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My Picks for England’s Euro 2012 23-Man Squad

england three lions crest with question marks1 My Picks for Englands Euro 2012 23 Man Squad

With one more friendly match to play, Fabio Capello has to decide on whom to take on his 23 man squad to Euro 2012. And with several questions to answer, including whether to take the suspended Wayne Rooney or should John Terry still be captain amidst racism allegations, Capello has got a very difficult task ahead of him.

Below is what I believe Capello’s squad selection should be:

GoalKeepers (Joe Hart, Scott Carson and Rob Green)
In Joe Hart, England finally have a superior world class keeper to marshal the backline, since the days of David Seaman. First choice at Manchester City and for the national team, Hart is the one player guaranteed his position in the tournament, offering quick reflexes, aerial presence and sound positioning. The dilemma that faces Capello is who to take as back up, in case the worst happens and Hart is injured. With Scott Carson earning a call up to the Spain and Sweden friendlies, it seems the Bursapor keeper will be in the squad, as well as Rob Green; who while not a fantastic back up, does offer experience in the role.

Defenders (John Terry, Gary Cahill, Joleon Lescott, Phil Jagielka, Ashley Cole, Glen Johnson, Chris Smalling, and Phil Jones)
Two defenders are guaranteed on Capello’s list: John Terry and Ashley Cole. While they may not be everyone’s cup of tea, they are consistent for the national team and are favourites of Capello. The problem is to find a partner for Terry and a permanent player for the right flank. The most likely option for centre back, would be Gary Cahill, who has had some successful results and can be the ball-playing defender to Terry’s no-nonsense defending. Both Joleon Lescott and Phil Jagielka can stake a claim in the squad; with Rio Ferdinand on the outer, after fading fast due to the injuries and club form.

In Ashley Cole, England has one of best consistent full back in the world. His place is assured but Capello does have other options at left back including, Leighton Baines, Stephen Warnock or Kieran Gibbs. But with defensive places limited, Capello would most like select Lescott, as he is more than capable in playing at left back. Right back, is where the problem lies for Capello. Glen Johnson has been favoured over the last couple of season, even though Manchester City’s Michal Richards has been more consistent. Manchester United duo, Chris Smalling and Phil Jones are also most like be called up. Smalling has been in good form at right back, and can replace and Phil Jones’ versatility might prove useful if injury should befall the backline.

Midfielders (Scott Parker, Frank Lampard, Gareth Barry, James Milner, Jack Wilshere and Steve Gerrard)
Capello had opted for functional players in his three man midfield of late. Scott Parker, after some solid displays will start and can provide great cover ahead of the back four. Frank Lampard is another Capello favourite, who after being criticised for a poor start to the season has come back to top form. Lampard’s economic use of the ball, his ability to score from midfield and help out defensive earns him his place. Manchester City duo Gareth Barry and James Milner will most like be on the plane to Poland and Ukraine. Barry is a similar player to Parker and one that Capello loves. Milner may lack the finesse of his more  of his more creative peers, but his versatility (out wide or tucked in midfield) and professionalism make him guaranteed his selection.

Yet, Capello needs some more creativity in his midfield, to supply the forward line. In my guess, Jack Wilshere and Steve Gerrard would be selected. While, they may both be injured and may not return to till 2012, they are key players for Capello. Wilshere, if fit, will be a starter, his verve and attacking qualities are what England need. Gerrard is a tricky one for Capello; if he can get some games under his belt, as well as keeping his pace and is able to play off the lone striker (as Rooney is out) Gerrard will be on that plane. His experience in major tournaments, not in a performance aspect, can help the squad.

Forwards (Wayne Rooney, Darren Bent, Daniel Sturridge, Theo Walcott, Andy Carroll and Ashley Young)
Capello’s biggest problem ahead of the tournament lies in the front line. With so many options available to the Italian, Capello has to choose wisely on who he wants, but the biggest headache of all, lies whether or not he takes Wayne Rooney. Rooney is one of England’s better players, but being suspended for the opening group stage is a concern. My guess is that Capello will take Rooney, and assuming England overcomes the group stage, Rooney will be in the starting line; he’s far too important for the team and he should be fresh and fit, however the lack of match practice is an issue.

