Menu

Which Of Your Players SHOULD Steve McClaren Have Picked?

Peter runs through every Premier League club to find out who was overlooked for England duty, he even found someone at Arsenal.

Does anyone get excited anymore, waiting to hear the next England squad? I think everyone was waiting with great anticipation for McLaren’s first England squad to see whether David Beckham would be dropped. Of course we know the farce that has surrounded the Becks selection but has he surprised anyone with his selection? If I’m being honest he’s surprised me at how shockingly bad he is and how unimaginative he has been since taking the reins.

Far be it from to suggest who the man the FA have deemed to be the most appropriate candidate to take over as the manager of the England national team but if you look down the list of English players playing in the Premier League surely you can think of someone other than Phil Neville.

So here’s a quick rundown of which players from each club Steve McClaren should have picked, and let us know your demands in the comments.




Arsenal:

Justin Hoyte: With Gary Neville missing you’d think McLaren would be trying out right backs but he’s got the same old ones in.

Theo Walcott: Maybe picking young Theo would bring back too memories of Sven but with Lennon missing Walcott would be an almost ideal replacement.

Aston Villa:

Ashley Young: Another useful winger who has played at under-21 level who can play on the left or on the right. He’s shown he can handle the pressure of the Premier League so why not at least try him?

Nigel Reo-Coker: Admittedly England are quite well blessed in the middle of the park but the u-21 captain is worth at least a run out in a friendly!

Birmingham:

Liam Ridgewell: Again, a position that England are blessed with quite a few talented players, but with Jamie Carragher’s premature retirement you’d think McLaren would try and blood some new talent so he can have all his bases covered should Terry or Ferdinand pick up a knock.

Blackburn Rovers:

Stephen Warnock: Left back isn’t a position England are blessed with talent and should Ashley Cole not be fit you’d struggle to pick who should be first choice. Wayne Bridge is regarded as his replacement but why not try out another left back or two as opposed to playing a right footer there? Warnock has shown he’s capable of playing football and mixing it with the best of them.

David Bentley: It’s unclear whether McLaren is punishing him for not going to the u-21 tournament this summer or just plain not picking him. I hope it’s the former and that he realizes his mistake because Bentley is a very talented player who can operate on the left or on the right or even off the striker. He can hit a dead ball almost as well David Beckham, has pace and can take on his man. How he isn’t in the squad to me is a travesty of justice.

Matt Derbyshire: Take Rooney, Owen and Crouch out of the squad and what do you have? A bunch of bit part players who have moved from club to club without really establishing themselves for more than one season in the Premier League. Derbyshire is hungry and is an out and out poacher. Why not give him a go and see if he can cut it at the highest level?

Bolton Wanderers:

Kevin Nolan: Another player who hasn’t broken into the England squad even though clearly on merit he should have by now. He can score goals, create them and he doesn’t pull out of a challenge. With Gerrard’s and Hargreaves’ withdrawal from the squad you’d expect McLaren to try out one or two untried central midfielders.

Chelsea:

Steve Sidwell: What’s surprising about Sidwell’s omission is that normally English players playing for Chelsea or Man Utd normally get an immediate invitation to join up with the England squad. Although Sidwell’s one half against his former club Reading isn’t exactly a shining example of why he should be in the England squad, his performances last term should have at least merited a call up now that Hargreaves and Gerrard are missing.

Derby County:

Giles Barnes: Should Barnes get fit I still doubt he’ll be invited to join the full England squad because I don’t think McLaren likes to have too many creative players in the squad. If he somehow wound up as manager of Brazil he’d struggle to pick his starting 11.

Everton:

Leighton Baines: Another left back who can pretty much do it all. Baines can even take free-kicks but why would want that in your squad when you’ve got Phil Neville.

Jolean Lescott: Possibly the most under-rated player of last year (other than by Everton fans), Lescott proved with his performances he can mark anyone. He can play anywhere along the back line and plays with a passion you don’t see anymore these days. How he isn’t in the squad is a mystery to me.

Fulham:

Zat Knight: Another under-rated defender who has been one of Fulham’s most consistent performers over the last few seasons. A full England call up should have been on the cards with McLaren looking for back-ups.

