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England: Potential 23-man World Cup squad based on form

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Whenever a major tournament comes around the great debates begin. Lampard or Gerrard? Lennon or Walcott? Terry or Ferdinand?

We’ve all said it to someone at some point: 'Well he only gets in because he’s who he is.' Examples; A clearly unfit David Beckham going to the 2006 World Cup, and a half fit Wayne Rooney playing for England in the 2010 World Cup. Both players were lauded as England’s only hope of doing anything in both tournaments. Both players subsequently didn’t perform.

There are plenty of “ratings” websites out there these days tracking the performance of players, compiling statistical analyses on them, and giving both fans and the media a different perspective on who is and is not performing. For this article I will use WhoScored.com ratings for the England players.

Parameters for the squad:
- Must have 3 goalkeepers (FIFA Rules)
- 2 players for each fullback slot
- 4 central defenders
- 4 central/attacking midfielders
- 4 wingers 
- 4 strikers

Players must have played at least 10 games for ratings to be valid/be considered for 23 man squad. All ratings are out of 10.

So, here it is. The 23 man England squad for the World Cup based on form this season.

Goalkeepers: 

John Ruddy – 6.63, 
Ben Foster – 6.63, 
Joe Hart – 6.61

Defenders: 

Phil Jagielka – 7.41,
Leighton Baines – 7.38,
Phil Jones – 7.36,
Joel Ward – 7.34,
Curtis Davies – 7.33,
Glen Johnson – 7.2,
Gary Cahill – 7.18,
Kieran Gibbs – 7.16

Midfielders:

Gareth Barry – 7.44,
Andros Townsend – 7.41,
Steven Gerrard (c) – 7.36,
Adam Lallana – 7.27,
Mark Noble – 7.26,
Ross Barkley – 7.19,
Jordan Henderson – 7.16,
Raheem Sterling – 7.12 

Strikers:

Wayne Rooney – 7.78,
Daniel Sturridge – 7.53,
Peter Crouch – 7.34,
Danny Welbeck – 7.01

Replacements:

(GK) Jack Butland – 6.65* (*13 games played in the Championship for Barnsley),
(GK) Fraser Forster – 6.39,
(DF) Michael Dawson – 7.09,
(DF) Chris Smalling – 6.99,
(DF) Danny Rose – 7.25* (8 games played),
(MF) Jack Wilshere – 7.07,
(MF) Tom Ince – 7.12* (*Playing in the Championship for Blackpool),
(MF) Frank Lampard 7.12,
(ST) Jay Rodriguez – 6.88,
(ST) Rickie Lambert – 6.77,
(ST) Gabby Agbonlahor – 6.75

I was surprised when I went through each team and found the highest rated England players. It’s actually quite balanced in terms of mixing hungry young players such as Ross Barkley, Joel Ward, and Jordan Henderson, with some more experienced players such as, Steven Gerrard, Gary Cahill, and Wayne Rooney.

The starting line up is tough because we can’t be sure of what formation Hodgson is likely to play in Brazil, I’d expect him to use different ones depending on opposition. However for our purposes we will use the 4-2-3-1 formation he used in the friendly versus Chile.

(GK) John Ruddy,
(DL) Leighton Baines,
(DC) Phil Jagielka,
(DC) Phil Jones,
(DR) Joel Ward,
(MC) Steven Gerrard (Captain),
(MC) Gareth Barry,
(AML) Andros Townsend,
(AMR) Adam Lallana,
(AMC) Wayne Rooney,
(STC) Daniel Sturridge

I can bet that this is the only time you’ll see this England squad selected the way it is, and honestly I wouldn’t be disappointed if that was the lineup that turns out to face Italy in Manaus.

The point here is to highlight that we overlook some players, despite their conribution to their clubs. The ratings are based on the same statistics across the board. Joel Ward is not playing at a 7.34 rating FOR Crystal Palace, he would be playing at the same rating with the same stats wherever he was playing.

Gareth Barry has been playing wonderfully for Everton this season – just ask an Evertonian how skeptical they were of taking the out-of-favour Manchester City man on loan.

When it comes to international football there is some big club bias – and though these ratings are just one set among many, it might be time to start taking the numbers a bit more seriously than our eyes and minds.

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This article has been written by a member of the GiveMeSport Writing Academy and does not represent the views of GiveMeSport.com or SportsNewMedia. The views and opinions expressed are solely that of the author credited at the top of this article. GiveMeSport.com and SportsNewMedia do not take any responsibility for the content of its contributors.

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