Following the England squad announcement today, here’s our take on a slightly adventurous XI Gareth Southgate could try to play at this summer’s World Cup.
International tournaments are so often disappointing for England as cautious coaches rely too much on the same old names and systems, so how could Southgate do things a little differently this year?
Who knows if he’ll try anything like this, and who knows if it would work, but here’s our preferred England XI to at least make watching the Three Lions fun and interesting again!
Gareth Southgate names his 23-man England squad for the World Cup in Russia
— BBC 5 live Sport (@5liveSport) May 16, 2018
GK: Jordan Pickford
With no Joe Hart, Everton goalkeeper Jordan Pickford is probably the pick (no pun intended) of the bunch of this lot of ‘keepers, but in truth it’s not the most inspiring list of options.
CB: John Stones
It might not have been his best season at Manchester City, but John Stones will at least be reasonably well rested and has plenty to offer on the ball to help us keep possession and build out from the back better than we have done in the past.
CB: Harry Maguire
After an outstanding season at Leicester City, Harry Maguire surely deserves the nod over the ageing and in-decline Gary Cahill, while Phil Jones simply isn’t fulfilling the potential he seemed to have earlier in his career.
RB: Kyle Walker
Plenty of good options at right-back with Kieran Trippier and Trent Alexander-Arnold in reserve, but after his fine season for title winners Manchester City, it’s surely got to be the pacey, attack-minded Kyle Walker as first choice.
LB: Fabian Delph
Bit of a wildcard here, but Fabian Delph showed some of the finest form of his career at left-back for City this term and should get the nod there again, particularly if two of his other City team-mates also make up that back four. Let’s get the club connections strong where possible!