So long the part of the team most derided for being useless, suddenly the part of the team most praised for being ruthless, England’s striking problem going into Euro 2016 this summer is a good one to have.
Six or seven players can make reasonable claims for contention, and quite a lot of the English players amongst the goals in this Premier League season play in different ways, making even the ones who do not fit into Roy Hodgson’s first XI useful ways to add a shock factor into the squad.
It can be reasonably assumed that England’s last competitive action, which included a morale-boosting come from behind win in Germany at the end of March, is how Hodgson wants to set his side up for the tournament in France. If that is the case, then England fans can expect a side that tries to keep the tempo quick, does not play technically refined football but rather runs and presses with great energy. With Liverpool and Tottenham players, who base their entire games around hard running and quick passing, making up a large chunk of the squad and possibly a majority of the starting line-up this should be a good thing.
|Striker||Goals/game (15/16)||Goals/game (Career)||Goals/game (Last three years)||Chances created/game (15/16, Squawka)|
The table above reconfirms what most observers already know, since getting regular game time Daniel Sturridge and Harry Kane have been deadly, Wayne Rooney has been one of the most consistent forwards England have ever had, and Jamie Vardy and Jermaine Defoe are having one of the best years in their careers.
The four taken to France purely on the strength of goal scoring and chance creating form would be Kane, Sturridge, Rooney, and Vardy. Sturridge and Vardy press well and have pace to burn and a fit and sharp Sturridge is a lethal finisher, Rooney offers set piece ability as well as experience, and Harry Kane is an all-around great striker.
The only questions remaining around this selection are fitness – Sturridge and Rooney have both missed significant time this season and Sturridge has a long injury history, and versatility. In some ways picking four reasonably similar strikers is the perfect selection because they can just be rotated out of the team depending on form without changing anything about the overall style of play, however what you lack is a silver bullet on the bench.