With the European Championships just three months away, now is the time for England to throw proven flops onto football’s scrapheap and blood young talent.
The ‘golden generation’ as it was described won nothing. It didn’t even come close to winning something.
That is why England, under whoever’s guidance, must move away from the likes of Rio Ferdinand and John Terry.
Lining up 4-3-3 and presuming everybody is fit and playing well, here is my case for the England defence to start against France on June 11.
Goalkeeper: Joe Hart. He’s not only the obvious choice, he’s our only choice. The Manchester City shot stopper is the best in the world in his position. He is level headed, playing in a winning side and starring for both club and country.
Right back: Kyle Walker just edges it ahead of Micah Richards. At just 21, Walker has already established himself at Tottenham’s best option and will continue to improve if given a chance.
Left back: Ashley Cole. Like it or not he’s our best option. I’d love to say Leighton Baines or Kieran Gibbs, but the truth is, neither is as good as the Chelsea man, who has been poor by his own standards this year.
With 93 caps to his name, Cole’s organisational skills and international know how would be invaluable this young back line.
Centre back: Phil Jones has been the stand-out talent in the Premier League this season. He’s a quality young player with an incredible future ahead of him. At Manchester United he will only continue to progress.
Jones deserves a chance to play in his most natural position, which is why I’ve picked him in the centre of England’s defence.
Centre back: At 6ft 4ins Chris Smalling is a man mountain. He’s an old-fashioned defender, who takes no stick.
Smalling’s partnership with his now Manchester United team-mate for the U21s at last summer’s Euros was possibly the only highlight. Smalling’s development has continued and he can be a huge asset to the senior team.
Tomorrow I’ll name the three-man midfield. Make sure you add your goalkeeper/defence in the comment box below.
Published: March 14, 2012
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