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  • Euro 2020 (in 2021)

    Originally posted by Gooner View Post
    Forgive the double post, just thought I'd share some thoughts on the upcoming Euro 2020 (2021?) England squad and maybe create a conversation.

    I've come up with my "as it stands" 23 man squad, which is as follows (my starting XI are in bold):

    Goalkeeper - Pickford, Pope, Henderson.

    Pickford and Pope for me are 50/50, although I side with Pickford based on the fact that while his club form can be inconsistent, he's been superb in an England squad and I prefer his "in your face" approach more. I think Pope does have a bigger presence, obviously he's taller and for club level is the more consistent performer, but I don't think he's done enough to dislodge Pickford... yet. With Dean Henderson, honestly, I think he's a little overrated to be honest, but the talent is certainly there.
    Misses out - McCarthy, Ramsdale.

    Left Back - Chilwell, Shaw

    It's quite amazing how much talent we have on the right side of defence and yet on the left I can only think of two that realistically will make the squad. Chilwell has been a steady performer for a while now, so I have no doubt who starts for me. Shaw has improved in the last year or so, but I'm never convinced with him. There could be a joker in the pack in the form of Bukayo Saka, but I feel his place is further up the pitch (and a couple of years too early for me).
    Misses out - Bertrand, Cresswell, Young

    Centre Back - Coady, Maguire, Dier, Walker, Stones, Gomez

    We have a number of good centre backs these days, but only good, not great. I've chosen 6 based on the fact that Southgate may want to play 3 at the back and with Dier and Walker able to play dual roles in midfield and right respectively, it means each player may well play their part. The stand out defender for me this year has been Coady, steady for Wolves and a fantastic England debut outing. He's also a leader, that's clear to see. Dier has also been impressive. Gomez would start for me so long as he's fit, which at the moment he isn't so I think he may not regain his place before the tournament starts. Stones is the slight wildcard, but he seems to have regained his confidence and he is still the best ball playing defender, something we will need in the summer.
    Misses out - Dunk, Keane, Mings, Tomori.

    Right Back - Alexander-Arnold, Trippier

    In some ways the hardest decision, in others the easiest, there is some serious competition for right back. However, it's hard not to give it to TAA after the last couple of seasons he's been magnificent. Dead ball specialist (which is important in International football, see vs Iceland in 2016) brilliant engine, great crosser of the ball. But he is susceptible defensively. Trippier on the other hand is much more dependable in that regard, and isn't too shabby from 25 yards. But the player left out can be left hard done for.
    Misses out - Reece James, Wan-Bissaka, Tariq Lamptey, Maitland-Niles

    Defensive/Holding Midfield - Henderson, Ward-Prowse, Rice

    Henderson is a shoe-in, it's who he is partnered with that is the difficulty. Both have been superb at club-level, so it may depend on the opposition. Against the heavyweights, we may need the more defensive Rice whereas Ward-Prowse comes in when we take the game to the opposition. It's a little bit dependent on formations too. Kalvin Phillips has been huge for Leeds too, so could be in line closer to the time.
    Misses out - Loftus-Cheek, Kalvin Phillips, Harry Winks

    Attacking Midfield - Foden, Grealish, Maddison

    When I began looking the squad I disregarded numbers or positions, I just looked at each player individually and asked myself are they good enough. Because of this, there was about 6/7 attacking midfielders, so we're loaded in this area. For me, Foden and Grealish are no-brainers. Foden is an outstanding talent, who will long be in the England squad for many years to come. I actually like how Guardiola has managed him despite the media outcry. He's 20. He was born this millenium and therefore is about 15% into his career. He doesn't need to play 50 games a season yet and be burnt out by March. You could say the same thing about Grealish, he's an absolute Maverick. Confession: I used to hate the guy, he came across as very arrogant early in his career. Safe to say, he's backed it up and more. As for Maddison, he's very good but not quite on the same level. Mount is unlucky to miss out, but it's done to the numbers.
    Misses out - Alli, Barkley, Barnes, Mount, Oxlade-Chamberlain

