7 England Footballers Who Should Join Heskey in Retirement

Wembley London England v Slovakia International Friendly 28/03/2009 Emile Heskey (England) has to leave the field soon after scoring Photo Roger Parker Fotosports International

English footballer Emile Heskey did the noble thing this week by announcing his retirement from international football. Despite lots of criticism, Heskey was a stalwart for England, making 62 appearances for his country between 1999 and 2010 and contributing a large number of assists and seven goals. He’ll be remembered as a man who always gave his most for his country and has nothing to be ashamed of.

For England to turn a new leaf and begin building a squad that will mark a new generation of English international footballers, it’s imperative – in my opinion – for some of the current England team to also retire. This will then allow new players to come up through the ranks and gain necessary playing time at the highest level.

I’ve often said that the England u-21 side has, for a long time, played much better than the full international squad. The u-21 team has shown much more pace, better technical ability and, most importantly of all, play better as a team than the group of individuals that the England national team play like.

So to give players a chance to compete at the national level, footballers such as Jack Rodwell, Lee Cattermole, Jack Wilshere, Chris Smalling, Andy Carroll, Daniel Sturridge and others, here are my recommendations of which current England national team players should consider retirement:

  1. David James (age 39): While goalkeepers can often play into their forties, James needs to leave to give Joe Hart more of a chance to get playing time.
  2. Jamie Carragher (age 32): Carragher still has the technical skills to defend well, but he no longer has the pace that’s needed so much at international level.
  3. Frank Lampard (age 32): While still a wonderful servant at Chelsea, his age is a factor especially when you consider that he would be 36 in World Cup 2014. It’s time for Lampard to leave to give opportunities for younger midfielders to gain necessary match experience at the highest level.
  4. David Beckham (age 35): The reality is that Beckham will never be a starter again for England. The best hope is that he comes on as a late substitute in each game. So why sacrifice a younger footballer who can play 90 minutes for someone who will only get less effective as each year passes?
  5. Rio Ferdinand (age 31): Ferdinand has been struggling with injuries for more than a year, and it’s time for him to face reality that he’s never going to be as good or as fit as he was a few years ago when he was at the top of his game.
  6. Ledley King (age 29): Like Ferdinand, King is too injury prone to compete at the highest level.
  7. Matthew Upson (age 31): Upson had his chance to shine at the 2010 World Cup and, although he scored one goal, he lacked pace and know-how against Germany.

None of the above players should be ashamed if they retired from international football at this stage in their career. Each has performed well for his country, but it’s time for them to move on. It’s time for a new breed of England national team players to come through the system. It’s time for a transitional period in the England national team structure. It’s time for new blood.

Do you agree or disagree with the above choices? Are there other current England national team players not listed above that you feel should retire? Click the comments link below and share your opinion.

29 thoughts on “7 England Footballers Who Should Join Heskey in Retirement”

  1. I’d take a chance on Rio being healthy before I’d take a chance on John Terry not being slow, fat and meddlesome.

    1. Sad days that these two are out best centre halves! Rio is overrated, injury prone(for the last couple of seasons at least) and gives the impression he doesn’t care too much anyway…he should move to the US and try to emulate Vinnie Jones success!! – even sadder that he was made skipper!

      and as for Terry…well pretty much what you said except he’s not really fat is he!

    2. You say slow, fat, and meddlesome.

      I say Captain, Leader, Legend. Things would have turned out quite different had the One England Captain been wearing the arm band.

      But then again, f*** the England team. Let Fraudio Crappello cock them up for years to come.

      Up the Chels!

  2. Completely agree, it is a bit sad that this is the reality for these guys. They’ve certainly given England fans a lot of ups and downs over the years. I feel like between England, France and Italy we’re going to see a ton of turnover in Europe before Euro 2012 and a lot of great players retire.

  3. What did you listen to ESPNsoccernet podcast? Gotta love how people say a guy that has been scoring 20+ goal regularly in the EPL should not be on the England squad. Maybe if they put Super Frank at the top of midfield where he belongs he would do better on the national team instead of Stevie G who was no where to be seen in the WC minus his 4th minute goal vs the US. Also I think you would be saying different if his goal had counted vs Germany because that would have been a game changer.

