England’s pool of Premier League players is currently a puddle- around 70 per week start for Premier League sides, so who amongst them has been discarded and what are the chances of those players darkening the doors of St George’s Park again?
GK- Ben Foster (8 caps- last 2014)
Foster continues to look a tidy keeper for West Brom despite his advancing years (34). But for England he remains 6th in a 5 horse race for the ‘keepers gloves. But with Tom Heaton injured and Fraser Forster making a mess of things at Southampton, Foster could be one broken finger away from a recall. Chance of a recall 3/10
RB- Glen Johnson (54 caps- last 2014)
That’s a lot of caps for a fullback so often caught out of position. Since moving to Stoke Johnson has looked OK and was in Southgate’s first England squad but has rarely looked good enough for international level.
Meanwhile England have the worlds most expensive right back in Kyle Walker, the player who usurped him at Spurs in Kieran Trippier and Nathaniel Clyne to come back, whilst Clyne’s Liverpool stand ins Joe Gomez & Trent Alexander Arnold look full internationals in the making. Chance of a recall 0/10
LB- Leighton Baines (30 caps- last 2015)
Baines was England’s starter in Brazil and his defensive frailty was immediately target by Italy in Manaus. Baines can’t exactly help his lack of height but it’s always going down to be an attackable weakness and he does leave space in behind.
But England’s expected shift to a 3-4-3 does suit Baines’ style as an attacking wingback. England have Danny Rose coming back from injury, the defensively solid Ryan Bertrand and Aaron Cresswell making inroads. Baines like Cresswell could remedy England’s set piece delivery issues but will need a run of form to get the chance. Chance of a recall 4/10
CB- Phil Jagielka (40 caps- last 2016)
Jags was never the quickest defender but he’s been a good servant to both England & Everton despite the odd carthorse performance.
Unfortunately for him England suddenly look well stocked at centre back with likes of Jamaal Lascelles and Alfie Mawson not able to get in a squad that last month contained 6 centre backs. Chance of a recall 1/10
CB- Michael Carrick (34 caps- last 2015)
OK Carrick isn’t going to be considered as a centre back but he is a deep lying midfielder who can pass the ball forwards and becomes a better player in our heads every time he doesn’t play. When he has played for Man United in the last year he’s needed so much time and space you begin to wonder if Einstein wrote a theory about him. Carrick has been a fine player but at 36 his best games are behind him, but if he gets a run at Premier League level and England continue to struggle in midfield… Chance of a recall 5/10
MF-Tom Cleverley (13 caps- last 2013)
He’s like Xavi in the way Matalan own brand jeans are like a pair of Levis 501’s. Cleverley was a key player for Roy Hodgson’s England when he first broke into the Man United side but 13 games of nothing sideways passes saw England fans petition the manager to stop picking him and people were actually pleased to see him replaced by hmm hmm Jordan Henderson. But Cleverley has responded well to Marco Silva at Watford and now appears able to pass the ball forwards and even score! England will continue with Harry Winks for now but the longer Cleverley is a key player in a top 4 side the closer he gets to St Georges Park. Chances of a recall 6/10 (and rising)
MF-Jonjo Shelvey (6 caps- last 2015)
Shelvey is an odd player, not the quickest below the waist (or above the neck it would seem) he does have the ability to pick a pass and drive forward. But his temperament is awful and he can be clumsy, by this point in his career you’d expect the finished product but Shelvey remains a rough diamond. Chances of a recall 6/10
MF-Jack Wilshere (34 caps- last 2016)
The most talented player England aren’t picking is also the most injury prone and can be a plonker, worse still he’s gone to 2 successive tournaments and made no impact. But his injury problems seem to have dissipated and his performances in the Europa League have been brilliant. It seems like a when not an if Wenger recalls him in the league, if he’s in the groove for his club, rather than saying going to a European Championship on 136 minutes club football he will be back.Chances of a recall 8/10
RW-Andros Townsend (13 caps- last 2016)
Despite that weird space monkey comment Townsend and Roy Hodgson are great together, it’s hard to think of any performances Townsend has given at club level anywhere near those for Roy with England. It’s good for Townsend they’re back together at Palace but England don’t look short of right wingers. Chance of a recall 5/10
LW-Ashley Young (30 caps- last 2013)
No longer the forgotten man at Old Trafford, Young was far too quick and strong for Alberto Moreno last week at Anfield. Can play in either wing, wingback or fullback role, Young looked England’s main man up to Euro 2012 where he underwhelmed to the point England haven’t gone back to him, but Jose’s Swiss Army knife player must fancy his chances. Chance of a recall 7/10
CF-Andy Carroll (9 caps- last 2012)
Andy Carroll must look at the career of Harry Kane and ask ‘Why can’t this be me?’ Carroll’s early promiseat Newcastlehad many hailing him England’s number 9. But since then he’s become the reincarnation of Duncan Ferguson: unplayable on his day but his day comes around about 4 times a season. Since arriving at West Ham he’s yet to get more than 9 league goals in a season and yet plenty of smart pundits and Paul Merson insist he should go to the WorldCup, ho hmm. Chance of a recall 4/10