Andre Gray (Burnley)

James Ward-Prowse (Southampton)                                 Will Hughes (Derby)

Marcus Rashford (Manchester United)                             Demarai Gray (Leicester City)

Kane-Image

Our potential England starting XI v Russia on 11th June

Hart

Walker     Smalling     Cahill     Cresswell

Dier

Alli                     Milner

Barkley

Rooney            Kane

Dier and Alli image sourced from; www.express.co.uk/sport/football
Kane image sourced from; http://www.matiastanea.gr/gb/

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The Old Firm – Semi Final is just the Beginning…

April the 17th will see two massive clubs play out one of the most hotly contested local derbies in World football. Celtic v Rangers is an event  like no other and let it be known that this game will light the touch paper for the 2016/17 season.

To the surprise of many Scottish football fans the 2 big guns came out together in the draw when most expected the much laughed about “hot and cold” balls to be placed into the pot.

The prospect of an Old Firm Final just before Rangers make the long awaited re-appearance in the top flight we assumed would be too good an opportunity for the SFA to overlook.  How wrong we were!

Since Rangers demotion to the Scottish 4th tier in 2012 these 2 rivals have met only once, In the League Cup Semi Final of 2015. Rangers were no match for Celtic either on the park or off it a year ago but this time around they are a different proposition.

Old-Firm-Game-Hampden

Rangers have rid themselves of a lot of deadwood and players not capable of producing a Championship title at the 1st time of asking last term. They had paid big wages and carried the likes of Ian Black, Bilel Moshni and Steve Simonsen for too long the new management team of Warburton and Weir have cleared the decks and brought in their own men. Mainly raiding Wigan Athletic for 3 solid footballers who have settled well in Glasgow.

Over in Glasgow’s East End this could quite easily be seen as one of Ronny Delia’s last act’s as Celtic Manager. His 12 moth rolling contract will once again be up for review at the end of the season and with a poor European performance (Europa League – Played 6, won 0), League Cup Semi defeat to Ross County and a strong title challenge from Aberdeen still on the cards, it is difficult to make a case for him being given another season. Speculation is rife with David Moyes and even Ryan Giggs being mentioned for the role, Delia is not and never will be the man for Parkhead.

The game itself will be set up perfectly by the time it comes around, Rangers have secured the Scottish Championship title and will be determined to prove many doubters wrong by upsetting the bookies and making it to the final. Celtic will still have one eye on the league and will undoubtedly be under pressure to dispatch of their fiercest rivals just like last year.

3 battles on the day will be key to deciding who will play either Hibs or Dundee United in the 144th Final…Griffiths v Wilson – Brown v Holt – Delia v Warburton.

Celtic-vs-Rangers

Next season will see at least 3, more likely to be 4 Old Firm games return to our screens and it fair to say they have been missed. They are looked forward too by millions around the world and really should be mentioned in the same breath as El Clasico, The Manchester and Merseyside derbies.

The football on show may be looked down upon by some but you’d struggle to name a poor game between these two giants.

Back to the impending duel however…Hampden will be packed to the rafters, the respective ends will be in full voice and make no mistake both sets of fans will be arriving expecting to leave victorious. Celtic are there for the taking in our opinion and this alone should make for a fantastic Semi Final.

As long as the players and fans behave then roll on Sunday 17th April!

Old Firm image sourced from; www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/jackross
Old Firm crowd image sourced from; www.thetimes.co.uk/sport/football