    I also love how the courts wont let the story out about how Stevie G knocked up some 16 year old girl, but they would let the story out about JT shaggin teammate’s ex.

      1. Typical uninformed opinion. Did you even watch the matches? Assuming you did, can you tell me what position Gerrard played in? He played in the ‘all over the f’n place’ role, completely throwing the midfield in disarray. Lamps and Barry had to cover his arse the entire time. Even Rooney had to drop way deep to cover the holes Gerrard left.

        Spare me the recycled analysis and chippy one liners. You clearly have an anti-Chelsea bias, and fair to play to you for that. At least now your comments can easily be ignored.

        1. Crackhead from a chav racist family and background. JT should meddle with his mum then teammates wife. He is one of the main reasons why England was never a team. Get rid of all the Chelsea players they have nothing left to offer England.

    1. And who played CM, who played in thier preffered position, im pretty sure it was lampard even though hes no way near as good as stevie, and btw, that RUMOUR has never be proven about stevie, just some cock like you making thinks up to discredit and awesome player, whereas it was proven in lamps case

  4. If we are rebuilding to 2014 instead of 2012, my choices to bow out gracefully without having to suffer snubs from Capello and/or brief cameos near the end of friendlies include:

    Terry (a complete thug, numpty, twunt, whatever you want to call this guy he is a self serving defender who has lost his pace and doesn’t have much to offer)
    King (great player but not sure why he was in the WC squad due to his injury issues)
    Carragher (I think he has said the WC was a one-off)
    Beckham (time is up I’m afraid)

    I’d keep Lampard/Gerrard but they are really going to have to work for their places..ditto goes for Ferdinand

  5. lampard is still the best english central midfield player, with the possible exception of the fast-improving james milner. would you be suggesting that he retire if the disallowed goal against germany had gone in and england had gone on to win the game? until someone better comes along, he’d still be one of the first names in my squad.

    1. First, It’s a stretch to assume England would have gone on to win the game.

      Second, considering Gerrard is taking it in the neck and he scored, it’s pretty clear that England fans are looking for more than the blind squirrel that finds the odd nut. One goal was not going to undo his invisible performances.

      1. now i didn’t watch much of england’s games but lampard, despite his not-as-good movement and intelligence associated with the barcelona midfielders provided a good attacking spark to his team. his dissalowed goal was great, very unfortunate obvoiusly and his free kick that hit the cross bar, also in the germany game, was also unlucky. gerrard for that matter scored a good goal in the first game and had a great save from his cut inside from the left and strike in the 2nd half. fact is that european players at their club sides make them look good i.e. ballack, essien, xabi alonso, mascherano… this is where the system comes into it. these players were told ‘go out and dominate’ but they didn’t have anyone to play off or a formation to suit. to say that lampard and gerrard didnt work hard for their country is stupid, their working environment wasn’t right

  6. I agree with above statements that I’d give Rio a chance again. Terry needs to go. That goal kick vs Germany was a mistake you aren’t supposed to make in under 14’s.

  7. I would definitely add John Terry and Steven Gerrard to that list. John Terry was good (albeit very over-rated) maybe 4 years ago. Since then he’s got older, slower, clumsier. He “gets stuck in” which seems to win over a lot of fans and media in England, but realistically he’s ALWAYS been way more error-prone than Rio, and he’s only got worse over the last few years.

    As for Gerrard, I’m getting bored of criticising him, only for someone to reply “yeah, but what about that night in Istanbul in 2005…” Get over it, it was five years ago and he’s been living off it ever since. What has he done SINCE then? When has he played well for England? When has he done anything for Liverpool in big games?

  8. It all depends on what the goal is for England. If England want to qualify for Euro 2012 and make it to the quarters then you have to keep a number of senior players like Gerrard and Terry. If, on the other hand, England want to build for the future with the 2014 World Cup in mind then it should revamp the entire squad and that includes leaving out players like Gerrard, Terry, Barry, etc. Players like Ashley Young, Walcott, Agbonlahor, etc. should be given a run-in so that they would be ready to compete effectively in a couple of years.

