Home > England, Euro 2012, Fabio Capello, Football, Internationals > My thoughts on: England’s Euro 2012 squad part II

My thoughts on: England’s Euro 2012 squad part II

Following on from my previous blog and with England’s one and only pre-tournament friendly drawing in, competition for places in Fabio Capello’s squad continues to be a pertinent issue. With the January transfer window now closed, and a number of fixtures taking place since my initial review, I think there have been some notable changes in my list.

On the plane and in the squad

1. Joe Hart, Manchester City (GK) No change

2. Ashley Cole, Chelsea (DF) No change

3. Scott Parker, Tottenham Hotspur (MF) No change

4. Wayne Rooney, Manchester Utd (FW) No change
Despite being ineligible for the first two games of the tournament and currently being injured and out of form, there is no way Capello won’t take him

John Terry is likely to lead England this summer

5. John Terry, Chelsea (DF) No change
Missed Chelsea’s draw in Wales at Swansea City and he still has the court case hanging over his head. However, the news this week that the hearing will now take place after the European Championships is likely to mean that Terry will keep his place in the squad and the captaincy

6. Glen Johnson, Liverpool (DF) Up 1

7. Kyle Walker, Tottenham Hotspur (DF) Up 1

8. Gareth Barry, Manchester City (MF) Up 1

9. Phil Jones, Manchester Utd (DF) Down 3
Although not playing poorly, he is struggling to rekindle some of the early season form he showed in the Autumn. Injuries have certainly not helped, and he will hope that he will find fitness and form at the right time

10. Danny Welbeck, Manchester Utd (FW) Up 2
Goals at Manchester City in the FA Cup and at Arsenal in the league and his ommision against Stoke City appear to show that Welbeck is the current first choice partner for Wayne Rooney at Old Trafford. I think this is likely to continue and he may have a shout of being England’s number one striker come the summer

11. Gary Cahill, Chelsea (DF) Down 1
I expected his move to Stamford Bridge would cement a partnership with John Terry at international level, however, three games in and he is yet to kick a ball. His exclusion surprises me, particularly considering the lengthy pursuit Chelsea endured to get their man. I doubt he will remain on the bench for long, however, he needs to be playing in order to be selected

12. Darren Bent, Aston Villa (FW) Down 1

13. Joleon Lescott, Manchester City (DF) Up 1

14. James Milner, Manchester City (MF) Up 1

15. Steven Gerrard, Liverpool (MF) Up 2
His steady return to fitness will, I believe, cement his role in the final 23. A fit Steven Gerrard with his drive and experience could be a useful asset for England

16. David Stockdale, Fulham (GK) Up 5
17. Scott Carson, Bursaspor (GK) Up 5
Whoever is in the squad for England’s next friendly are likely to got to the European Championships as back-up to Joe Hart. I doubt there will be any surprises in this role although Rob Green may get a shout

18. Ashley Young, Manchester Utd (MF) Down 5
What is worrying is that Young has only played in excess of 75 minutes of football on two occasions since that 1-6 defeat at home to Manchester City in October. Young needs to return to fitness soon as he offers pace and, more importantly, an end product, an attribute that some of the other options available to Capello don’t consistently provide

19. Leighton Baines, Everton (DF) Up 11
After another inspiring performance by the Everton full-back against Manchester City, coupled with Ashley Cole’s dismissal at Swansea City, I think with the uncertainty of who may play out wide in midfield, this may dictate that an actual left-back by trade would be more prudent to take as support to Cole rather than consider playing Glen Johnson or Joleon Lescott out of position if the need necessitates

20. Frank Lampard, Chelsea (MF) Down 4
Lampard continues to have a difficult season. Not only is he no longer seen as first choice at Stamford Bridge, but he also currently injured. The fitness of Jack Wilshere may influence Lampard’s international career being extended into the summer, but, with Chelsea’s apparent lack of creativity and goals of late, Lampard may find himself becoming a key member for the Blues which won’t do his chances any harm at all

21. Theo Walcott, Arsenal (MF) Down 2

He's been dubbed the new Theo Walcott... I hope he's not!

22. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Arsenal (MF) Up 12
After his recent performance against Manchester Utd and his inclusion against Aston Villa in the FA Cup, the indications are that the former Southampton winger may become a more pivotal figure for Arsene Wenger. I think he has a good chance of making the squad, particularly with Stewart Downing, Theo Walcott and Adam Johnson all struggling for form and Ashley Young currently injured; arguably he is the in-form winger at the moment

23. Bobby Zamora, Queens Park Rangers (FW) Up 2
His move across London is an interesting one. He has swapped competing with Moussa Dembele, Bryan Ruiz, Andrew Johnson, Orlanda Sa and Fulham’s new signing, Pavel Pogrebnyak, for a regular start, for a relegation battle with his former manager Mark Hughes. I would guess the logic behind this is that he may feel he will get more opportunity to impress Fabio Capello at Loftus Road as he, and QPR supporters, will hope he forms a quick understanding with fellow new signing Djibril Cisse

Might just miss out

24. Adam Johnson, Manchester City (MF) Down 4

25. Daniel Sturridge, Chelsea (FW) Down 2

26. Rio Ferdinand, Manchester Utd (DF) No change

27. Chris Smalling, Manchester Utd (DF) No change

28. Phil Jagielka, Everton (DF) No change

Wilshere's injury has stopped him playing this summer and is likely to mean he misses Euro 2012

29. Jack Wilshere, Arsenal (MF) Down 11
Arsenal have missed Jack Wilshere desperately this season, and it would have been nice to see him in an England shirt to see him continue his good start to his international career. The news this week that he has endured a stress fracture of his heel whilst recovering from injury, I fear may mean that he misses out on this tournament

30. Stewart Downing, Liverpool (MF) Down 6

Probably can take the phone of the hook

31. Jermain Defoe, Tottenham Hotspur (FW) Down 2
Things are going great for Defoe at the minute, which sounds odd as his record shows that when given the chance at Tottenham, he scores. However, most recently, his miss away at Manchester City and the rumours that were rife surrounding a possible departure, may reflect that Defoe is no longer considered indispensible. He may need to infiltrate the seemingly preferred partnership of Emmanuel Adebayor and Rafael van der Vaart if he is going to make it to the tournament

32. Andy Carroll, Liverpool (FW) Up 1
His performance at Wolverhampton Wanderers will be something that the Liverpool supporters will want to see continue. If Carroll is going to manage to get into Capello’s thoughts, I think he is going to have to really raise his game and continue to put in these sort of performances, coupled with goals, and get about it fairly quickly

33. Scott Sinclair, Swansea City (MF/FW) Up 2
I would love for Sinclair to be given an opportunity in England’s friendly against Holland later this month; particularly with other players being injured or out of form. His, like Swansea’s, first season in the Premier League, has been a good one, and, as I stated at the start of the season, I think he is a future England international

34. Aaron Lennon, Tottenham Hotspur (MF) Down 3

35. Gabriel Agbonlahor, Aston Villa (FW) Down 3

36. Micah Richards, Manchester City (DF) Up 3

37. Michael Carrick, Manchester Utd (MF) Up 6

38. Robert Green, West Ham Utd (GK) New Entry

39. Liam Ridgewell, West Bromwich Albion (DF) New Entry
I like Liam Ridgewell and am surprised that many other teams didn’t show an interest in a player who has shown versatility in playing both central and at left back. At Birmingham City, he showed that not only was he becoming an accomplished defender, he was also a danger in opposition penalty areas. With Arsenal’s Kieran Gibbs still injured, I am struggling to find a realistic alternative to Ashley Cole or Leighton Baines at left back

Get the sun tan lotion and speedos out; you’ll be going somewhere sunnier

40. Jack Rodwell, Everton (MF) Down 3

41. Peter Crouch, Stoke City (FW) No change

42. Joe Cole, Lille (MF) No change

43. Kieran Gibbs, Arsenal (DF) Down 7

44. Michael Dawson, Tottenham Hotspur (DF) Down 6

45. Tom Cleverley, Manchester Utd (MF) Up 5

46. Jordan Henderson, Liverpool (MF) No change

47. Stephen Warnock, Aston Villa (DF) No change

48. Martin Kelly, Liverpool (DF) Down 8

49. Danny Graham, Swansea City (FW) No change

50. Nathan Dyer, Swansea City (MF) Down 5

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  1. Michael Cheeseman
    February 6, 2012 at 10:52 am

    My brother and i were discussing the squad a couple of days ago, both confused as to others ignoring certain players, as well as those not concentrating on the ‘team’ and tactical aspects. We had our disagreements but had similar ideas on many of the players.