Paul Konchesky: Not the most talented but he’s composed on the ball and can play football. Another option to play left back that’s been overlooked.

Liverpool:

Jermaine Pennant: He’s won over a lot of people at Anfield since his arrival last season. His performances are improving and he seems to have eradicated his larger loutishness of late which has led to many people thinking he deserves to be called up to the full England squad. He’s played in a Champions League final which not too many other English players available can say.

Manchester City:

Michael Johnson: He’s burst onto the scene and shown that City won’t miss Joey Barton on the pitch this season. He’s strong and has an eye for goal so why not try him out?

Manchester United

If you’re English and play for Man Utd you immediately qualify for a place in the full England squad. Hell if you played for them at one point in your career you’re almost guaranteed a spot. Chris Eagles should feel aggrieved he’s not been called up yet…

Middlesbrough:

Chris Riggott: Assuming that Woodgate gets into the squad when he’s fit the only other English player at Boro who could possibly merit a place in the squad is Riggott. A slightly forgotten man, many people forget he almost signed for Liverpool before joining McLaren at Boro.

Newcastle:

Shola Ameobi: With England being short of a target man you’d think Ameobi might get given a chance. He hasn’t played much but when he has he’s shown great qualities and in my books he’s worth a shout at least for a friendly.

Portsmouth:

Matthew Taylor: Another player who should feel quite aggrieved he’s been overlooked. Taylor scored a lot of goals last season and he can operate at left back or left midfield which make him an ideal choice seeing England are short at both positions for cover.

David Nugent: He scored in his last game for England so it was always going to be time for him to get dropped. He was playing in the Championship and was getting picked, now he’s moved to the Premier League he’s been dropped. You figure it out.

Reading:

James Harper: I wouldn’t underestimate the influence Harper and Sidwell had on Reading’s success last season. The energy the exuded was the main reason Steve Coppell’s side surprised a lot of people. Obviously with his mate missing from his side he’s had to carry the burden of the midfield this season. He’s shown he’s capable of defending and scoring but sadly for him he plays for Reading and they already have their quota of one player in the squad.

Sunderland:

Michael Chopra: 2 goals in 2 games isn’t a bad turnout for a striker. Not the most talented but like Nugent was plying his trade in the Championship last year so why shouldn’t he also be given a chance?

Tottenham Hotspurs:

Anthony Gardner: Poor old Gardner has had to carry the load for Spurs so far this season. With both Dawson and King being out injured and new signing Younes Kaboul picking up a knock it’s not been easy going for him. He’s popped up with a goal and generally looked like he can handle himself. I’m assuming here both Dawson and King would make the full England squad when fit but nothing’s guaranteed with McLaren.

Wayne Routledge:
Another tricky winger who can operate on both flanks. One winger is enough for McLaren if Lennon isn’t fit.

West Ham:

Mark Noble: Many people will claim that Carlos Tevez was the reason the Hammers stayed up last season but many forget the performances that Noble put in for Alan Curbishley. His energy was unmatched and he’s also shown an eye for goal.

Dean Ashton: Maybe the fact that Ashton hasn’t had many games since his return to fitness swayed McLaren but it shouldn’t have. Ashton has shown that he has the ability to score against even the meanest of defenses. England don’t have another player like him and that alone should have made McLaren pick him.

Scott Parker: He was picked a couple of times under Sven but it appears he isn’t on McLaren’s radar which is a shame because he’s a player who has unlimited stamina and can definitely strike a ball.

Wigan:

Titus Bramble: Only kidding!

Emile Heskey: I’m not kidding with this one. He’s not the most prolific in front of goal but he’s shown he can play at the highest level and possibly given a new chance he could show a few people they’re wrong about him.


Obviously I’m not suggesting all those players make it into the squad but some of them could be given a try. I mean it’s a meaningless friendly against a depleted Germany and I’m well aware you want to beat your greatest rivals at your brand new stadium but what other chances before the Euro next year will McLaren get to field any players who should be at least given a chance?

Another argument for picking untested players is that it gives you the chance to rest your main players who have just played 3 games in the space of 8 days. The new players coming in will bring a lot of energy to the team as they’ll want to prove they’re good enough to play for the national side. It’s a win win situation really but obviously Steve didn’t think of it.