    I would drop anyone that’s 30+ years of age and start the rebuilding process now. There’s no guarantee of this succeeding but I think it’s better than staying with the present squad and tinkering with it.

  9. John “count your fingers after shaking hands with me” Terry (bring on Michael Dawson PLEASE)
    Upson (where’s the ball gone? and what’s Klose doing here?)
    Calamity James
    Gareth (I’m as useless as a one legged man in an ass kicking contest) Barry
    Rio (English is my second language – “NUFF SAID MATE”!) Ferdinand

  10. I have a feeling that Beckham will never retire. And we are going to see him on the English bench for years to come…

  11. They need to dump anyone who cant put aside their differences and work together as a team regardless of age or skill. Players need to realize it isn’t about them, its about coming together as a cohesive unit to accomplish a common goal.

    It’s time for a youth movement, too many selfish players with their own interests instead of worrying about whats important.

  12. I agree that Gerrard should step aside as his performances werent his best but to suggest that he should go and Lampard who was even more anonimous should stay is ridiculous. You Chelsea boys are right, Gerrard did cover more of the field than most, but if fat Frank coverd his own 2 blades of grass it might have left Stevie G with a smaller job on his hands i.e. his own role. Instead he had to worry about them Chelsea boys mums stealing his stuff or trying to shag his missus. Dave C,Just some Steve G Highlights:- a few goals in world cup qualifiers, goal against USA in world cup finals, Olympiakos, FA cup final against West Ham 2 goals, 23 goals in 53 games 2005-2006, scorer of 2 goals against Real Madrid in CL & goal against Man U in PL within 4 days of each other after which three-time FIFA World Player of the Year Zinedine Zidane hailed the Liverpool skipper, saying “Is he the best in the world? He might not get the attention of Messi and Ronaldo but yes, I think he might be”. On 22 March 2009, Gerrard scored his first ever hat-trick in the Premier League, against Aston Villa, in a 5–0 victory. Also 2009 FWA footballer of the year. Dave you idiot, Frank aint bad for a 3rd striker but he aint no Steve G!!

    1. @ Stamford Who…ok maybe I was being a little overly harsh on Steve Gerrard. I admit I forgot he may have scored against Man Utd and Real Madrid, so for me to say he hasn’t done anything for Liverpool in big games recently is maybe a little too much. But it’s interesting how MOST of your list of Stevie G highlights back up my point – most of his highlights are from between 2001 and 2005/2006.

      I honestly believe he is one of the least “clutch” players in the England squad (and that’s saying a LOT, since they’re all a bunch of chokers). Whenever his team are in need of a goal with 10 mins left, I always notice he’s the first one to just start hoofing panicky moon-balls into the penalty box and hoping for the best. He just doesn’t have the composure, patience or discipline to be as good as his die-hard fans think he is.

  13. Lampard needs a damn good thrashing, never mind retirement. He spent most of the games standing about with his hands on his hips sneering at everyone. I think he’s like a space-tourist, paying a few million for the experience and not contributing any work…. and of course… his family runs the FA.

  14. I think that anyone in the sqaud who is 29/30 now should retire. I watched all our games in South Africa and I was embarrised by how we played. Considering our league is supposed to be the best in the world (probably because all the foreign imports anyway), our team looked average. If the older sqaud members retired now it would give the younger players time to play as a team. I think within two years with a young squad playing regular together we could reach the quarters at the euro’s. You only have to look at Germany to see it can be done. Keep Gerrard, Rooney and even Crouch in the sqaud along with Defoe. Players like Dawson, Hart, Milner will all get their chance (I hope). I just hope that the players in the U21 squad dont turn out to be blinged up millionaire footballers who only care about there next pay check from a Nike advert or which nuts girl they will be shagging next! Since spending nearly 4grand to go watch those bunch of clowns in SA I am through with going to pay to watch them. Until they sort out that team and realise playing for England is an honour and not a chore the FA will not be seeing anymore of my cash.

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