The question though, lies with who to cover for Rooney? The best bet would be, surprising, Darren Bent. Known for his burst of space and finding space in the box; Bent provides decent cover and more importantly is a consistent goal threat. Another option is Andy Carroll. Putting Carroll up front will result in England going direct and playing the long ball. He is a nightmare for defenders, big, strong and able to hold them hold, he can be England’s plan B if they are down and need a result. Chelsea starlet Daniel Sturridge is another who has been in great form this season. Able to play on either side on the front three, as well as leading the line, Sturridge would be valuable addition to the squad.

Theo Walcott has slowly found his feet over the past year and so. While at times, he has struggled for consistency at the highest level, Walcott has the pace to burn and can cause left backs a lot of problems. So to, Ashley Young. Able to play, left, right and centre, Young offers versatility up front for England. He, like Walcott has pace, and probably is more efficient with his delivery from the flanks.

England’s Probable XI for the first group game:
Hart; Johnson, Terry, Cahill, Cole; Wilshere, Parker, Lampard; Walcott, Bent, Young.

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16 Responses to My Picks for England’s Euro 2012 23-Man Squad

  1. Andrew May says:

    What has Carroll done to deserve a place in the squad? Surely his place should go to someone who scores on a regular basis in the premier league, ie Welbeck or Agbonlahor. Otherwise Johnson for Richards and Cleverley for Gerrard (if he hasn’t played many games by the point of selection) but the rest of it seems spot on

  2. Wiser_than_Wise says:

    Agree, Carroll hasn’t done much to suggest he warrants a place in the England squad. Would much rather prefer Gabby or Wellbeck. If Adam Johnson could become a more regular fixture at City, England would have greater width with both Johnson and Young.

  3. Jon says:

    Agreed with the others. Carroll is a nightmare for nobody.

    I’d definitely bring Richards over Smalling. I’d like Baines in too, but I’m unsure of who to take out.

  4. Kody says:

    I stopped reading when you recommended Johnson over Richards.

  5. bluemoon70 says:

    “I stopped reading when you recommended Johnson over Richards.”

    Likewise.

  6. Frank says:

    Andy Carroll is a total waste of time. Even a midefielder would do better than him if given the chance to play up front with Rooney. I’d even prefer Crouch to Carroll if a big man is needed at the end of games.

  7. Cody says:

    lol there’s no way Downing gets left out based on how often Capello has been using him.

  8. steve says:

    Spot on here with the selections.
    “I stopped reading when you recommended Johnson over Richards.”
    Reason is that Capello hasn’t selected richards, despite his impressive form this season
    Even mancini said richards had to improve to make the squad

    Solid article

    • Alan Knut says:

      Mancini doesn’t mean that though, he just says it to avoid letting young players get a big head and to spur them on to try even harder. Mancini has gotten much more out of the players he inherited than I ever could have expected.

    • Kody says:

      This article states clearly that the author thinks this is what the squad “SHOULD” be, not who he thinks Capello will select. On merit, Richards deserves to be in the squad, and should probably be in the first XI.

  9. martin M says:

    Can see this selection occurring. can understand why johnson would be there.
    carroll is a 50-50, but understand england needing a plan B, as abgonbahor is similiar to bent. so something else is needed.

    in the end, nice stuff

  10. Callum says:

    Goalkeepers
    i agrea with your selection, joe hart is without a doubt solid behind the back four and his record is phenomenal and the two reserves who i find it hard to ‘big up’ as they will never compete with hart but have experience and are probably the best 2 reserves we could have. there is an argument that we could look for a good prospect for the future and bring them along for the experience however, this will not happen tho.

    Defenders
    I think you have the main defenders there however i think you have to have leighton baines as you need cover for ashley cole and lescott would be the only other member of your squad that could play left-back. I wouldn’t take smalling just because i had to choose somebody to take out and i cant see him playing with the other players in the squad. Your all talking about micah richards i presume as cover for johnson at right-back however kyle naughtons recent form for spurs i think means he’s guaranteed a place and could even challenge johnson for a place in the starting 11. Gary Cahill would be in my squad however not in the starting XI until he moves to a bigger club, rumours possibly chelsea?? would be great to have him link up with JT

    Midfielders
    The first problem i think you’ve got is that i cant see stevie g ever being properly match fit again, it would be a bold move to leave him out but i think it would be the right one, especially as we all know he doesn’t play well for England. I would get adam johnson in the squad anyday as he is one of our most dangerous and influential players we have. You have phil jones down as a defender but i’d have him in midfield as there is no way he will play centre-back ahead of terry, cahill, jagielka or lescott. Wilshere is a must and will be our playmaker along with cleverley in the future again however i do not believe cleverley will be ready for 2012 especially with his recent injury set back. I dont rate walcott, especially not his crossing and think johnson and milner would be a much better option.

