With a disappointing World Cup over for England, fans will already be looking ahead to the 2016 European Championships campaign.
Who will be there? Who will be left behind?
Could this starting XI be the future?
(GK) Joe Hart - Still young for a keeper at 27 years of age, keepers often peak towards their 30’s but Joe Hart still shows promise, leadership and passion to play for England. Something they will need if they want to improve. A good shot stopper and distributor, there aren’t many that will knock Hart off his number one spot.
(RB) Kyle Walker – Desperately unlucky to miss out on the last 2 tournaments through injury, Walker possess pace to join attacks but may need to work on his defensive duties in that right back position. Still young at 24, Walker has the ability to be a consistent performer at right-back.
(LB) Luke Shaw- The young Southampton left back was selected above Ashley Cole in the wake of the 2014 World Cup and was given 1 match to experience tournament football. Showing signs of real promise; Shaw’s ability to balance defence and attack is exciting and is drawing attention from Manchester United. A certainty to be in and around the squad for the Euro’s surely?
(CB) Phil Jones – At 22-years-old, Jones is still young and learning his trade at Manchester United. Jones has been subject to criticism after some abject performances, he will need to work on his consistency but there is definitely potential for the young man to be a very good centre back.
(CB) Chris Smalling – Once again, the centre back position is one that needs a lot of development for England. Smalling too has potential to develop into a sound centre-back, more first team action playing alongside Jones could be a profitable experience for them both at United. Strong, agile and pacey; both these centre backs have all the attributes to be England’s partners at the back.
(CM) Jack Wilshere - Wilshere has matured in his footballing career far quicker than most. A leader on the pitch for Arsenal and a desire to play simple, attractive football; England have a good centre midfielder on their books in Wilshere. If he can keep fit and avoid injuries, Wilshere could be a key player for England in their bid for the Euro’s.
(CM) Nathaniel Chalobah - The Chelsea youngster could be a surprise inclusion from the U21’s. Touted as a real talent, Chalobah is a box to box midfielder who can accompany Wilshere’s style well. Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho has high hopes for the youngster who could burst onto the scene should Hodgson see the potential in him.
(LW) Raheem Sterling – One of only a couple of players to show promise at the World Cup, Sterling seemed unfazed by the awe of the tournament and was replicating his exciting attacking prowess he showed last season at Liverpool. Maybe better suited to the left hand side, Sterling is unpredictable as he can cut in, go down the line or play centrally. Unbelievable pace combined with raw ability, Sterling is certainly one of England’s future stars.
(RW) Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain – Another hopeful whose World Cup was ruined by injury, Chamberlain is a player who can “wow” the crowds with his dribbling ability. England need players who are comfortable with the ball at their feet and Chamberlain is one of them. Always looking to take on his man, the “Ox” can be a player who gets the fans excited whenever he is on the ball. Keep him fit, and he will be a dangerous player to have.
(ACM) Ross Barkley - Touted as the “next Wayne Rooney”, Ross Barkley has been backed by Everton manager, Roberto Martinez to become an international star in his career. Hodgson gave him a flavour of the World Cup and the youngster showed glimpses of magic and what he can offer England in the future. If he can push for a starting spot in the Everton team next season and get games under his belt, we could see a new Wayne Rooney emerge.
(ST) Daniel Sturridge - Bagged himself a World Cup goal and looked a real threat in-front of goal, Sturridge has finally found his shooting boots for club and country. Do we finally have a natural goalscorer in the Liverpool man? We haven’t had a natural finisher in the squad for a while; with Rooney ageing and playing deeper, the onus will be on Sturridge to put the ball in the net.
By Oliver Baines | June 26th, 2014