England must start prioritising form over reputation

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England as a national team have under performed in recent years. 

They have an abundance of talent to choose from yet seem to play relatively average in big tournaments. 

Personally I think there are a few players who deserve to be picked for the international stage, as there performances domestically deserve it. 

Michael Carrick 

A player who is finally getting the plaudits he deserves. After years of playing in the shadow of a quite brilliant Paul Scholes he is starting to emerge as a top player and a definite choice for the England squad. 

He has been a regular for Manchester United and was recently picked for the England team, which is exactly what he deserved. Unfortunately for him he had to pull out but this shouldn't be his only chance. 

Michael Carrick has been included in the PFA Team of the Year, which shows his reputation is starting to build and will lead to him probably getting more chances in the England set-up but he should have been playing for years. 

He would bring some much-needed stability in the centre of the midfield and the passing genius that had been missing since Paul Scholes' absence from the squad. 

England have missed out on the chance to play him for years but hopefully with his reputation building they will see how great a player he is and start him regularly for his country. 

Gary Hooper

A typical goal poacher, Gary Hooper has been a prolific striker in Scotland for Celtic but has still yet to play for his country. Hooper has scored 80 goals in 134 appearances for Celtic, which is an outstanding record for a striker to have. He has played in the Champions League and won many trophies so he has the experience to handle playing on the international stage. 

Strikers that regularly play for England like Welbeck, Defoe and Rooney don't have a strike rate this season that comes close to Gary Hooper's so why is he being exempt from the squad? 

His form this season should surely mean he gets a chance but because of factors like he doesn't play in the Barclays Premier League his chances don't look like coming anytime soon. 

Rickie Lambert

Facts are facts, Rickie Lambert has been the best English striker in the Premier League this year scoring more than Jermain Defoe, Danny Welbeck, Andy Carroll and even the talismanic striker Wayne Rooney. 

You can't use the argument that he doesn't play in England like Hooper so surely everything points to him playing in the England team? Apparently not. 

He has been a great goal scorer, reliant penalty taker and even decent with a free kick or two. Add in a few assists and you can see his importance to Southampton and his quality overall. He may be a bit older than the other players in the England team and may be short of some pace but what about Heskey? 

Emile Heskey was short of pace and even goal scoring ability, yet got 62 caps for England. Lambert is of similar stature to Heskey and will undoubtedly score and create more goals for England so why won't Hodgson give Lambert a chance even if he doesn't play for a so called " top team " 

These three players are just a little example of players with brilliant form being left out of England because of purely reputation. Grant Holt last season was sensational as a big centre forward and didn't get his chance. His poor form this year means that chance could have disappeared. England should use the players that they have in good form over players in poor form who play for a good team or have played well before.

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Grant Holt
Michael Carrick
Gary Hooper
Rickie Lambert
Premier League

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