England manager Roy Hodgson has finally named his 23-man squad for this summer’s European Championships, and has raised eyebrows with a highly-attacking selection that could see the Three Lions light up the competition next month.
The 68-year-old initially named a provisional 26-man squad (3 players on stand-by), and has since trimmed the team by axeing three players from the lineup – Manchester City’s Fabian Delph, Leicester City’s Danny Drinkwater, Newcastle United’s Andros Townsend. He’s named five strikers for the European Championships, making up the numbers by selecting just three centre-backs.
England’s Euro 2016 squad
Goalkeepers: Joe Hart (Manchester City), Fraser Forster (Southampton), Tom Heaton (Burnley).
Defenders: Gary Cahill (Chelsea), Chris Smalling (Manchester United), John Stones (Everton), Kyle Walker (Tottenham Hotspur), Ryan Bertrand (Southampton), Danny Rose (Tottenham Hotspur), Nathaniel Clyne (Liverpool).
Midfielders: Dele Alli (Tottenham Hotspur), Ross Barkley (Everton), Eric Dier (Tottenham Hotspur), Jordan Henderson (Liverpool), Adam Lallana (Liverpool), James Milner (Liverpool), Raheem Sterling (Manchester City), Jack Wilshere (Arsenal).
Strikers: Wayne Rooney (Manchester United), Harry Kane (Tottenham Hotspur), Jamie Vardy (Leicester City), Daniel Sturridge (Liverpool), Marcus Rashford (Manchester United).
Hodgson wants one final swansong before retirement
It’s a team packed full of attacking talent, and Hodgson has made his intentions clear for all to see. In what might be his last tournament as a manager, the veteran head coach is seemingly adopting a “score one more than you” policy, rather than fretting over his side’s defensive woes. England haven’t kept a clean sheet in their last four international friendlies, but have also showcased real attacking verve to rip teams apart.
England’s strengths going forward is exactly what has influenced Hodgson to choose creative midfielders such as Ross Barkley (Everton), Jack Wilshere (Arsenal) and Adam Lallana (Liverpool). The aforementioned trio could be fighting for one place in the starting lineup, but their selection will give England dangerous attacking options from the bench. Naming five strikers is very bold too, especially considering one of them has endured ongoing problems with injury, and Hodgson will be licking his lips with such depth going forward.
England are being talked up as potential contenders to go all the way in the European Championships, and having so many attacking alternatives on the substitutes’ bench means goals should ensue regardless. Roy Hodgson will have a selection headache when looking at his team, and will enjoy finally having more top-class talent fighting for a spot.
England are 8/1 to win Euro 2016 this summer, but can they really go all the way?