    GK Hart, Stockdale (only 2 because of Jagielka)

    RB Richards (best RB in premiership) Walker
    CB Jagielka, Smalling, Jones, Cahill Lescott
    LB Cole, Baines

    CM Parker, Wilshere, Gerrard, Milner, Gerrard, Carrick (Cleverly if he gets a run of form free from injury will closely be considered)

    Attacking/Wide Midfield: Sturridge, Walcott, Young, Johnson, Oxade-Chamberlain

    ST Rooney, Wellbeck,

    This squad offers options, both in formation and tactics.

    John Terry has been moved out as he divides the dressing room and brings with him too much pressure. Parker, Hart or Richards should be captain.

    Rooney is out for the first two games, however the ability to interchange the squad covers for that, with Wellbeck, Sturridge, Walcott, Young and Oxlade Chamberlain able to play as a striker.

    We felt it important that this squad doesn’t have the stench of the old from 2010, players like Barry, Terry, Lampard bring with them failure. Gerrard does get into the squad but perhaps not the team, Cole gets through as much to do with lack of alternatives as his form hasn’t been great this season.

    Johnson doesn’t make it, RB being our strongest position, the other 2 have better all round games.

    Centre back is the biggest concern, these partnerships are not tried and tested, but there is potential. Jones is an important player as he can be cover at either CB or CM. As is Jagielka as cover in goal.

    In wide positions we have great pace and creativity in youth. Oxade Chamberlain is there as a bit of a wild card, however thats a fortune we can afford with Jagielka in the squad as 3rd choice GK cover.

    Young and Rooney could even play attacking midfield should it be required.

    These players are largely workers as well. They play for the team and we are intentionally trying to avoid the ‘stars’ of the ‘golden generation’ who could not gel as a group. Here is where the youth should be an advantage.

    Equally whatever happens in the Euro’s this squad will be a positive start for the World Cup 2014.

    • February 6, 2012 at 1:01 pm

      Hi Michael,

      I agree, the sooner we can move on from the predicatability of previous squads and tournaments the better; however, I fear that Fabio Capello, and many others alike, will hide behind the need for experience. I would agree with that to a certain extent, however, if that compromises the overall ability of the squad then surely it is not a viable option. I hope that whoever it is that is afforded the responsibility of managing England post Euro 2012, puts aside previous preferences and takes a more longer term approach with a greater reliance, as many of the leading teams in the Premier League are, on a more youthful set-up.

      With the FA stripping John Terry of the captaincy quickly followed by Capello’s outburst, I really can’t see a situation where the Chelsea defender can go, albeit, I would have argued that reasonable alternatives have been available for some time and should have already been ‘tried and tested’. I fear that if Terry is omitted (through his own decision or not), then Capello may opt for the aging Ferdinand which again, in my eyes, is a backwards step.

      I completely agree in that we appear to have an abundance of attacking options, the key for me though is that we play a system that encourages freedom of movement and comfortability on the ball. I think the recent form of Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain for Arsenal is a massive boost for England as I certainly didn’t expect him to break into the squad this early, but for me, he is in form and deserves a chance. Unfortunately, I think it may be at the expense of his club colleague Jack Wilshere. Without any football under his belt this season, I think even now it would be a risk to consider him. I doubt he will be fit for the friendly with Holland, but he has the potential to be an exceptional talent, and if he manages to get fit for the final 10 games or so, and performs well, I feel Capello may just give him the nod.

      As for defence, I really don’t know what Micah Richards has to do to return to the England-fold. Capello clearly has a problem with him which I hope is not shared by his successor.

      I notice you omitted Darren Bent and wondered why that was? Bent is the striker in form for England and I would be disappointed for him if he didn’t make the final 23; particularly as we are without Wayne Rooney for the first two matches.

      I’m sure there will be plenty of speculation over the coming weeks and months as players and teams gain and lose form, injuries crop up and off-the-field misdemeanours appear in the tabloids. I’ll be updating my list in a couple of weeks and we’ll see if we’re any closer to a match.

      Phil

  2. Michael Cheeseman
    February 6, 2012 at 10:53 am

    gerrard is put twice as an error!!

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