Now that Rio Ferdinand has turned down the opportunity to represent England (and instead favoured a 15hour round trip to Doha to commentate on a game he could have been playing in) he should be cast on to the scrap-heap. His generation have promised so much but delivered so little when it comes to international football, and it’s time we simply got rid of them and started again. It’s not even like we need their experience – what do they have experience of exactly? crashing out of tournaments early in a depressing and humiliating fashion? I’m sure the kids could probably manage that on their own!?
Whilst I was very tempted to start completely from scratch, and draft in the talented youngsters such as Caulker, Zaha, Sterling and Butland, some would argue that’s a step too far with Brazil 2014 just around the corner. But that doesn’t mean that youngsters aren’t given their chance…
GK – Joe Hart (27 in 2014)
A no brainer, and should be at his peak by then.
DF – Chris Smalling (25), Phil Jones (22), Gary Cahill (29), Leighton Baines (30)
Chris Smalling and Phil Jones work admirably together at Manchester United, with Jones taking his blood-and-guts game to central role, and Smalling using his pace donw the right. Gary Cahill will be alongside Jones to help steady the ship should Jones get pulled a bit too far forwards, as well as add his own intelligence to the back-line.
It’s completed by Leighton Baines, who at 30 years old just about scrapes in – mainly because we don’t have too many other options at left-back…
MF – Danny Welbeck (24), Tom Cleverley (25), Jack Wilshere (22), Theo Walcott (25)
In front of a solid back 5, we have an exciting and adventurous midfield, with two box-to-box central midfielders negating the need for one sitting, holding midfielder. Joining them you have two players who can fly down the wings, but who have put the hours in and know how important it is to get back and help defend. Welbeck’s industrious performances against Real prove he is up to the task as being one of the first lines of defence.
AT – Wayne Rooney (29), Daniel Sturridge (25)
This is it – Rooney’s last chance to make an impact on the world stage. Whilst Ronaldo has gone from strength to strength over recent years, Rooney’s most telling contributions have been his sending off, and his mouthing off at England fans who dared to boo another dour performance. If he doesn’t do the business in Brazil then get rid of him. Seriously! Alongside him is Sturridge, who has made a real impact at Liverpool, and is well on his way to becoming their main striker, with Suarez sitting off in a similar fashion to Rooney.
There, was it that difficult? Lampard, Gerrard, Ferdinand, Cole et al can go and boil their heads, and we’d have an infinitely more attacking, versatile and exciting England team. If only Woy would listen…!
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