For England to succeed, they must drop Rickie Lambert and move on to a new look strike force…
Four consecutive victories have placed England in the ideal position to secure qualification to Euro 2016. Having already won away in Switzerland, their hardest fixtures is out of the way, and they should have little trouble in finishing off a near-perfect campaign.
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Our biggest issue has been breaking teams down, and it’s something we must improve upon if we want to challenge for the trophy in France. We might have scored 11 goals in four games, but we managed just one against Estonia, and five against San Marino is an average return at best.
Some might call this picky, as the result is of course what matters most. But Roy Hodgson must strive for the best. He must demand clinical performances which offer no mercy to teams that we should be beating comfortably.
The prime example of this theory is Germany, the current World Cup holders, who were criticised by manager Joachim Loew for only putting four past minnows Gibraltar. Loew has high standards, demands they are met, and subsequently gets the correct results.
England must first renovate their strike force, and they can do this by selecting FIVE forward players. The versatile nature of Wayne Rooney, Daniel Sturridge and Danny Welbeck – who can all play out wide and behind a central forward – allows room for two out-and-out forwards.
West Ham United’s Andy Carroll and Queens Park Rangers’ Charlie Austin have both proved that they deserve a chance to impress on the international stage, and offer more to the Three Lions than Rickie Lambert, who has struggled at Liverpool this term.
Carroll has scored three goals in his last three games, and is more physical and aggressive than Lambert. Austin is the top scoring Englishman in the Premier League this season with 11, and both offer something different, either from the start or off the bench.
Youngsters Saido Berahino and Harry Kane are equally deserving of a call-up, but would do better to be left to develop in the Under 21’s, particularly with a major tournament coming up for Gareth Southgate’s side next year.
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