Every time I turn on the television or read a newspaper there seems to be more bad news about England’s Euro 2012 campaign.
The likes of Gareth Barry, Frank Lampard and Gary Cahill have had to pull out of the tournament with injuries and England’s squad is looking very short on bodies and quality.
I have to say that I was really surprised to see Liverpool duo Martin Kelly and Jordan Henderson called into the Three Lions squad.
Kelly is a bright young player but his first team experience is very limited and he struggled for games last season.
However, England boss Roy Hodgson decided to draft him into the squad to replace injured centre-back Gary Cahill. Maybe the former-West Brom boss is hoping that the young full-back gains a lot from the experience of being at a major tournament.
Henderson is another replacement I just don’t understand. The young midfielder had a very poor first season at Liverpool after arriving from Sunderland with a big reputation and an even bigger price tag. Yet he finds himself in the England squad for the European Championships.
Henderson may yet go on to be a good player in the future but on form he really doesn’t deserve to be anywhere near the England squad. The fact that two players from such an underperforming Premier League team from last season have been called up shows the lack of options available to the England boss.
At the moment expectations are low in my homeland about our chances of being successful at Euro 2012. The main reason is because of the lack of genuine quality in the England squad. I can’t genuinely say that I believe we have better players than Germany or Spain, or even Holland.
Unless Roy Hodgson manages to work a miracle I don’t think England are good enough to progress beyond the quarter-finals stage.
I believe a lot of people in England would have been happy for Roy Hodgson to have taken an experimental squad out to the European Championships. However, the former-Liverpool boss had just a few weeks in charge of the team before he had to submit his final squad list.
And Hodgson isn’t the sort of manager to take risks like that. This tournament must be used as a stepping stone for some of these players for the qualifying for the World Cup in 2014. I would like to see the likes of Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain given a proper chance at the Euros.
A lot of the players in the current squad probably won’t figure in the World Cup qualifiers and it’s important that young talent is allowed to gain experience at competitive competitions. It’s just a shame that the likes of Tom Cleverley, Chris Smalling and Kyle Walker didn’t make it.
The biggest young player missing will be Arsenal midfielder Jack Wilshere though. Along with the above players he could play a crucial part in the future of the English national team. When these young players are re-introduced into the England squad it will be the breath of fresh air that the squad needs.
Some people may say that I’m a pessimist for writing England off at the Euro’s. However, I consider myself more of a realist. I don’t think any of our opponents will fear playing us. This could work as an advantage but it could also work as a disadvantage, more likely the latter.
I have always rated Roy Hodgson as a boss. The veteran boss has performed some great feats with very little resources available to him in his managerial career. Winning the European Championships with this set of players would be by far the greatest though.
I don’t have high hopes for England at the European Championships but I would love Roy and the boys to go out there and prove me wrong. If I am wrong I will quite happily eat humble pie. I do however think that my pie eating spoon will be staying in my cutlery draw for the foreseeable future.
How far can England go at the European Championships?
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