Saturday, June 23, 2018

Do England players get chosen because they play for fashionable clubs?

Southampton striker Rickie Lambert has been superb this season, but is unlikely to get an England call-up

Southampton striker Rickie Lambert has been superb this season, but is unlikely to get an England call-up

England drew their last World Cup qualifier 1-1 with Montenegro on Tuesday.

The result wasn’t a great surprise as England hasn’t exactly been inspiring in recent months under Roy Hodgson, efficient maybe, but not inspiring.


Norwich skipper Grant Holt has revealed that he feels he didn’t get picked for the England squad last season because he played for an ‘unfashionable club’.

He scored 18 goals last season for the Canaries and probably should have been selected for the Three Lions squad.

He revealed his frustration last season and has re-iterated his annoyance by telling the Daily Telegraph: “I should have been there in the summer; if not the Euros, I should definitely have had the chance in the two friendlies before.

“It bugs me when a squad is called and I don’t hear (Southampton striker) Rickie Lambert’s name mentioned once, not one breath, and he’s on form, scoring, similar to what I did last year.

“Is it the ‘fashionable club’ thing? Are we so stuck in our ways that you have to be at Manchester United, Arsenal or Tottenham?”


Southampton striker Rickie Lambert has been superb this season in the Premier League. He has scored 13 times this season in the top flight, but has also assisted his team with many goals as well.

Lambert isn’t just a battering ram of centre-forward in the same vein as Grant Holt. Lambert has always been an intelligent player and has worked his way through the leagues. Had he had more luck earlier in his career he may have made the step-up sooner.

I would suggest that Lambert is a far more complete player than Holt, but both of the former-Rochdale strikers have suffered the same fate, being completely ignored by the England set-up.


Most countries use a system of picking the most in-form players for their national squads. Unfortunately England seems to use the same players and not look outside the box of the top six teams.

Even players that play for relatively big clubs like Everton get excluded. Everton full-back Leighton Baines has been one of most consistent players in the top flight for the last couple of seasons.

Yet no matter how well he plays Chelsea’s Ashley Cole gets chosen ahead of him at full-back, regardless of Cole’s form or fitness it seems. It doesn’t seem right that the likes of Baines are overlooked just because they don’t play for a so called ‘big club’.


England managers have to be braver than they have been in recent times with their squad selections. Other nations have benefitted from leaving players out with big reputations.

Unfortunately England managers seem to be scared of annoying high-profile players and panda to their every wish. England bosses don’t seem to have the strength of character to deal with the big egos around the squad.

They are scared to make big decisions and seem too cautious. Maybe if England bosses showed more courage England may finally challenge for the big trophies, instead of being also-rans.


The selection of players because of who they are and who they play for isn’t going stop anytime soon in the England set-up. Granted players at the bigger clubs tend to be better quality, but occasionally there is need to bring fresh blood into the England squad.

Rickie Lambert deserves his chance for the Three Lions, but unfortunately for the Saints striker he is unlikely to get a call from anybody in the England set-up anytime soon.

Do England players get chosen on the strength of who they play for?


David Nugent

David is a freelance football writer with nearly a decade of experience writing about the beautiful game. The experienced writer has written for over a dozen websites and also an international soccer magazine offline.
Arguably his best work has come as an editorial writer for Soccernews, sharing his good, bad and ugly opinions on the world’s favourite sport. During David’s writing career he has written editorials, betting previews, match previews, banter, news and opinion pieces.



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11 Comments on "Do England players get chosen because they play for fashionable clubs?"

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I have a feeling that you first have to be chosen just to play for an fashionable club to even stand a chance. I think Holt could do fairly well at a larger club for example, and get international experience.


Great points. I would agree with the premise as well. Rickie Lambert certainly deserves a call up. I don’t know about Holt though. I’m not a fan of his, though he certainly fits the typical “English” role of being a big, strong forward.

If you look at the Netherlands squad they have gone back to giving a lot of playing time to home grown players and giving younger players a run out. It has really paid off in their recent WC qualifiers. The same could be said of other international teams like Spain and Germany.

John Q.
John Q.

It is not only England players who get chosen only when they play for fashionable clubs.
Dante is a prime example. When he played for Moenchengladbach he was just as impressive as he is now but he got only chosen for Brazil after he joined Bayern Munich.

when Fabio Capello coached england, i was expecting that he would pick players with good quality rather than big reputation, but eventually, he too, Fabio, succummed to the demands from the British Press. i’m no coach, but i believe the most important factor when choosing a player to play for the National Team is he MUST be a TEAM PLAYER. there are a lot of young and talented yet not playing for a big club English players out there. i don’t want to show my madridista side, but look at how Jose turned then-unknown names such as DiMaria, Ozil and… Read more »

The Premier League is greedy & wants all the best players in the world which are foreign.. We need to copy Germany & Spain & Give young players a chance to play & develop.. Look at Scott Sinclair & Jack Rodwell.. Moving to Man City is ruining their careers in my opinion.. I think Gary Neville would be a good England Manager.


The Premier League is greedy. . .

Man City sure is. . . I’ll agree with you there.

But not the entire league. Barca and Real Madrid have more greed than the entire EPL it seems.


As someone who loves to watch england flop i love the team selection. Why play in form players when you can play the ones who sell the most shirts? Its all about the dough and not the show. Keep it up NUMBER 7 in the world. I guess that happens when you perform best in friendlies when all other teams are testing formations and players and not playing there best 11. Hilarious, look out for the double, WC and the Euros!!!!

Macca Ultimate
Macca Ultimate

I agree. England should pick in form players. As of the Euro Qualifier v Switzerland the squad of in form players according to the Player Performance Index, the squad would be
Fraser Forster, Robert Green & Joe Hart as Goalies.
Ryan Shawcross, Gary Cahill, Nathaniel Clyne, Mike Williamson, Ryan Bertrand, Leighton Baines & Steven Caulker as Defenders.
Nathan Dyer, Raheem Sterling, Morgan Schneiderlin, Mark Noble, Wayne Routledge, Jordan Henderson & James Ward-Prowse as Midfielders.
Daniel Sturridge, Saido Berahino, Wayne Rooney & Charlie Austin(Or Dwight Gayle) as Forwards.

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