Former England striker Alan Shearer has said that England should stop worrying about whether or not the 2022 World Cup in Qatar is going to take place in the summer or the winter and concentrate on building a team that can win it.
With football clubs and their leagues angered by Fifa’s proposed idea of staging the World Cup in the winter, Shearer thinks that they are all focusing their attention on the wrong thing.
The former England captain believes we should be starting to build the foundations now of a team that can go to Qatar and potentially win the tournament. With that in mind, Shearer selected what he thinks could be England’s starting eleven in 2022 and he chose Harry Kane and Saido Berahino to lead the line.
Kane and Berahino
He told The Sun: “Two guys in form, two guys scoring goals, which you have to do as a centre forward. Whether you like it or not, that’s what you’re judged on. It’s only a matter of time before Kane gets the call-up to the full squad — and deservedly so.
“He’s got a very, very good attitude and loves scoring goals. He gets his shots away early. Berahino had a few problems at the beginning of the season but the new manager has gone in at West Brom and he’s scoring again.”
England's number one
By the time the 2022 World Cup comes around Joe Hart will be 35, so it is highly unlikely that he will still be playing so Shearer has selected a keeper that is relatively unknown to most people. Freddie Woodman currently plays for Newcastle and has featured for England’s under-17’s, 18’s and 19’s as well as being on the fringes of the Newcastle first team. Shearer seems to think he has a bright future ahead of but only time will tell.
The back four
The Newcastle legend chose to go with Luke Shaw at left back. The Manchester United defender will be 27 when 2022 comes around and will be in the prime of his career. Although he hasn’t started off too well at United, he was very impressive while at Southampton, which is clearly why United paid so much for the young defender. No doubt by then, he will have been at a high level for such a long time and will have developed into a top defender.
At right back, Shearer went with 23-year-old Nathaniel Clyne. The Southampton star has proved that his pace and energy getting up and down the wing has been vital for Southampton and he has already been called up to the senior England squad. There is no doubt that as time goes on, he will get better and better and if he continues the way he is going, he will be one of the best right back’s in the world.
John Stones and Eric Dier are Shearers two centre backs as he thinks that they are both good on ball and like to play out from the back as well as being good defenders. The centre back position has been a problem for England since John Terry and Rio Ferdinand retired and there’s nothing stopping either of the two young defender’s staking a claim for place in Roy Hodgson’s team already.
In midfield, Sheaer has gone with Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, who will be 28 in 2022, and by then he should be a world-class midfielder. He already shows signs of his quoaity when Arsene Wenger gives him the chance but, anything could happen between now and 2022 as he has had a string of injuries already and that could influence how his career turns out.
In midfield with the Ox Shearer has chosen Everton’s Ross Barkley who has already been in the England team but Shearer doesn’t think he has had that much of an impact with Everton this season. He does however say that given time to develop he will find his confidence as he says, “Ability-wise, he has the lot”.
James Ward-Prowse is Shearer’s third midfielder who is yet to feature for England but has impressed at Southampton. Shearer describes him as “Fit, strong and can sit and dig it out when required in midfield”. Qualities that England need in their midfield already.
Raheem Sterling is the other midfield choice and he is another player that will be in his prime in 2022 when he will be 27-years-old. Sterling has impressed for both Liverpool and England having already appeared at a World Cup last summer. He is clearly going to be an important player for the Three Lions in the coming years.
As mentioned earlier, Harry Kane and Saido Berahino are Shearer’s strikers and judging by current form it’s hard to see anyone else that he could pick. Both youngsters have been vital for their teams this season,with Kane being the most effective scoring 24 times already. Berahino obviously plays in a team that doesn’t possess as much quality but has still racked up an impressive 16 goals this term.
There is no doubt that a bigger club will come in for Berahino, probably this summer, and that will help him develop into a top striker. Kane has had a meteoric rise with Spurs bursting into their starting eleven this season, only time will tell if he can keep up his good form.
Shearer’s team in full: Woodman; Shaw, Dier, Stones, Clyne; Sterling, Barkley, Ward-Prowse, Oxlade-Chamberlain; Kane, Berahino.
2022 is a long, long way away and a lot can happen in football in a short space of time, let alone seven years. So it is crazy to think that this could be England’s starting lineup in Qatar as anything could happen to the players, other players could burst onto the scene and warrant a place in the team, or more likely than that, England might not even qualify.
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