Aaron Cresswell can consider himself very unlucky not to be handed an international call-up ahead of England’s upcoming matches against Lithuania and Italy.
The 25-year-old left-back has been a revelation at Upton Park in his maiden Premier League season, playing in every single league match for Sam Allardyce’s side and impressing in both an attacking and defending sense.
Cresswell over Rose?
Following Luke Shaw’s withdrawal from Roy Hodgson’s squad it looked likely Cresswell would be given a chance on the international scene, however the Three Lions boss opted to call up Tottenham Hotspurs Danny Rose to supplement Leighton Baines and Kieran Gibbs.
While it is clear that Baines is the first-choice at left-back, it’s doubtful if either Gibbs or Rose are better players than Cresswell based on performances this season. The Arsenal and Spurs full-backs are both more experienced at the top level but, particularly Rose, are prone to making mistakes or being caught out of position.
They all average six defensive actions per match this term but Cresswell outshines both in an attacking sense. The Hammers defender has created an impressive 30 chances so far, compared to Gibbs’ 14 and Rose’s 23. He also has one goal and four assists; Rose has three goals and four assists while Gibbs has one goal and three assists.
It may be experience alone that has cost Cresswell a place in the squad, which is a tough blow for the former Ipswich man as he has done everything he possibly could to stake his claim.
It’s also worth taking into account that his competitors at left-back all play in sides that finished in the top seven last campaign, and they are all above West Ham this term with the exception of Baines’ Everton – so this may have swayed Hodgson.
Cresswell now has a great opportunity to get a bit of rest after a hectic campaign – he’s completed the full 90 in every single league match – which could provide him an energy injection ahead of the remaining eight fixtures.
West Ham still have a good chance of a top-eight finish and a fit, raring-to-go Cresswell could be key for Allardyce’s side. The defender must use this international snub to his advantage, spurring him on to keep improving and continuing to challenge the likes of Baines, Gibbs, Shaw and Rose for a place in the England squad.
With the European Championship just over a year away, Cresswell could yet force his way into Hodgson’s plans.
Do you think Aaron Cresswell deserves a chance for England? Will he be at the Euro’s in 2016? Let us know in the comments section below!