Roy Hodgson's likely squad for Euro 2016...and mine

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With England already qualified for next year's European Championships in France the time is now to start thinking ahead towards it in terms of hotel, training arrangements, and of course, the players.

Manager Roy Hodgson, who has sometimes been likened to a number of wild birds, will have to keep a hawk's eye on proceedings for the next nine months.

Barring injuries, will he stick with the players who got him there for the purposes of loyalty? Or will there be any new faces on the horizon?


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Loyalty in cup competitions is a big thing, particularly in the domestic cups, as managers move players around with league aspirations in mind - which often sees a club's number two goalkeeper starting in a cup final for instance. 

Hodgson's situation is somewhat different. His 'final' is months and months away and any number of things can happen between then, including injuries, but also loss of form. If a player such as Wayne Rooney has a complete stinker of a season, will he still be selected? You can be sure of that. But what of an Adam Lallana?

There are usually 'dead certs' for the squad. Rooney's one of them; Sterling is arguably one of them; Joe Hart; Gary Cahill; Phil Jagielka; Jordan Henderson... Luke Shaw also.

Despite only playing one game for England in the qualifiers largely due to injury, Shaw is currently in very good form, so should be safely on the plane/train/however they're getting across the Channel.

Normally, you would only take two players for each position, so that leaves the likely duo of Kieron Gibbs and Leighton Baines. He could take take all three as they can each cover the flanks further upfield, but is likely to go with Shaw and Gibbs. In central defence Chris Smalling is a favourite of Hodgson's and has had a solid start to the season, which should make him a certainty for next summer.

Players can ease their way into Hodgson's mind and stay there should they have been with the squad a number of times, while others will have come into his thoughts and then be forgotten if they have an unremarkable run of form (although being 'unremarkable/average' has not stopped England managers picking players before). 

If four central defenders is going to be the choice then surely the other remaining man will be John Stones who has been with the under-21s for the most part, but is now looking likely to be a senior regular in the squad at least. You don't warrant £34 million bids from the English champions for being average.

With Kyle Walker out of form, favour and fitness, it's looking like Nathaniel Clyne and Callum Chambers will be fighting it out for the spots at right-back, although Micah Richards will have something to say about that after his decent start to the season with Aston Villa.  

In midfield, Sterling and Henderson, are among the certainties for the 23-man squad. Wilshire probably will be should he stay injury-free leading up to the tournament. On the basis of the past and present, Ross Barkley will most definitely be there even if his form dips. Same with James Milner and Michael Carrick just to add those much experienced heads. 

After that, it could be anyone with Ashley Young, Adam Lallana, Andros Townsend, Fabian Delph, Tom Cleverley and now Jonjo Shelvey and Ryan Mason all vying for spots.

I've always been a big fan of Shelvey for both his great passing range - particularly the way he unlocks defences - and tenacity on the pitch. He is probably the closest thing England currently have to Steven Gerrard, although he still has to add goals to his game.  

Up front - Rooney of course. If Danny Welbeck and Daniel Sturridge can keep fit from January onwards then they have got to be favourites to join England's new joint top goalscorer in France. it really does depend on injuries whether someone like Jamie Vardy barges his way into the squad, but if they are all fit, then it will most likely be those aforementioned three players plus Harry Kane.

At the World Cup last year, Hodgson took three goalkeepers, seven defenders, nine of what most people would term midfield players, and four strikers. 

My squad would be as follows:

Hart, Butland, Forster

Richards, Clyne, Smalling, Cahill, Jagielka, Stones, Baines, Shaw

Oxlade-Chamberlain, Shelvey, Barkley, Wilshire, Carrick, Milner, Sterling, Walcott

Rooney, Sturridge, Welbeck, Kane

Barring a huge loss in form I would have Hart in goal, and Richards at right-back as he can get up the flanks, is a menace in the opposition's half and a monster to come up against in defence.

Despite Smalling's good form, I would go for Jagielka and Stones in central defence as they are likely to have a better understanding of what the other one is doing. Going by that logic, I should have Baines at left-back, which is exactly what I am going for.

Milner just in front of the back four should keep it solid at the back while he can also cover the flanks and make runs down them. Oxlade-Chamberlain would be a bit in front of him on the right; Wilshire in the centre with Sterling just in front of him to his left.

Sturridge in the left striking position with Rooney just slightly behind him to his right.

If the injury prone players are out or are not near full fitness before the plane/train departs then Wilshire would be replaced with Jack Cork in the squad, Welbeck and Sturridge with Saido Berahino and either Charlie Austin or Jamie Vardy.

If those players are out, it could change the whole dynamic of the starting 11 as I like the idea of having Cork and Shelvey besides each other in the midfield, not just because of their abilities, but again, team mates who will likely have a better understanding with each other as they demonstrate at Swansea City - something England as a whole have lacked for too long.

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England Football
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