Five England Euro 2012 squad surprises

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Even though he has been tipped by many to go to Euro 2012, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain’s inclusion would likely be a surprise – maybe he shouldn't be the only one?


While most people would probably be able to predict the vast majority of the England squad that eventually does make the trip, GMF still likes surprises and that also counts for national team squad selection.


Most of the time the naff sounding ‘Club England’ acts almost exactly as its name suggests – if your name’s not been down before you’re not coming in.


GMF realises this isn’t exactly as the traditional saying goes, but this is no ordinary club. In fact, we would dread to think of the kind of clientele that would actually frequent a Club England.


Anyway, we digress; that fact is real surprises rarely happen when it comes to England players going to national tournaments and a majority of football fans will expect to see mostly familiar names on the official FA headed paper.


GMF thought long and hard and chose five players who would truly be surprise inclusions in [insert whatever name you like here]’s squad for football’s summer showpiece.


We know that many of these have a snowball’s chance in hell of making the final cut, but we genuinely feel they would make some difference to the squad as a whole and bring something unique that may be constructive.



Grant Holt, Norwich City


The Canaries captain is about as far as you can get from the fashionable centre forward in international football these days, but he has been impressive in his ability to adapt to the higher level of the Premier League – why not the European Championships?


Using Holt would not be like the admission of long-ball desperation that comes with bringing on Peter Crouch.


The Norwich forward has shown to be, at times, an irresistible force of enthusiasm and tireless running. He possesses an unquenchable desire for trouble in the opposition penalty area and has shown an ability to score many different kinds of goals. Holt would certainly hold a few surprises for European defenders.



Steven Caulker, Swansea City


Swansea City have generally been lauded as an incredible success story this year through their football, but the solid defensive partnership between Caulker and Ashley Williams has been a huge factor in their effectiveness at home.


The Tottenham Hotspur loanee has shown he is comfortable with the ball at his feet – he has to be to thrive in Swansea’s system – and possesses the necessary physique to impose himself on defenders. England have a raft of young centre-backs coming through the ranks, but none can be said to have performed nay better than Caulker.


Ashley Williams is Welsh, so we can’t take him but Caulker has been equally as impressive in the Swans’ back line.



Mark Davies, Bolton Wanderers


If Mark Davies was playing for Manchester United or Arsenal we would be crying out for him to be on the plane east. The former Wolves midfielder’s impressive performances have been overshadowed by the Trotters problems as a whole and he has put in a string of skilful displays this year.


The 24-year-old has excellent technique, is comfortable with the ball in tight spaces and has strong passing ability. In an era where England have been lamented for an inability to keep possession, players like Davies should be the answer.


He has grown in stature this season and is fast becoming one of Bolton’s more influential players, especially in the absence of the highly-rated Staurt Holden and Lee Chung-Yong due to long-term injury.



Martin Kelly, Liverpool


The Anfield youngster thrived in the absence of Glen Johnson through injury this year and has proven to be a very solid right-back. Johnson’s continued absence will have led to questions over whether he should be included in the final squad as he was expected to.


Kelly has utilised the time given to him in Kenny Dalglish’s first team well and his attacking play as come on in leaps and bounds on recent months, despite Liverpool’s woes. He is tall, powerful and can play in the centre of the defence in addition to his more usual wide berth – the kind of adaptability that can come in handy in tournament football.


Michael Carrick, Manchester United


OK, this is more of a surprise surprise England inclusion. GMF realises that the Old Trafford midfielder played for the national team before, but his last appearance was in 2010 and he has vastly improved his form this year.


The resurgence of Sir Alex Ferguson’s side has a lot to do with Carrick’s improvement and him being deployed alongside the retirement u-turner Paul Scholes. He has regained his ability to keep possession well and spread the play around effectively; a style more suited to the continental game.


He was included in a squad last year after improving as the season went on, but missed out through injury in the Champions League final. Perhaps it is time to give him another recall to help out a midfield that, in recent fixtures, looks to be suffering from the age-old inability to retain possession of the football.


Perhaps it is time to call the 30-year-old out of the international wilderness and give a Poland/Ukraine Euro 2012 shaped blanket.



There we have it, five little e England surprises for the European Championship this summer.


By naming these five, GMF is in no way predicting that they will go and we also acknowledge that other, equally as titillating surprises are available.


We have simply named some unusual candidates for an international call-up and given the reasons why it may not be so ridiculous as to have them there.


We want you to do the same and give us your reasons, as well as what you think of our assessments.


Leave a comment below to let us know….

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Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain

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