Could this starting XI be the solution to international glory for England?

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If you're a fan of the Premier League and a supporter of the England national team, you may find it difficult not to give opinion whenever they seem to disappoint or let everyone down.

Having followed the Premier League in much detail for more than eight years now, I'd like to offer my opinion on how England should line up for next years Euro 2016.

Let’s a take a look at each position.


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Currently, there's no English goalkeeper better than Joe Hart. Having gone through a slippery slope in his career after being dropped by Manchester City he has come back stronger than ever.

He's agile, quick off his line, strong when it comes to dealing with crosses and can pass the ball too. Easy decision. His backup would probably come from the likes of Tom Heaton, Ben Foster or Fraser Forster.

Left Back

Leighton Baines has been the most consistent left back in the Premier League for years but has failed to translate league form into the international stage. Great set piece ability and a wonderful cross surely means he’s first choice?

Not so fast, the likes of Luke Shaw and Kieran Gibbs can step in when required but neither seem to be able to maintain fitness for a full season. Ryan Bertrand along with Danny Rose, I believe, were the leagues two best left backs.

Bertrand can play in a back three as wing back or as a normal left back which makes him fairly useful as he can drift forward. Rose is a player who likes to get forward as much as possible, but sometimes may be found wanting in defence. I think Baines deserves another shot at a major tournament to prove his worth.

Centre Backs

A host of young English centre backs have emerged in recent years but none of them have ever given the English fans a sense of trust and belief. Smalling and Jones have dealt with injury niggles for years but both have the ability to step up and take ball into midfield.

John stones of Everton recently emerged from the under -21 set up with strong performances in the league. Phil Jagielka’s age is catching up with him. He’s lost that yard of pace and may no longer be playing at international standards.

Gary Cahill must surely be the first choice defender. Part of a brilliant Chelsea team, he has thrived playing alongside John Terry and will no doubt be the first name on the team sheet. If it were up to me, Chris Smalling would get the nod to play next to Cahill.

Right Back

A position England have struggled with for many years now. Gone are the days of a Gary Neville, who offered you a trustworthy and confident performance every time he stepped onto the pitch.

Glen Johnson's form has deteriorated so his England career may be behind him, for now. That leaves us with Nathaniel Clyne, Carl Jenkinson or Kyle Walker. Jenkinson is an interesting option as he enjoyed a great season at Upton park.

He crosses well and has good pace. Walker, when fit, consistently gets up the pitch and loves to attack, maybe a bit too much. This leaves Nathaniel Clyne who he consistently got forward for Southampton but at the same time held his own in defence against the likes of Di Maria, Sanchez and Hazard. He has to be the best bet.

Central Midfield

Steven Gerrard and Frank Lampard are no longer part of the England fold, but a plethora of talent exists in this position. Someone just needs to capitilise on the opportunity.

Jordan Henderson is Liverpool's new captain and has clearly benefited from playing alongside Gerrard. He can spread the ball around and covers a lot of ground, but he needs to improve his goal tally. Yet to find the net for his country in 22 appearances, he has to learn to take his chances. However, he’s my first pick.

Here’s the tough part. Wilshire, Delph, Mason and Barkley. All young and exciting but missing a key aspect of any successful football players career, consistency. Wilshire most probably would be the best choice, provided he can stay fit and out of trouble with the media.

He can score goals, loves going forward and has a mean tackle in him, something England have been missing. Barkley cannot seem to find his feet in the international set-up, fluffing most of his shots at goal.

Fabian Delph stood out at Aston Villa but hardly racked up a goal or assist. If you want to replace the likes of Lampard and Gerrard who contributed 50 goals during their time together in England, you simply have to be able to chip in with goals regularly and he, unfortunately, does not seem capable of that.


Another position where England have bundles of talent but no one willing to perform on a consistent basis. Sterling, Walcott and Welbeck are all similar footballers. Good pace, enjoy dribbling and can finish when in the box.

None of the three, however, have got the best crossing ability. The likes of David Beckham will never be seen again, understandably, but this area needs work if England are to succeed against top quality opponents.

Fringe players like Lallana, Milner, Townsend and Oxlade-Chamberlain are decent prospects to come off the bench but none, right now, look like becoming a world class international. Adam Lallana looked so promising but a move to Liverpool has limited his game time and he has struggled to perform consistently.

He should still be involved in the mix. Walcott proved in the back end of the season how devastating he can be in front of goal. If he can regain his best form and physical status, he may very well prove to be England’s best weapon.


A fairly straight forward solution. Play Sturridge at number nine with Rooney tucked in right behind him. Rooney is a player who needs the ball. Yes, he’s a wonderful finisher but his ability to create chances can sometimes go unnoticed.

He’s approaching 30 years of age now and he doesn't have the pace he once had, so playing him behind the striker will allow him to link up play, hold the ball up and let the faster men join the attack.

Everyone knows Sturridge has bundles of ability and talent, but the man cannot seem to stay fit for longer than three weeks.

A real issue which hopefully he can get right over the next few months because he is explosive up front, has immense pace, a strong physique and can finish from anywhere within 20 yards of the box.

Harry Kane will have his time as England’s main man but for now, must settle for the bench.

After careful analysis, I believe this is England's best chance of being competitive at the Euro 2016 tournament. 

Would you agree? What would you change? Have your say below!

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Nathanial Clyne
Wayne Rooney
Gary Cahill
Jack Wilshere
Raheem Sterling
Jordan Henderson
Theo Walcott
Daniel Sturridge
Leighton Baines
Joe Hart
Chris Smalling
England Football

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