Roy Hodgson’s latest squad selection includes the surprising admission of Ross Barkley and Andros Townsend into the camp.
At first glance it would seem as though lessons are being learnt from the past, players are being picked on form rather than legacy. However if you scratch a little deeper, the selections really show the sorry state of English football.
Townsend, who has spent time on-loan at 9 different clubs, has only started once for Tottenham in the league in a little over 5 seasons. For a man that has played most of his career in the Championship - and ultimately being very average - it seems a little premature for him to be in the full England squad.
Whilst fans of the 22-year-old will point to his tenure at QPR as being successful, 12 games and 2 goals is not a fantastic return. The winger was popular for his effort and attitude with Rangers’ fans rather than actual ability, despite easily being the West London side’s best performer on a number of occasions.
Spurs’ have been looking to off-load Townsend throughout the summer and his call-up even left manager Andres Villas-Boas surprised.
A good pre-season and a goal in the Europa League against minnows doesn't justify a selection in my opinion, especially when the likes of Gabriel Agbonlahor are missing out.
Ross Barkley has shown incredible promise for Everton throughout their youth sides and looks to be a real gem for the future. However, he also spent the majority of last year in the Championship with Sheffield Wednesday. Despite his excellent technical ability and strength for someone so young, his England call-up looks drastically early on in his career.
Of course, it would be unfair to blame the players involved. They feel as though they have performed to the best of their ability and who in their right mind would turn down a call-up to the international stage?
Would teams like Spain or Germany be relying on the calibre of players similar to Townsend or Barkley should one of their first-teamers become available? I would be less inclined to think so. Some of Hodgson’s selections have been puzzling, the omission of Michael Dawson but the inclusion of Chris Smalling is strange to say the least.
Perhaps I am not the only England fan struggling to make sense of Hodgson’s decisions.
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