    Attackers - Sancho, Sterling, Kane, Rashford

    I've bundled these together as it depends a lot on formation. We'll play with one up top for sure, and that'll be Kane, with Rashford as backup. Then there's the wide players and the problem is that with 6 CBs, it leaves spaces short up front. If Southgate wants to play with 3 at the back, we'll need a minimum of 5 CBs, so another attacker may get a spot, but as it stands these are the 4. Looking at those left out, it's criminal to leave out Calvert-Lewin, and yet I simply can't fit him in.
    Misses out - Abraham, Calvert-Lewin, Greenwood, Ings, Saka, Wilson

    Starting XI (4-2-3-1)

    Pickford

    Chilwell
    Coady
    Maguire
    Alexander-Arnold

    Henderson
    Ward-Prowse

    Sancho
    Grealish
    Sterling

    Kane

    Been a few months since posting this. The squad announcement is tomorrow so should be fascinating to see who gets selected now that we have an extra 3 members to choose from, bringing the squad total to 26.

    I've changed a couple of my selections since my post, won't go into too much detail but my squad would be thus:

    GK - Pickford, Pope, Henderson (no change)

    LB - Chilwell, Shaw (no change)

    RB - Alexander-Arnold, Walker (Trippier out)

    CB - Maguire, Stones, Coady, Tarkowski, Mings (Dier, Gomez out. If Maguire doesn't recover from injury, swap him for Dier)

    CDM - Henderson, Rice, Phillips, Ward-Prowse (Phillips benefitting from the extra places)

    CAM - Mount, Foden, Grealish (Maddison out)

    Wingers - Rashford, Sterling, Sancho, Greenwood, Saka (Saka and Greenwood get extra place)

    Strikers - Kane, Calvert-Lewin


    Long story short: defence looks shaky, but the team as a whole has goals in them. Really wanted to fit Reece James and James Maddison in but we have two very good RBs already and I feel with Mount, Foden and Grealish in, Maddison would be surplus to requirements so rather get another pacy player in.

    Also, I haven't included them as they've already retired from England duty, but I'd try and fit Milner and possibly Vardy in if I could. The squad is young; not a bad thing but would be helpful to have a couple more senior pros in there to guide them.






  • #2
    I haven't given it a huge amount of thought, but there is a real case for taking Matt Targett as a left back. He won't get in because he won't offer as much going forward as either Chilwell or Shaw. But he was more solid defensively than either of them, and played more football as well. If there's a sense that we're going to be a little bit light at the back, putting in a more solid option at full back is an idea with some merit. But they won't go with it, of course. I expect those two will be the picks.



    Anyway, off the top of my head? I wouldn't disagree with a lot of what you've got there although I wouldn't rule out Ollie Watkins sneaking onto the plane. Huge question marks over the defence still, and even though I don't love Maguire his absence does raise still more questions there. It may all come down to which version of John Stones we get.




    "The worst moron is the one too stupid to realise they're a moron."

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    • #3
      Yeah the defence is very average as a whole, despite Stones and Maguire having decent seasons. Walker is arguably the only "defender" who you could say is top quality, but not as a CB.

      Yeah I had Watkins and Bamford in my thinking too, but in the end I think it's fair to say that if Kane is fit, he plays and therefore makes them redundant. If he's not fit, honestly... we'd have a better chance with a false 9, maybe Foden or a Sterling playing there. Hence why I'd only take two strikers. DCL is a good option for the final 20 minutes chasing a goal, along with his aerial threat.

      Comment


      • #4
        I think the lack of confidence in defence is why it looks like Trent won't be going and James or Trippier, or both, will go instead. While Trent is awesome going forward we have so much talent in that department that taking a more defensively minded RB to help sure up a potentially weak back line does make a bit of sense. I'd still take Trent but I think that's why Southgate might not.

