We’re a little concerned.
Gareth Southgate – the squeaky clean successor to Sam Allardyce’s one game wonder and glorious pints of wine – made a promise upon his appointment as England manager.
A promise that his Three Lions side would always be picked on current form.
So the inclusion of Joe Hart and Danny Welbeck in his latest 23-man roster is, well, a little uninspiring.
Hart has been in and out of the second worst defensive unit in the Premier League whilst Welbeck is third choice striker at Arsenal.
So we thought we’d take care of Southgate’s job for him and pick a side based purely on recent form.
England lack major tournament experience across the board so prioritising form seems like our best approach in Russia.
First things first some disclaimers.
Before you start questioning our sanity HARRY KANE WOULD OBVIOUSLY BE IN THERE IF HE WASN’T INJURED.
He’s our only world class player.
James Milner is having a stonking season for Liverpool but by virtue of retiring from international duty he’s out of the equation too. Sorry Jimmy.
And an honourable mention also has to go to Marc Albrighton who, if the tactics were a little different, would be right in with a shout.
So listen up, listen in, let us begin by revealing the XI – an attacking 5-2-3 formation – that are absolutely, definitely going to
lose to Panama and Tunisia win the bloody World Cup.
Goalkeeper: Nick Pope
No debate at the moment.
Hart and Jack Butland are between the sticks of the two most porous Premier League defences and Jordan Pickford has only showed flashes of brilliance.
Pope, in stark contrast, has been a pillar of consistency and an utter revelation for Burnley since deputising for Tom Heaton earlier this season.
Defence: Kyle Walker, Eric Dier, James Tarkowski, Harry Maguire, Ashley Young
If Walker is half the player he is for Man City we’re in business.
Dier was possibly the most touch and go option but he just about squeaks in.
Tarkowski and Maguire. More like prime Maldini and Nesta.
Was nice of Mo Salah to remove himself from Young’s pocket for the visit of Watford last weekend too, wasn’t it?
Central midfield: Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Jack Wilshere
Talk about a midfield engine room.
Oxlade-Chamberlain and Wilshere – yes Wilshere – are arguably two of England’s fittest players. Pure hustle and bustle.
The Ox has finally been released from Arsene Wenger’s shackles and looks twice the player under Jurgen Klopp.
And our Jack has finally put his injury problems behind him to get a regular run in the Arsenal side.
Cue the inevitable season ending ankle ligament injury, then.
Attack: Marcus Rashford, Jamie Vardy, Ryan Sessegnon
What really gives defenders sleepless nights? What’s that one, priceless asset capable of spooking even the most advanced readers of the game?
Pace, of course.
And in these three we’ve got that in abundance.
Rashford has been Man United’s shining light in amongst all the doom and gloom in recent weeks.
What can you say about Vardy? The archetypal wind up merchant is a thorn in anyone’s side and has bagged as many as Romelu Lukaku in the league this season.
And only one player born after the millennium can say they’ve scored nine times since the turn of the year.
Unleash Sessegnon down the left and watch the boots quake.
One word: energy.
We’ll out run, out muscle and out hassle our opposition.
So Gareth, what’s it going to be? Are you a man of your word?
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