Five English players overlooked for Slovenia squad selection
Following comments made by controversial QPR player Joey Barton, that Loftus Road teammate Charlie Austin deserved a call-up to the England squad, Coral’s football experts started to wonder who else has been harshly overlooked?
The Three Lions are 14/1 chances with Coral to win Euro 2016 outright, and face their next step on the road to the France finals when hosting Slovenia at Wembley on Saturday, November 15th. Roy Hodgson’s side follow that up with an end of year ‘friendly’ clash away to neighbours and bitter rivals Scotland.
Of Hoops striker Austin, Barton said: “If he keeps scoring goals that does all the talking for him. Chas is a natural goalscorer. Saido Berahino is of a similar ilk. He just scores goals. And that’s what the game is about. It’s an art form. For him, whatever level he does it at it doesn’t faze him.”
So, who do our football experts think was deserving of international recognition? Well, we actually agree with Barton to kick things off…
QPR frontman Austin has six Premier League goals to his name from 10 appearances during his maiden top-flight campaign, and only Saido Berahino has scored more from those eligible for England. Four of them have come in his last three, and that tally would be higher were it not for another strike being controversially ruled out against Manchester City.
England inclusion Rickie Lambert, by contrast, has failed to score a competitive goal since joining Liverpool, and the fact he retains his spot on the roster riles social media firebrand Barton. “It sounds like I am going to slag Rickie Lambert off but I am not,” he said.
“I just think if you’re not playing for Liverpool, who can’t really hit a cow’s a*** with a banjo at the minute in terms of their frontline, and you can’t get a game for them, how do you get in the England squad?”
Southampton central midfielder Cork has helped Ronald Koeman’s side to second in the Premier League table. Coral have cut the Saints’ odds for a top four finish into 9/4 now. Playing in a flat 4-3-3 alongside the likes of Steve Davis, Morgan Schneiderlin and Victor Wanyama has really worked for Southampton, and their stars certainly deserve more recognition.
Cork was last capped at youth level when eligible for the Under-21s in 2011, but did turn out at the London Olympics as part of the Great Britain side selected by Stuart Pearce. If Saints can stay in the hunt for a European place, then surely Hodgson cannot ignored the 25-year-old’s claims.
Ashley Cole apart, the left side of England in general has been a problem position for years. Now, all of a sudden, there are options aplenty open to Hodgson, more than he can include on his roster. Southampton’s Ryan Bertrand can also feel aggrieved at missing out on a call, especially as Kieran Gibbs got the call as backup to Leighton Baines and Luke Shaw, despite Arsenal’s defensive laxities.
West Ham United’s Cresswell, 24, is playing Premier League football for the first time in his career, and has helped them to fourth after 11 games following a summer switch from Ipswich Town. He has a fantastic engine on him, not dissimilar to a young Baines getting up and down the flank. Cresswell is one to watch.
Spurs defender Dier has already displayed a proficiency from set pieces this season since signing from Sporting Lisbon. Injury to Kyle Walker and now that Kyle Naughton has picked up a ban, he can expect more regular Premier League involvement over the weeks ahead, having mainly made outings in the Europa League recently.
Dier was not included on Gareth Southgate’s latest Under-21 roster, despite being eligible like Swansea City midfielder Jonjo Shelvey. The Young Lions boss later claimed the player rejected this friendly opportunity in order to concentrate on nailing down a centre half spot instead of being club and country’s emergency right back, however.
If Dier’s development and danger from corners and free kick continues consistently at Spurs, surely senior caps are on the horizon.
Tottenham forward Kane is in double figures across all competitions already this term, but seven Europa League strikes are only enough to earn him an Under-21 inclusion. Hodgson should certainly try the proven 16-goal partnership of Berahino and him at senior level soon, because they fired the Young Lions to the European youth finals in the Czech Republic next summer.