Tuesday, 30 June 2009

You May Have Won The Battle, But We Won The War

Timeless World War encounters, endless World Cup scuffles and now a European scrap to be added to the numerous times that England have gone to war - no pun intended - with arch enemies Germany. After seeing off the hosts in the semi finals, Stuart Pearce’s side booked their place in the final at Malmo New Stadium, in a tie the nation would love to see replicated in South Africa next year.

Missing key players through suspension, Pearce was forced to make difficult alterations. These absentees proved to play a major part in England’s downfall, as Germany clinched the game with ease to set a new record of largest goal margin in the final of the tournaments history.

As well as the desire for glory, squad players surely couldn’t help think that an impressive tournament might improve their chances of making the 23 man squad for next year‘s World Cup, especially with Pearce having a huge influence in the selection process.

England’s most capped player, James Milner, will most defiantly have given himself a good chance of making the provision squad, if not the actual squad, despite not making an actually senior appearance.

Theo Walcott was the surprise selection in 2006 and since then has become a senior squad regular -when fit - but an average tournament for the Arsenal attacker means he could face uncertainty about a regular starting place.

Since the arrival of Shay Given at Eastlands, Joe Hart hasn’t make a single appearance for City and cleverly made the smart move to Birmingham City ready for next season, ensuring regular first team football, and lets face it, Birmingham are going to have a lot of shots against them.

Although the World Cup is a staggering 345 days away, if I was to step into Capello’s expensive Italian leather shoes, I would pick the following 23 man squad:

David James
Robert Green
Joe Hart

Ashley Cole
Rio Ferdinand
Glen Johnson
John Terry
Matthew Upson
Kieran Gibbs
Micah Richards

Gareth Barry
Steven Gerrard
David Beckham
James Milner
Frank Lampard
Joe Cole
Theo Walcott
Ashley Young

Wayne Rooney
Jermain Defoe
Emile Heskey
Peter Crouch
Kevin Davies (I wish)

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