Euro 2012 Ladder

So now that England have pretty much qualified, we can start to speculate on who the 23 will be that get to take part in the next major tournament disappointment – this will be adjusted through the season, so keep checking back for facetious comments about our chances…

Goalkeepers

Joe Hart

Head and shoulders above every other English goalkeeper at the moment.

Rob Green

Grudgingly, just pray he never actually has to play. For all his agility and shot-stopping prowess, he makes far too many errors – and he’s playing Championship football.

Frank Fielding

Decent showing at the Under 21 tournament in Denmark, and might as well go to make-up the numbers.

Defenders

Ashley Cole

Being English is his single redeeming feature.

Chris Smalling

By no means the finished article at right back or in the centre, but a classy defender all the same – his versatility makes him a must.

Phil Jones

Almost the same as Smalling, except add in his capability to play a holding-role in midfield. A brilliant footballer, not just a defender.

Gary Cahill

Not quite as good as the press or his transfer fee make him out to be, but a shoe-in to make the plane.

John Terry

Just about…

Micah Richards

A player reborn, and hanging onto your place in that Manchester City team is quite an accolade.

Phil Jagielka

Gary Cahill may be a better footballer, but Jagielka is the better defender of the two at the moment.

Rio Ferdinand

Not, in my opinion, good enough to be playing International football anymore – but leaving him out would just feel contrary, and we’ll leave that to Football365.

Midfield

Jack Wilshere

There’s a little bit of a question mark over his temperament, but certainly not over his talent – the only English midfielder that would get anywhere Spain’s squad.

Steven Gerrard

Included with the obvious asterisk about his fitness.

Ashley Young

A player that has been traditionally under-utilised by England – but he’s still the reason why the dark days of Gerrard/Lampard playing wide-left are finally behind us.

Scott Parker

Another one who’s not quite as good as the football writers make him out to be, but he still deserves a place because of his positional discipline.

Theo Walcott

Another one included through gritted teeth, because there just aren’t any real alternatives – and Aaron Lennon has had chance after chance with England and always disappointed. There’s always a ‘what if’ with Walcott, so let’s take that to a tournament and hope he delivers on it.

Joey Barton

Hated by most of the other players on this list, but on a footballing basis – and remember we’re not taking into account the myriad off-field issues that this could create – he deserves to be here.

Gareth Barry

Ok, Ok, I know – but actually he’s been playing quite well for Manchester City.

Adam Johnson

…because of his flexibility. If you have a winger in the squad that can play on both sides of the pitch, you have cover for both starters. And the last midfield spot was between him and Michael Carrick.

Forwards

Wayne Rooney

One of the only reasons it’s worth the plane fare to Polkraine.

Jermaine Defoe

Signs of life from the Tottenham forward – not really good enough for International football really, but then, neither are the rest of them.

Darren Bent

Gets a seat as a second out-and-out goalscorer – albeit as one that will probably never score a lot of goals at this level.

Bobby Zamora

If he’s injury free he deserves to go, carries the aerial threat that makes him useful – but not in the lumbering way that Crouch does, and not in the plodding way that Andy Carroll does.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>