The England squad has been announced with the surprise inclusion of Saido Berahino and Stewart Downing.
Berahino deservedly got his call up after his seven goals for West Bromwich Albion this season but once again Roy Hodgson has picked most of his squad based on reputation rather than performance. Theo Walcott has been out since January and has played 11 minutes of football since returning from injury but walks straight back into the England squad. If this was a world class player like Ronaldo or Messi you could understand the selection.
Luke Shaw and Chris Smalling have looked poor at the back for Manchester United this season but both have made the shortlist. Smalling has been tipped to be England’s future centre half alongside Phil Jones, but has struggled to show any potential at the heart of United’s poor defence.
Michael Carrick, Andros Townsend and Rickie Lambert often find themselves on the bench for their clubs yet are also in the squad. While Lambert does offer something different upfront, Townsend is the most predictable player in the squad, although he has scored two good goals for his country.
There are a number of players who are more deserving of a call up than those who have been selected. The likes of Tom Huddlestone, Nathan Dyer, Wayne Routledge and Charlie Austin all overlooked despite having good seasons and playing consistently.
If you are not playing well you should not be playing for your country, a call up is something you should earn after performing well for more than just a few games.
Fraser Forster, Ben Foster, Joe Hart
Leighton Baines, Gary Cahill, Calum Chambers, Nathaniel Clyne, Kieran Gibbs, Phil Jagielka, Luke Shaw, Chris Smalling
Ross Barkley, Michael Carrick, Stewart Downing, Jordan Henderson, Adam Lallana, James Milner, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Raheem Sterling, Andros Townsend, Jack Wilshere, Theo Walcott
Rickie Lambert, Wayne Rooney, Daniel Welbeck, Saido Berahino
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