I’m not the England manager and never likely to be. But, Eddie Howe is an England Manager in the making. It simply seems to be a matter of when. So his opinion means more than mine (when it comes to football).
After the 6-1 demolition of Hull City, much was made of how many Englishmen were in the AFC Bournemouth team. It prompted Eddie Howe to say that he thought some of the squad were going in the right direction for a call up. After the Middlesboro defeat he said “I think if the lads continue to play as well as they have, and as consistently as they have, then hopefully that recognition would not be too far away”.
If he was manager right now I wonder how many of the Cherries squad would get a call-up? I would go for all of them and replace Boruc with Joe Hart and make Harry Arter English again. Job done.
Under Eddie Howe’s tutelage many of the squad have blossomed and have reached new heights, but are they serious contenders for an England call-up?
The beauty of football is that everyone has an opinion. Who should be in the England team seems to bring out the ‘passion’ of every football-loving Englishmen, and the debate begins.
WHO WOULD MAKE THE ENGLAND SQUAD?
I am going to try and be objective and take off my AFC Bournemouth blinkers before delving into the next part of this piece. Right blinkers offs, here goes.
Goalkeeper not English, so that’s an easy decision.
Defence is much harder. Walker, Cahill, Stones and Rose lined up in defence against Slovenia. Poor game so no-one was spectacular but out of those four we reckon Cahill is the weak link. Are Simon Francis or Steve Cook better than Cahill? Not sure, but at least as good, so we are going to go for Steve Cook for the England squad. Are Smith and Daniels better than Walker and Rose. Not in our opinion, but Smith must be getting close.
Midfield has some real talent, but how good are they? Let’s start with the easy selection, or should we say non-selection. Harry Arter is English but he plays for Ireland and has pointed out that he will not be making the switch. This leaves Jack Wilshire, Andrew Surman, Junior Stanislas, Jordon Ibe and let’s not forget Marc Pugh (not going to happen but would love to see Pugh in England squad).
Realistically, the only man who is going to get in the England squad is Jack Wilshire. He has an abundance of talent, just needs to be fit and near his best and he is a cert. Surman, does he offer more than Henderson, Dier, Drinkwater or Dele Alli? We think not, so we are going to have to give him a thumbs down.
On the wings we have Ibe and Stanislas. Ibe still has a lot to prove at AFC Bournemouth. He is a player for the future. Stanislas is a different matter. Does he deserve a place ahead of the likes of Lallana, Walcott or Antonio. He may be the best of that trio, but if Antonio can get in the squad then Stanislas needs serious consideration.
Finally, up front we have the undoubted talent of Callum Wilson. Is he better than Sterling, Sturridge, Vardy, Kane and Rooney (is he still a striker?). No, but he is close, very close. He is strong, quick and we think perfectly suited for international football. He will have no problem fitting in when the opportunity comes.
So there you go Mr Southgate, take note. I’m sure many will disagree and ‘IF’ I was the England manager (blinkers back on) I would simply choose the all AFC Bournemouth Englishmen and put Fletch on the bench, but what do I know.