Saturday, April 21, 2018

Does Jesse Lingard deserve an England call-up?

David Nugent in Editorial, General Soccer News 15 Nov 2015

Manchester United winger Jesse Lingard has earned a call-up to the England squad after less than ten Premier League appearances for the Red Devils

Manchester United winger Jesse Lingard has earned a call-up to the England squad after less than ten Premier League appearances for the Red Devils

I have been waiting for that call from Roy Hodgson to join up with the England national team.

My mantra has always been have boots will travel. Honestly Roy I scored a hat-trick in the back garden playing against my three-year-old son.

Surely that’s enough these days to earn a call-up to the Three Lions squad, after Manchester United youngster Jesse Lingard earned a call-up to the England squad for the France game, with Hodgson’s side odds of 8/5 to  claim victory.

The youngster has made just five Premier League appearances for the Red Devils and even club boss Louis van Gaal recently stated he is not yet ready for international duty. It seems Roy Hodgson disagrees.

Far too many call-ups

Joking aside 22-year-old Lingard has showed some promise for United this season and probably does have a big future in the game, but it is far too early for him to be called-up to the England squad.

It is not the youngster’s fault that he has been called-up and he is hardly going to turn down a call-up from his national side.

England has struggled for results at international level in recent years. They flatter to deceive at major championships and it is a sign of the quality of the squad that players do not need to play many games for their club sides before earning a full cap.

Some recent call-ups have been richly deserved, like that of Leicester striker Jamie Vardy, who is currently the Premier League’s top scorer with 12 goals. The 28-year-old has earned his chance to impress.

The former-Halifax and Fleetwood star has worked his socks off to get to where he is and is thriving in the top-flight. It should take an achievement of Vardy’s standards to earn a place in that squad, not a few appearances for a big Premier League club. The striker made it impossible for Hodgson to ignore him.

The likes of Nathan Redmond and Marc Albrighton have been highly influential for their teams in the Premier League, yet have been overlooked. Maybe Hodgson needs to widen his scouting network away from the so called ‘big teams’.

If he is going to hand out caps so easily he might as well give them to players who have actually played more than five games in the top-flight.

Hodgson is undecided

It is clear that Roy Hodgson is undecided on his best eleven and injuries have not help his recent team selections. The England boss has a number of players currently out of action, but seems to want to try out every Englishman out there.

England does have a lot of players to choose from, but quality is more important than quantity, which I do not think Hodgson understands at the moment.

Injuries to the likes of Jack Wilshere, Theo Walcott and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain have obviously given the England boss a selection headache, but calling-up Lingard at this point seems to be an illogical decision.

What will he really gain from call-up?

Some will say that the call-up of Lingard is for the youngster to gain some valuable experience at international level. Well unfortunately it does not work like that anymore. Lingard already plays with and against seasoned professionals.

The youngster has also appeared in the Champions League.  What is a few training sessions with the England squad and probably a substitute appearance against France in a friendly match going to teach the youngster? Not a lot really.

United boss Van Gaal is an experienced boss and I am sure he will be shaking his head at Lingard’s call-up and hoping he returns without injury. The Red Devils already look to have lost central midfielder Michael Carrick to injury, which I am sure the Dutchman is highly unhappy about. The last thing Van Gaal needs is Lingard picking-up an injury as well.

Some club bosses will be disgusted that their players have picked-up injuries in pointless friendly matches. United losing Carrick and Aston Villa losing promising young French full-back Jordan Amavi are two examples of players picking-up injuries in meaningless games.

Anyway, I am waiting with bated breath for that call-up Roy. I know your scouts were watching over the garden fence and hopefully the call-up will be forthcoming.

Is it too easy to win a cap for England these days?


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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