Rating & Slating Roy Hodgson’s England squad 0

The Premier League Owl

Ah, the excitement, the anticipation, and the optimism of an international tournament - and tomorrow Roy Hodgson will select the twenty-three brave players who will accompany him all the way to a Quarter-Final exit.

Joking of course, we’re clearly going home at the end of the group stage - here’s the 23 we would take to Polkraine. The starters are in italics…

Goalkeepers

Joe Hart

The least debatable spot in the squad. Guaranteed a place, guaranteed to start.

John Ruddy

Deserves a place in the squad based on his club form - if only Hodgson had applied that logic all the way through the process.

Rob Green

Well he’s not going to play, but his inclusion does illustrate how little depth there is in English goalkeeping.

Defenders

Glen Johnson

Laughable. What does Micah Richards have to do to play for England, other than perform better and be a superior player to Glen Johnson? Mystifying.

Phil Jones

A versatile and credible option as a back-up right or centre-back.

Gary Cahill

Excellent against Barcelona at Stamford Bridge, and has grown as a player even in the six months that he’s been a Chelsea player. Good with the ball at his feet and pacey - both attributes of virtue on the international stage.

Jolean Lescott

Looks like a slightly ropey pick given his horrendous clanger against QPR on Sunday, but still one of the two best performing English centre-backs in the league this season.

Ashley Cole

Yup.

Leighton Baines

At 27, he’ll likely never be an outright first-choice for his country, but he’s a more than capable back-up for Cole. Excellent set-piece delivery could be an asset to the squad.

John Terry

Injured and out of form - doesn’t deserve to be on the plane and nobody wants him there.

Midfielders

Frank Lampard

Rejuvenated in recent months after being written off by the press. Another Chelsea player whose stock rose dramatically following the Champions League semi-final. Good in possession, a quality which England really don’t have enough of.

Stewart Downing

So minimal will be his contribution, that Hodgson might as well have only selected 22 players. Managed to return no goals and no assists this season - limited in the Premier League, hopelessly out of his depth at a higher level.

Scott Parker

The embodiment of an old-school gritty British footballer, worth his weight in gold. Injury concerns should make us all feel a little nervous.

Theo Walcott

As ever, existing off the back of his perceived potential. A sensible choice, but must actually do something with the ball when he gets beyond his full-back.

Ashley Young

Seems to be a far better international player than his club form ever suggests he should be, but - unlike so many others - seems to actually relish playing for his country.

Steven Gerrard

Hands up if you can remember his last notable England performance. Poster-child of the ‘undroppable’ generation. Done nothing to warrant his place.

James Milner

Presumably included for his versatility. Average at everything, good at nothing.

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain

Delighted. The only brave selection made by Hodgson. Exciting and dangerous.

Forwards

Wayne Rooney

Obviously.

Andy Carroll

Never has a worse season brought such an elaborate reward. Selected off the back of eighty minutes worth of football. Personifies England’s short-sighted approach to tournament football.

Jermain Defoe

Not really ever been good enough for international football, but always capable of getting a goal. Should deputise for Rooney until his suspension expires.

Danny Welbeck

Benefits hugely from playing for Manchester United, and owes his selection to his club shirt.

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