        Agree on DCL over Bamford or Watkins because of what you said about Kane, Gooner. And I agree that without Kane it may be better to play either a false 9 or Greenwood as he's at worst the second best finisher in the squad, but it could be argued he's above Kane as well.

        Comment


        • #5
          Watkins has a little more versatility than DCL, if that is a factor. He has the pace to play on the wing, if needed. There's an interesting way of playing a 4-3-3 with Watkins and Rashford either side of Kane.

          And to be honest? On the last few months of the season, I think he'd be going in with the better form.

          But it might not be an either-or. No guarantee we'll be taking 8 attacking midfield/wingers to compete for 3 shirts at best, so I wouldn't be surprised if a third CF did go. If that's the case, maybe the recovery in form came too late for a Greenwood or Saka, or the injury will scupper Grealish. Hard to say to be honest.








          "The worst moron is the one too stupid to realise they're a moron."

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by The Cook View Post
            I think the lack of confidence in defence is why it looks like Trent won't be going and James or Trippier, or both, will go instead. While Trent is awesome going forward we have so much talent in that department that taking a more defensively minded RB to help sure up a potentially weak back line does make a bit of sense. I'd still take Trent but I think that's why Southgate might not.

            Agree on DCL over Bamford or Watkins because of what you said about Kane, Gooner. And I agree that without Kane it may be better to play either a false 9 or Greenwood as he's at worst the second best finisher in the squad, but it could be argued he's above Kane as well.
            I'd be a bit surprised if he didn't take TAA to be honest, since he was dropped he's been very good for Liverpool. Though I do agree that defensively he's the weakest RB we have arguably, but he brings so much going forward and from set-pieces.


            Originally posted by Prime Time View Post
            Watkins has a little more versatility than DCL, if that is a factor. He has the pace to play on the wing, if needed. There's an interesting way of playing a 4-3-3 with Watkins and Rashford either side of Kane.
            In a way that kinda hurts his chances for me, I see DCL very much as a plan B striker who'd fit that plan, i.e while Watkins might be 7/10 in most aspects, DCL is 8/10 in the air and as a poacher (plan b), but then a 5/10 pace-wise. You get the idea.

            I agree Watkins probably does have a bit more to his game than DCL in a striker capacity overall, but I can't say I'd play him on the wing over Rashford, Sterling, Saka, Sancho or Greenwood.

            Southgate is set to announce a 30 man squad tomorrow and then cut it down to the final 26 in a weeks time. Chances are all those mentioned will be selected tomorrow, before the final decision.



            Comment


            • #7
              Interesting. I'm not sure we really have a plan B anymore.

              Would I start Watkins on the wing over anyone you've listed there? No, course not. But I can imagine a world where you somehow end up with a Watkins on the pitch at CF where he ends up shunted over to the wing because of the way the substitutes have fallen. Whereas with DCL, even if he's been subbed on if you wanted to shake things up you'd have to sub him off again.

              But as I say, if Watkins goes I don't think it will necessarily be instead of DCL - it'll be because they decide they don't need 8 attacking midfielders for the two wingers and one centre midfield berth. With the old way of doing it you'd probably take 6 players to cover those positions and now it might be 7, rather than 8, which leaves you with a man free to reinforce up front/at the back. In some ways, though, Southgate may be better off ignoring the DCL/Watkins question and looking at extra options at the back.

              EDIT: Speaking of which, it's broken that Reece James is in the provisional squad - so maybe there is going to be either more defensive cover, or a bit of a shock at the back....

              "The worst moron is the one too stupid to realise they're a moron."

              Comment


              • #8
                I think we probably have a plan B that we never really want to use as it would only be used if we're in dire straits (Kane injury, 2-0 down with no possession of the ball, etc).

