It’s a World Cup season so which England hopefuls caught the eye this weekend and who wishes they hadn’t.
After a poor 2016/17 campaign Vardy looked to be slipping out of England contention whilst Leicester signed Iannacho and retained Slimmani. But against Arsenal Craig Shakespeare opted for the old money of Vardy & Okazaki- they repaid him with 3 goals. Vardy torched Arsenal’s shaky back 3 with his searing pace and deadly finishing. Only 13 PL goals last season suddenly feels a long time ago.
This was always going to happen, Rooney does love a debut goal and from his number 10 role Rooney not only scored, he produced his best all round display for well over a year at Goodison Park. It’s too early to talk about a recall but Rooney remains in contention, it’ll be fascinating to see how he gets on at the Etihad next week.
Man of the match on debut, Walker couldn’t have asked for much more. Far tougher defensive tests await but Walker confirmed what we already knew- he’s the best right back in the country.
The under 20 World Cup fullback was one of only 2 members of that squad who started this week. He gave an assured debut display for Spurs at Newcastle. Maybe worth checking if there’s a Kyle Walker III in the Tottenham academy.
After 3 horrendous injury ravaged years Rodriguez gave a fine, energetic performance on his West Brom debut. Didn’t notch a goal but an encouraging display none the less.
Playing as a left forward rather than central striker, Rashford terrorised West Ham’s backline with his pace and direct running, Lukaku rightly grabbed the headlines but Rashford was sensational.
Ok playing in a back 3 with 2 leftbacks (1 on debut the other Monreal) always looked like a hiding to nothing, but Holding was rotten. He looked caught in no mans land between Mark Albrighton (who he failed to close down for Leicester’s second goal) and the front 2, he gave away possession looked uncertain throughout and was subbed after 66 minutes. What on earth was Callum Chambers thinking sat in his suit on the Arsenal bench, ‘where’s my agent?!b*$tard must have died’ at a guess.
Reports of Riyad Mahrez’s demise appear greatly exaggerated. Gray needs minutes but he won’t get them sat behind Mahrez.
Needs to score 15 goals this season to get one last shot at a World Cup, not easy to do if you’re sat on the bench, can he play in tandem with Josh King? Eddie Howe appears to have his doubts, worrying.
Red carded 14 minutes into his club captaincy, at least there’s no danger of him being injured when Southgate announces his first squad.
Utter fool! Shelvey has always been prone to a meltdown but his straight red for standing on Dele Alli was barmy. No danger of those 2 playing together for England anytime soon.
England Playing Stat
Number of player available to England starting PL games this week- 70 (32%)
England internationals currently unavailable: 5- Clyne, Trippier, Rose, Shaw, Lallana,