So the England cat is out of the football bag. And now it’s running around terrified, darting between people’s legs, knocking over coffee tables and scattering Monopoly pieces.
England’s World Cup squad was announced in all of its parping, ceremonial glory today at 2pm, and while it contains few surprises, we reckon there are a few omissions that might come back to bite Roy Hodgson in his affable arse.
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Instead of: Luke Shaw
Shaw’s fast, skillful and has a point to prove. What he doesn’t have is a decade and a half’s worth of international experience.
While we’re all in favour of a young squad, full to the brim with delicious fresh blood, surely Cole’s battle-hardened know-how wouldn’t go amiss? And crucially when England are one-nil up with 15 minutes to go, there is no one else you’d rather have clearing balls off the line.
Instead of: Phil Jones
For such a big bloke Jones does seem to get injured during matches a lot. And while he can play in midfield (sort of), not even the staunchest Manchester United fan would feel comfortable watching him attempt to shield the defense against Edinson Cavani.
Stones has had a brilliant season at Everton and, like Jones, can also play at right-back.
Instead of: Frank Lampard
It’s hard to see what qualities Frank Lampard brings to this England squad that his other midfield colleagues don’t already possess.
While it’s true that no one has ever become excited at the prospect of watching Michael Carrick, the veteran midfielder is cool under fire, accurate with his passing and completely selfless in possession.
And on standby: DAVID NUGENT
Instead of: Jermain Defoe
David “The Difference” Nugent has scored 22 goals for Championship pace-setters Leicester City this year. Now, we don’t normally have much truck with people getting over-excited about players who have one brilliant season. But this is The Nuge we’re talking about.
Get him on the plane. Or at least get him on the list of people who’ll get on the plane if Wayne Rooney knackers his metatarsal while playing darts.
THE FULL SQUAD