                I can see what you mean regarding squad numbers and adding more players defensively, and I think Southgate will ultimately go down that route as it's the obvious weakness. I was trying to find out stats for players that get injured during (not before) major competitions, as I have an inkling they tend to be on the attacking side of things and therefore it leads to the notion that perhaps we don't need as many defenders as we think, but I can't seem to find a creditable source. There's the obvious ones such as Owen in 2006 against Sweden, but I was thinking more of the "misses a game or two" type of injuries. No dice.

                Hearing Ben White has made the provisional 30 too, interesting choice.

                Comment


                • #9
                  And Ben Godfrey! Quietly quite pleased with that, even with Everton looking a bit leakier of late.

                  "The worst moron is the one too stupid to realise they're a moron."

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Goalkeepers: D Henderson, S Johnstone, J Pickford, A Ramsdale

                    Defenders: T Alexander-Arnold, B Chilwell, C Coady, B Godfrey, R James, H Maguire, T Mings, L Shaw, J Stones, K Trippier, K Walker, B White

                    Midfielders: J Bellingham, J Henderson, J Lingard, M Mount, K Phillips, D Rice, J Ward-Prowse

                    Forwards: D Calvert-Lewin, P Foden, J Grealish, M Greenwood, H Kane, M Rashford, B Saka, J Sancho, R Sterling, O Watkins

                    "The worst moron is the one too stupid to realise they're a moron."

                    Comment


                    • #11

                      No Maddison, no Bamford, no Ings, no Dier. Pope injury rules him out, and therefore makes Pickford our default no.1.

                      A couple of fairly obvious choices to drop (Ramsdale and maybe White) but the rest all have a decent claim for a shirt.




                      Last edited by Gooner; 05-25-2021, 08:16 AM.

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                      • #12
                        I'm not all that surprised Dier has been left out, to be honest. And Maddison was probably always likely to drop once some of the other lads hit form (as much as I like watching him personally). I assume Pickford was always pretty well nailed on for no. 1 to be honest - if only for the same reason Burnley's centre backs don't really get much of a look-in. Is he going to play the ball enough?

                        Pickford has more of an error in him but he's going to play "the right way" for Southgate and they're just going to try and steal half a dozen games without a costly error out of him. It's doable because the run isn't that long, and he's a great shot-stopper on his day. I'm not sure that people in football are as inclined to ditch Pickford as some sections of the England (and, indeed, Everton) fanbase are.

                        "The worst moron is the one too stupid to realise they're a moron."

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Oh for sure, I always had Pickford to start for me too, for the same reason, he can play out from the back more comfortably than Pope. No surprise with Dier either, but I did expect Maddison to make the provisional squad at least.

                          4 RBs selected suggests to me that Southgate hasn't made his mind in regards to that position. At least one must be dropped surely?

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            You'd think so - unless there's some thought that maybe one of them could cover multiple positions? Trippier to cover both flanks, a Walker/James as CB cover as well? If one of them is a utility back it makes a bit more sense, otherwise at least one of them has to go, you'd think.

                            I'm assuming a 3 at the back here when I say this. But based on a 26 man squad, you'd expect 3 GK, at least 6 CB, 2 full backs for each flank, around 5-6 CM, 6 more creative AM/wingers, and 2-3 CF. There's only actually 6 CB's in the provisional squad so unless there's going to be some utility backs in there, they'd all have to go. Even so, you'd think one of the full backs would have to go and it's more likely to be one of the RB's than either of the 2 LB's.

                            "The worst moron is the one too stupid to realise they're a moron."

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                            • #15
                              Southgate addressed it in his press conference, that the RBs can all play multiple positions. As for 3 at the back, that opens up the possibility of Walker playing as the right-sided CB with another RB playing wing-back. If that's the case, 6 CBs seems overkill even if we play 3 at the back. You'd think also that should we play 3 at the back and one gets injured during the game, Southgate could potentially decide to just change formation as opposed to make a like-for-like change.

                              If I'm not mistaken, only Maguire is an injury doubt in the squad.

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