Top five: England’s wasted talents

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Michael Carrick was left out of the England squad selections for Euro 2012, an egregious error, and it is not the first time the national team has failed to utilise a great talent.


Selection for Club England’s playing branch has always been tinged with politics, but there are some players who have been looked over for no discernable reason.


Carrick had made it clear he did not want to be considered for England as a bit-part player and had no desire to sit on the bench or just make up the squad numbers.


While all may not agree with his attitude, it is hard to argue why a man who has played so well all season should not be considered a first choice.


Carrick has had rough moments in his career where his confidence looked shot, but he has recovered well and is producing some of the best form of his career.


The 30-year-old isn’t alone in this regard, and GMF have picked five other examples of English players


Matthew Le Tissier


The Southampton legend could arguably be called one of the most gifted footballers of his generation, but this never seemed to transfer from the south coast to the international stage.


The man Saints fans called ‘Le God’ only played eight times for England and was controversially left out by Glenn Hoddle for France 1998 along with Paul Gascoigne. Le Tissier was famed for only ever missing a single penalty in his entire career, which made England’s woes from the spot even more galling.


Ian Wright


As a prolific striker for Crystal Palace and Arsenal, Wright never seemed to be able to cement a place in the national team, though was always in and around the squads. Despite him regularly being one of the highest scoring English strikers in the Premier League, habitually scoring 20 or more while in his prime, Wright was never completely trusted.


He appeared over 30 times for his country but more than half of these were as a substitute and he was never picked to go to an international tournament.


Robbie Fowler


The former Liverpool striker was often referred to as the most ‘natural finisher’ in the Premier League while in his prime, though he only managed to make 26 appearances for the England team and was never first choice.


At his peak, Fowler was considered to be possibly the most dangerous striker in the league, but there was something about him that meant England managers were unwilling to rely on him and his considerable attacking talents.


Andy Cole


Although his legacy was soured a little by his off-field demeanour and behaviour, Andy Cole is almost certainly one of the best English strikers over the past 20 years – yet he made only 15 appearances for England.


This was the man who scored 34 goals in a single season (42 games), won the Premier League five times, two FA Cups and one Champions League with Manchester United, which included the historic treble. His partnership with Dwight Yorke was devastating in the second half of the 90s – he was truly a wasted talent.


Steve Bruce


While most of these are players that could have, and probably should have, played more times for England, Bruce was inexplicably never picked to play for his national team.


It seems incredible to think about it now, but the captain of Sir Alex Ferguson’s first great Manchester United side was never deemed good enough to pull on the shirt.


Who else do you believe should be on this list? Leave a comment below to let us know….

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