Just three months after Danny Drinkwater was named Man of the Match on his England debut, in a 2-1 loss to the Netherlands, he must be scratching his head wondering why on earth he hasn’t made the cut to play for his country at the Euros.
As it stands, he will be watching the competition from the comfort of his cozy home, feet up and thinking what might have been.
Clearly Roy Hodgson feels that he has more quality in midfield, none more so than the inclusion of Jack Wilshere, who only played 141 minutes for Arsenal this season, in comparison to Drinkwater’s 3,039 minutes.
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While fans think Wilshere shouldn’t be there due to his lack of game time, his manager certainly has placed faith in him, calling him a “special talent,” and there are a few reasons that back Hodgson's decision to take the injury-prone midfielder.
Man of the Match Performances in Four Qualifiers
Wilshere played five of England’s first six qualifiers, and was named Man of the Match in four of them.
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His standout performances included two stunning strikes, which helped England beat Slovenia 3-2.
Even though this was one year ago, and Wilshere missed most of the Premier League campaign with a broken leg, it is an indication of what a fit Wilshere can do on the field.
It seems as though it should not be a Wilshere or Drinkwater situation, because they are both different types of players.
Drinkwater is a more disciplined player, and Hodgson has instead turned to Eric Dier for damage control. Hodgson has also gone for Jordan Henderson and James Milner ahead of Drinkwater, and those are three comparable players.
Jack Wilshere, on the other hand, is a more attack-minded player. He drives forward with relentless energy, and is not afraid to have a go at defenders, picking up fouls on the way.
Both he and Drinkwater have the eye to pick out a through ball, but Wilshere adds dribbling, key passes and set-pieces to his game.
4-2-3-1 suits Jack Wilshere
If England are to line up in a 4-2-3-1 formation, and Wilshere is partnered with either Dier or Henderson in central midfield, Roy Hodgson is probably thinking about having the Arsenal man push forward a lot more.
This means he could link up with the likes of Dele Alli, who could play in his favoured number 10 position behind the main striker, to create more goal-scoring chances for England, while Dier or Henderson provide cover in a more holding role.
In this case, it makes sense why Hodgson has gone for Wilshere, because having two disciplined central midfielders would not add that extra dynamism to the game.
The situation can be likened to playing N’Golo Kante and Drinkwater, with the former driving forward to link up with the attacking players, while the latter kept it clean in midfield and held the fort.
Would YOU have taken Danny Drinkwater over Jack Wilshere? Have YOUR say in the comment section below!