Is Football Coming Home Again?
With the semi-finals and final of Euro 2020 taking place at Wembley, England have a big opportunity to win a major trophy. After their near misses in the World Cup and the Nations League, there is huge hope they can go even further next June.
Many positions have huge strength in depth, and it is possible to select a talented XI from players who are not in Gareth Southgate’s squad.
Possibly England’s weakest position, as Jordan Pickford is seldom totally convincing. Tom Heaton and Nick Pope are the other selections in the squad.
That leaves capable performers like Jack Butland and Fraser Forster at home. Dean Henderson of Sheffield United (on loan from Old Trafford) looks the most likely rising star to snatch a place in the squad next summer.
Luke Shaw and Kyle Walker are quality wing-backs. Shaw has a short-term injury, but the omission of Walker is puzzling. John Stones also has injury issues, whilst James Tarkowski can feel disappointed that he only has one cap so far.
Dele Alli has missed some games for Spurs at the start of the season, and we can expect to see him in future England squads. Eric Dier may find it harder to return to the squad though, as this hardened battler doesn’t quite seem to be what Southgate wants.
Phil Foden must surely get a call-up soon, though his limited minutes at Manchester City are a problem. James Ward-Prowse doesn’t quite seem up to this level. Maybe Jack Grealish can turn his eye-catching performances at Aston Villa into an international call-up.
Jamie Vardy has had a fantastic run of goalscoring form recently but we’ll reluctantly leave him out of this team as he has declared his retirement.
Of those who are still contenders, Tammy Abraham has made a fine start to the season with Chelsea. Also at Chelsea Callum Hudson-Odoi should return from his Achilles injury soon. Harvey Barnes of Leicester may be the strongest alternative and could yet make a late run for a squad place.
The Alternative England Eleven
So, here is our alternative eleven. It’s a little unbalanced but we reckon it would be good enough to be competitive against most nations across Europe. With so much strength in depth, perhaps this time football really is coming home.
- Dean Henderson
- Dele Alli
- Eric Dier
- Harvey Barnes
- Jack Grealish
- James Tarkowski
- John Stones
- Kyle Walker
- Luke Shaw
- Phil Foden
- Tammy Abraham
- UEFO Euro Qualifiers