Keep in mind that after posting this, Fabio will probably read it and decide to make me look ridiculous and still include players like Emile Heskey and Michael Carrick. However, I urge you to indeed read on…
Goalkeepers: James, Green, Hart Not much to decide here as David James has been the consensus starter for Fabio Capello since he became the England boss. Robert Green will deputise for the World Cup and young Joe Hart will be brought along to gain valuable experience during the tournament.
Strikers –Rooney, Crouch, Defoe, Bent.
It’s pretty clear I have a huge hate-on for Emile Heskey and rightly so; he’s flat for his club and his outrageous missed header just feet from the net against Japan underlined the fact he’s lost his scoring touch. Fans who are in support of Heskey going to the World Cup argue he takes pressure off of Rooney; my argument is that he is absolutely useless.
Crouch stays in due to his fantastic goal scoring record and Defoe had another excellent seasonfor his club, we can only hope that translates into some goals on the World stage.
Midfielders – Gerrard, Barry, Lampard, Lennon, Walcott, Milner, Johnson, J. Cole
I really hope that Fabio decides to employ a 4-5-1 formation, as this would place Gerrard just behind Rooney up front, allowing Lampard and Barry to be deployed together in the middle. Line up Walcott/Lennon on one side with Johnson/J. Cole on the other wing and have a midfield that can rival the defensive awareness and offensive creativity of most sides in South Africa.
Losing out will be disappointments Michael Carrick and Shaun Wright-Phillips, two players who had unconvincing campaigns for their clubs and have failed to impress themselves upon the manager.
Out: Carrick, Huddlestone, Parker, Wright-Phillips
Defenders – A. Cole, Ferdinand, Terry, Johnson, Baines, King, Upson, Carragher –
This is the toughest to choose because after England stalwarts Ferdinand, Cole and Terry there are a lot of questions in the defence. Can Glen Johnson play a solid defensive game to compliment his attacking nature? Can Upson, Dawson, Baines and Warnock transfer their club play to a national side? Does Carragher still have what it takes to play on the big stage after a dreadful season for Liverpool?
My money is on the backfour to look like this on game day: Cole, Ferdinand, Terry and Johnson, so then Johnson is in. There isn’t much room in center-back so we take King and Upson, with Carragher being able to fill in along the back. That leaves one spot open and that was a spot that was for the taking between Dawson, Upson and Baines. Baines played well for his club all season and has shown quite a scorers touch, so he’s in.
Out: Upson, Dawson, Parker
Missing out on the plane will be: Heskey, Carrick, Huddlestone, Parker, Wright-Phillips, Dawson and Warnock.
To add fuel to the fire, here’s what my starting 11 would look like against the USA in England first game on June 12th:
Johnson – Ferdinand – Terry – Cole
Johnson – Barry – Lampard – Lennon
Let me know what you think and throw your thoughts, comments and