Football

England's superior speed can drive their World Cup dream

Lennon could be a key player in Brazil. (©GettyImages)
Lennon could be a key player in Brazil. (©GettyImages).

While much debate swirls around England's current best eleven, Roy Hodgson should allow some of the most dangerous players in the country a window of opportunity before he begins naming names to board that elusive flight to Brazil 2014.

It is contradicting to claim England's top-flight is the best in the world while some of the most dynamic Englishmen in the Premier League can barely get a look-in with the national squad.

The 66-year-old seems to be gripped by the same fear crippling the rest of the country – a 'do or die' scenario locks him into an excessively conservative mindset, hell-bent on fielding the same 'old guard' of times gone by, rather than experimenting with unpredictable albeit talented players of lesser international pedigree.

Tottenham Hotspur winger Aaron Lennon and Aston Villa striker Gabriel Agbonlahor are among the most promising excluded candidates. Hodgson's reluctance to take a chance on speedsters is damaging his side's potency in the final third against defensive sides, and the manager has little reason to omit such exciting players.

Lennon, who notched 10 assists and four goals in the 2012/13 Premier League campaign, was arguably Spurs' best player behind the unstoppable force of Gareth Bale. Due to his superb form last season, the encumbrance of a niggling foot injury is the only obstacle between the live-wire midfielder and André Villas-Boas' current first-team plans.

Similarly, Agbonlahor was Paul Lambert's star man behind 19-goal hitman Christian Benteke with an impressive 12 strikes and three assists in the league last term. The form of his Belgian teammate meant he played the bulk of his football in a less natural wide-left position, so it seems plausible that the local Birmingham boy could be even more lethal in the role of a main striker.

Although they may not be heralded in the same light as the cream of their peers, these two men cause nightmares for Premier League defenders on a weekly basis with their blinding foot speed and individual ability.

If the English league really is the most physically demanding in the world, why not give the most athletically dominant players in the country a go against Sergio Ramos, Thiago Silva and the like?

Who do you think should be given a chance in the England squad ahead of next year's World Cup? Share your thoughts in the comments section.

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Topics:
World Cup
Football
Premier League
Aaron Lennon
England Football
Gabriel Agbonlahor

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