    Strikers
    I cant believe people are discussing not taking rooney, he strted the season on fire and although his form has dipped he is still world class. if you are saying not to take him you are basically saying we will not get past the group stages and your a fool. Welbeck is a star of the future and would take him along with bent who you cant deny is a natural finisher, and maybe Carroll depending on how he finishes the season at liverpool as kenny is starting to get him back on the team sheet. Sturridge deserves the place more and his versatility to play on the wing is a bonus.

    My squad would be:

    Hart, Green, Carson

    Terry, Cahill, Lescott, Jagielka, Cole, Johnson, Naughton, Baines

    Parker, Lampard, Barry, Jones, Wilshere, Milner, Young, Johnson

    Rooney, Bent, Welbeck, Sturridge

    Starting XI:
    Hart; Cole, Lescott/Jagielka, Terry, Naughton/Johnson; Parker, Wilshere, Lampard; Young, Johnson; Rooney (Welbeck for group stages)

    I think Fabio’s squad will be different, he will pick:

    Hart, Green, Carson

    Terry, Cole, Johnson, Naughton, Jagielka, Baines, Lescott, Ferdinand (instead of cahill unfortunately)

    Parker, Barry, Wilshere, Jones, Milner, Downing (fabio rates him highly), Young, Gerrard

    Rooney, Walcott (again fabio rates him and doesnt rate sturridge), Bent, Welbeck

  11. Prannoy says:

    My 23 man squad would be:

    Goalkeepers: Hart, Carson, Stockdale

    Defenders: Terry, Cole, Johnson, Walker, Jones, Baines, Lescott, Ferdinand

    Midfielders: Parker(vice captain), Lampard, Gerrard (captain), Lennon, Wilshere, Milner, Young, Downing

    Fowards: Rooney, Carroll, Welbeck, Sturridge

    First Group Game

    Hart

    Johnson Terry Jones Cole

    Parker
    Gerrard Wilshere

    Lennon Young
    Carroll (Sturridge)

  12. louis says:

    GK: Joe hart, foster, Carson
    DEF: Terry, Jones, Richards, Cole, Walker, Ferdinand, Lescott, Johnson
    Mid: Parker, Wilshire, Gerrard(C), Young, Lennon, Lampard, Milner, Oxlade-Chamberlain
    FWD: Rooney, Sturridge, Welbeck, Defoe

  13. Rob says:

    Selection should be about who are most likely to perform against the big boys of Europe the likes of Germany, Holland, Spain, France,Portugal and Italy, Lets face it England don’t have too many World Class players, very good Premiership but not World Class.

    GK : Hart, and 2 of who ever is available to cover, I would beg Peter Robinson out of Inetrnational retirement.

    DEF : A. Cole, L. Baines, J Lescott, G.Johnson(Kyle Walker may not be quite ready), J. Terry, R.Ferdinand, N.Jones, Cahill.

    MID : S.Parker(C), G. Barry, J.MIlner, S. Downing, A. Lennon, J. Wilshere(if fit otherwise Scholes to return, Cleverley not ready yet), A. Young, O. Chamberlain (if ready and fit otherwise T.Walcott).

    FOR : W. Rooney, D. Bent, Sturridge, Wellbeck.

    No place for Lampard, Gerrard, Carroll, Defoe, Crouch, Jagielka, Downing, Carrick, SWP, K.Walker,

  14. Simon says:

    Keepers: Hart, Stockdale (Three keepers is unnecessary)
    Defenders: Richards, Johnson (can also cover left back), Smalling, Jones, Ferdinand, Cahill, Cole — *No Terry (disruptive influence)
    Centre Mids: Parker, Barry, Milner, Gerrard, Lampard, Wilshere
    Wingers: Walcott, Young, Sturridge, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Lennon/Johnson
    Strikers: Rooney, Welbeck, Defoe/Bent

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