Steven Gerrard has been a class act for England over the last 14 years. He’s scored crucial goals and put in match-winning performances that have left Three Lion fans with the smallest speck of hope.
With the side going out of the group stages of the World Cup since 1958, it’s clear that England need to rebuild for the 2016 European Championships. This campaign should be without Steven Gerrard.
GERRARD IS TOO OLD NOW
The current England Captain will be 36 by the time the tournament comes around in France. Gerrard will be without doubt well past his best by that time. For the good of England and his career, he should retire from international football once the World Cup is over.
Don’t get me wrong, Gerrard is superb, still one of the best around. However, I think that he needs to let the FA plan for the future. England have bundles of youthful talent on their hands, something we have not experienced for a long time. It’s come to the stage were we need to let these players become the heart of the team.
Ross Barkley has been tremendous for Everton all season. He reminds me of a young Steven Gerrard, with his scampering runs and the vision he possesses on the ball. Barkley is still developing and is not quite ready to play at the centre of the park. However he has the potential to do so and the only way he will learn is through experience. Barkely has been used as an impact player during this World Cup, coming off the bench with 30 mins left.
The Everton Midfielder is still learning, don’t get me wrong. However an old cricket term is ‘you can net all you want, but you learn more when you’re batting on the field.’ This can be used with Barkley. He’ll improve in training, yet he will learn much more in competitive games.
BARKLEY MUST PLAY IN THE CENTRE
Hodgson should start by using Barkley in the ‘Gerrard’ role against Costa Rica. It’s a nothing game for both teams, so England might as well experiment. I’d personally try a 4-4-2 formation, with Barkely and Henderson in the middle of midfield, Chamberlain and Sterling on the wings, with Rooney and Sturridge up top. This formation allows England to move as a unit much more.
Henderson will likely play his covering role and Barkley can get forwards and back. England have some great young players on their hands. Lets give them a chance to shine. We don’t put enough faith in youngsters as a nation. Costa Rica can be a start and if it works, the 2016 Euro’s could be a much bigger improvement than Brazil.
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