Four strikers Roy Hodgson should take to Euro 2016

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Who would want to be Roy Hodgson right now? At the moment, the England boss has more forwards to choose from than fingers. 

England started the International break superbly with a win over the world champions but were suddenly brought down to earth against the Netherlands on Tuesday.

Here are the four forwards I think Hodgson should take. 


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The Premier League's top scorer and one of European's hottest strikers. This seems to be a no-brainer for most people, and many people believe he should start. 

At the start of the season, people were writing Kane off. He failed to score in his first six matches and the 'one season wonder' tag started to resurface. 

Since then the Tottenham forward hasn't stopped scoring and now is bearing down on the Golden Boot award. 

He doesn't just score tap-ins either, nor is he a flat-track bully. You only have to see his vicious strike against north London rivals Arsenal to brush off those labels. 

Former England striker Alan Shearer believes Harry Kane deserves to be in Roy Hodgson's side at the tournament. 

"Harry Kane should be the first name on the teamsheet for England. I don't think anyone can argue with that," said Shearer, as quoted by ESPN

It will be interesting to see whether Kane does start for England. The important thing if he does play, is that there is pace around him. 

Although there aren't lightning quick players surrounding him at Tottenham, on the International stage teams will quickly push up against him and restrict his space. An example of this was against Spain in November. 


Kane's perfect partner could be Daniel Sturridge. Most people don't doubt the Liverpool forward's ability it's his fitness that is a concern. 

With just four Premier League starts this season, can Hodgson gamble on the former Chelsea striker? 

I think you have too because when he does play he is lethal. We've seen against Southampton and Aston Villa twice how deadly he can be in front of goal. 

The important thing for Sturridge however, is he does need to play with a strike partner. Unlike Kane, he struggles to play up front on his own.

Everyone saw his partnership with Luis Suarez in 2013/14 season, and although he's not on the same level, he has shown his talent more often when starting with Divock Origi. 

Sturridge also scored in the 2014 World Cup, so he isn't afraid of the big occasion and can call on his experience of a major tournament. Something that most people in this England squad won't be able to do.


Leicester's flying fox Jamie Vardy. If you could sum up Leicester's style by one player he is your man. 

Aggressive, never giving up and ambitious. The Leicester forward is arguably the Player of the Year - contending with his colleague Riyad Mahrez. 

His 19 goals have unimaginably steered the Foxes to the top of the table, 11 of which came in consecutive matches to break a Premier League record. 

In 2012, when he was playing for Fleetwood Town he wouldn't have believed he had the opportunity to play in the Premier League let alone his country. 

He fully deserves this opportunity and has shown his quality against Germany and the Netherlands when playing up front. England supporters wanted to see how Vardy would perform up front and they got a resounding answer.

Even if he doesn't start his pace will be a huge asset off the bench, not to mention his never say die attitude. What tired defender would want Vardy buzzing around them with 20 minutes to play?


Now this is a controversial pick. People won't be surprised if he joins up in Hodgson's squad because he is the captain, but not many people actually want him there. 

People believe this would be a reputation pick as opposed to a pick based on merit. Why isn't Jermain Defoe going instead of him who has scored five more goals than Rooney for a team with less pedigree than Manchester United

The answer is leadership. Yes, Defoe has 55 England caps and that shouldn't be snorted at, but Rooney is England's talisman now. 

Forget the days where England used to have Rio Ferdinand, John Terry, Steven Gerrard, David Beckham, Gary Neville and Frank Lampard. They're long gone now and Rooney is the last one of the so-called 'golden generation'.

This squad needs Rooney's experience, if anyone knows the downfalls of the England side in recent tournaments it's him. He has 107 caps, the next on the list in the current squad is James Milner with 57 and Theo Walcott on 42. The latter might not even go to the tournament. 

Yes, Rooney isn't the same player he was when he broke onto the scene, but who is at 30? I doubt Kane or even Marcus Rashford will be the same player at 30 either. 

That doesn't mean he's a bad player. He hasn't had the most miraculous season like Kane or Vardy, but who would in Louis van Gaal's side where you get to touch the ball once a half?

Manchester United legend Paul Scholes agrees.

"Rooney is getting all the stick but I think any striker would struggle to score goals in that team. I think Sergio Aguero would struggle," said Scholes, as quoted by The Mirror. 

Of course, Scholes is hardly going to rip into his former teammate, but in a team that is incredibly laborious, you have to have sympathy for Rooney.

We can't just chuck a load of kids on the plane and keep saying like we always do every tournament: 'give the kids experience so in 2018 or 2020 they'll be ready'. We seem to say this every tournament, when will we go to a tournament and actually try to win it?

Or is this competition just going to be another breeding ground, so we can heap all the pressure on young shoulders and knock them down when we go out at the first hurdle? 

Dele Alli, John Stones, Ross Barkley, Eric Dier and Harry Kane will all be looking to Rooney for advice. Who's going to be there for support if Rooney doesn't go on the plane? Vice-captain Gary Cahill, who has struggled with his own confidence throughout Chelsea's miserable campaign? 

Not only that, Rooney is England's all-time goalscorer. He's overtaken Sir Bobby Charlton, Gary Lineker, Jimmy Greaves and Michael Owen. That's no easy feat.

We seem to chuck players out of the squad who have approached the dreaded thirties as if they're yesterday's leftovers. England needs Rooney's experience, no one wants to perform for the shirt more than him. He's the man to lead this England team. 

And look, let's say Rooney doesn't perform in a major tournament. Then he takes the blame for it, not the young players who have a bright future. The last thing we want is the likes of Kane and Alli to lose confidence and bravery in future matches. 

It's not as if we can't use Vardy, Kane and Sturridge as Rooney's partner or off the bench. He has to be in that dressing room at least because that squad lacks leaders and he's the only one we've got. 

Which English strikers do you think should go to Euro 2016? Have YOUR say in the comment box below! 

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Wayne Rooney
Manchester United
England Football
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