Who else should perform for England?
At playingfor90.com, the challenge this week has been to name a squad of players currently outside the national teams of Europe’s traditional powerhouses and see if there is enough quality among the Alternates to compete with a full-strength England side. If this series is being honest, England’s first XI would like finish with four points if drawn in a group with the ‘B’ teams of the following nations. To review the week and have a look at any of the Alternate teams, please click on the links below.
Monday – Germany
Tuesday – Spain
Wednesday – France
Thursday – Italy
Friday – England (… is there hope on the horizon)
England do not have the depth of these other nations but that could change in the near future. The World Cup in 2018 might be too soon for the young players in the current squad and those coming through the U-21 team but the Euro 2020 with the Semi-Final round and Final being held at Wembley should see over half the team made up of players in their peak years and there might not be a better opportunity for England to collect some much agonized over silverware. Of course, if you have been reading the entire series, you have noticed there will be plenty of teams standing in their way.
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Current Squad (March 2017 Qualifiers)
Manager: Gareth Southgate
Keepers: Joe Hart, Tom Heaton, Fraser Forster
Defenders: Kyle Walker, John Stones, Michael Keane, Ryan Bertrand, Nathaniel Clyne, Luke Shaw, Phil Jones, Chris Smalling, Ben Gibson
Midfielders: Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Dele Alli, Eric Dier, Adam Lallana, Ross Barkley, Jesse Lingard, James Ward – Prowse, Jake Livermore
Forwards: Jermain Defoe, Jamie Vardy, Raheem Sterling, Marcus Rashford, Nathan Redmond
Injuries: Harry Kane, Danny Rose
This team has the talent to walk through their qualifying group but when they get to Russia all bets are off on whether or not this team will make it out of the group stage. It is a fate England supporters have seen too many times out of recent vintages. The Euro 2020 squad should see some of the talent from the U-21 graduate to the national team in time for the tournament. With a little under 1200 days until the Final (guessing 1193), there is still plenty of time for a Rashford-like entry out of nowhere to shake up the team.
Predicted Euro 2020 starting XI
Keeper: Joe Hart (age 33)
RB: Kyle Walker (30)
CB: John Stones (26)
CB: Reece Oxford (21)
LB: Danny Rose (29)
DM: Eric Dier (26)
CM: Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (26)
CM: Dele Alli (24)
LW: Marcus Rashford (22)
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CF: Harry Kane (26)
RW: Raheem Sterling (25)
Sub GK: Jordan Pickford (26)
Sub D: Mason Holgate (23)
Sub D: Ryan Sessegnon (20)
Sub M: Nathaniel Chalobah (25)
Sub M: Jesse Lingard (27)
Sub F: Ademola Lookman (22)
Sub F: Chris Willock (22)
While the youth currently in the team will gain three years of valuable experience playing with the national side, they will need reinforcements. Players high in potential like Sessegnon, Oxford, Holgate, Chalobah and Lookman will have to reach what is predicted for them in order for this team to make a run through the tournament.
That said, the team will look very familiar as Pickford and Jack Butland will have a hard time displacing Joe Hart as England’s No.1. It’s hard to believe he will only be 33 at Euro 2020. The Tottenham spine that is currently in place will continue and likely by this time have some Champions League experience to go alongside the high pressure games playing on England’s national team.
The team overall will be made up of players at the right age to peak or be ascending in time for the tournament but whether they can win the whole tournament is difficult to see with the depth of the other nations this series profiled this past week.