This England squad can end decades of World Cup misery

Ryan Geer Roar Pro

By Ryan Geer, Ryan Geer is a Roar Pro

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    Recent news that the experienced duo of Joe Hart and Jack Wilshere will not be in the England national team’s 23-man squad for the World Cup is a sign manager Gareth Southgate is looking to the future.

    England’s recent form in major tournaments isn’t great, especially for a country of such quality footballers, with 2006 the last time they made the quarter-finals.

    In 2010, they were bundled out easily with a 4-1 defeat to Germany, while 2014 was the first time since 1958 England had been knocked out in the group stage, following losses to Italy and Uruguay, and a draw with Costa Rica.

    Southgate will be looking to build a young starting line-up that won’t just be competitive now but also in the future. England look to have the right mix of youth and experience for a starting 11 that can easily better their efforts from 2014, push for the quarter-finals and maybe even the semis.

    In goals will be either Everton’s Jordan Pickford and Stoke’s Jack Butland. Butland has been the incumbent number 1 for England for years now but the emergence of Pickford has that under threat.

    Southgate should stick with Butland – he has more of a presence and a repertoire of big saves – although the younger Pickford probably has the better all-around skills and footwork.

    John Stones and Harry Maguire look to be the favoured center-back pairing and for years to come, being 23 and 25 years old respectively. Stones has always looked a star, making his England debut at 19. Maguire is only new to the national team, making his debut in 2017 after some great form at Hull City, then at Leicester City after a big-money transfer.

    The two fullbacks should be Kyle Walker from Manchester City on the right and Danny Rose from Tottenham on the left. Both have experience in the national setup and are young enough.

    In central midfield, the best options would be Liverpool’s Jordan Henderson and Tottenham’s Eric Dier. Both are versatile, able to play as holding midfielders who can go out onto the wings if needed. They also complement each other, with Henderson happy to push up and be more attacking, while Dier can drop back to centre-back.

    Manchester City’s Raheem Sterling, Manchester United’s Marcus Rashford and Tottenham’s Dele Ali are your attacking midfielders. Both Ali and Rashford are young and can play on the outside flanks, creating opportunities for others, but also both have the finishing capabilities to score themselves.

    Sterling is an absolute star, has been a national regular since 2014, but is still only 23 years old. Right now he is in the form of his life, being a major reason City won the Premier League title so comfortably. In 34 games he scored 18 goals and had 11 assists, and averaged either a goal or assist every 90 minutes.

    Sterling will play a similar attacking midfield role, sitting behind the striker, feeding the ball in to create chances but with the firepower to do some damage himself.

    Up front should be Tottenham’s Harry Kane, who since 2014-15 has played 140 Premier League games for a return of 105 goals – impressive for any striker.

    Kane has also scored 12 goals in his 23 England appearances, which again shows his skill and eye for goal. He could be one of the best strikers in this year’s World Cup.

    This is the starting line-up that should play against Tunisia on June 18 and hopefully stay the same the whole tournament. This would be arguably their strongest line-up and the young core could stay together and become a force in the years to come.

    Youngsters including Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Trent Alexander-Arnold and Ryan Sessengon could be bolters, but have a future in the England shirt regardless.

    Gareth Southgate has come in with a plan of playing the youngsters and sticking with them, because he wants to make England a real force in world football for the future as well.

    England’s 23-man World Cup squad
    Goalkeepers: Jack Butland (Stoke City), Jordan Pickford (Everton), Nick Pope (Burnley).

    Defenders: John Stones (Manchester City), Harry Maguire (Leicester City), Phil Jones (Manchester Utd), Kyle Walker (Manchester City), Kieran Trippier (Tottenham), Gary Cahill (Chelsea), Ashley Young (Manchester Utd), Danny Rose (Tottenham), Trent Alexander-Arnold (Liverpool).

    Midfielders: Eric Dier (Tottenham), Jordan Henderson (Liverpool), Dele Alli (Tottenham), Jesse Lingard (Manchester Utd), Raheem Sterling (Manchester City), Ruben Loftus-Cheek (Chelsea), Fabian Delph (Manchester City).

    Forwards: Harry Kane (Tottenham), Jamie Vardy (Leicester City), Marcus Rashford (Manchester Utd), Danny Welbeck (Arsenal).

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    The Crowd Says (8)

    • May 17th 2018 @ 6:15am
      lesterlike said | May 17th 2018 @ 6:15am | ! Report

      England are playing 3-4-3, that’s clear enough from Englands last few games and Southgate himself confirmed it last year. Dier and Henderson will be the in the middle with wingbacks covering the ground out wide.

      Kane will start up front and Sterling will be on one wing but the question is which of Lingard, Ali or Rashford on the other.

      • May 17th 2018 @ 12:44pm
        Brian said | May 17th 2018 @ 12:44pm | ! Report

        Predicted XI given the 3-4-3
        G Butland
        D Stones
        D Maguire
        D Jones
        W Rose
        W Walker
        M Henderson
        M Dier
        F Sterling
        F Rashford
        S Kane

        I do like it in that it negates their weaknesses in the middle and accentuates pace. There is one outstanding attirubte in the team and that is pace if they are to cause problems it has to be guys like Sterling, Walker and Rashford running at defenders at pace.

        They have a good draw and should make it out of the group easily. Once out they probably face Poland, Senegal or Colombia. All teams they can beat. Afterwards a Germany or Brazil will be too far but they should at least make the quarters.

    • May 17th 2018 @ 8:05am
      Gormon Kinchley said | May 17th 2018 @ 8:05am | ! Report

      They’ll lose their second round match, like they always do.

      • May 17th 2018 @ 5:23pm
        Kangajets said | May 17th 2018 @ 5:23pm | ! Report

        Nobody in England thinks they will go further then the second round .

    • May 17th 2018 @ 10:54am
      danwain said | May 17th 2018 @ 10:54am | ! Report

      That midfield is severely lacking in quality. I can understand why they would leave out Lallana and Wilshere considering their injury records, but it leaves a huge hole in the middle of the park.

      They are going to be found out big time in the middle of the park, Belgium will give them a hiding.

    • May 17th 2018 @ 5:32pm
      fadida said | May 17th 2018 @ 5:32pm | ! Report

      Worst English squad I’ve ever seen them take to a WC

    • May 17th 2018 @ 10:20pm
      shirtpants said | May 17th 2018 @ 10:20pm | ! Report

      Very weak in the centre of the park and they’re going to be light on in defense. They lack a commanding CB. Jones is always prone to mistakes. This will end in disappointment but they’re just lacking in depth.

    • Roar Rookie

      May 20th 2018 @ 10:56am
      Andre Leslie said | May 20th 2018 @ 10:56am | ! Report

      I like Southgate at the helm. He seems to speak sense… and not have an unrealistic set of expectations. I still don’t expect England to do anything of note at the WC though.

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