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Roy Hodgson’s provisional squad for Euro 2016 hold very few surprises. The inclusion of Marcus Rashford raised a few eyebrows, but elsewhere the exclusion of Theo Walcott, Mark Noble and Andy Carroll seemed inevitable.
What would have been a big surprise, a very big surprise would have been our very own Steve Cook. England’s defence is undoubtedly its weak point. The squad includes the usual suspects, Chris Smalling, John Stones, Gary Cahill and Nathaniel Clyne. Hardly, a terrifying sight for world-class defenders, but it’s the best Roy Hodgson has on offer. Or is it?
According to statistics from Oulala there is an Englishman who’s name hasn’t even got a mention. They have compiled the very best XI players and a further six subs from the Premier League, La Liga, Serie A and Ligue 1 this season. There isn’t an Englishmen in the first XI, but sitting happily on the bench is AFC Bournemouth very own Steve Cook. Who’s keeping him company in the squad? There’s a few names you might have heard of Dimitri Payet, Mesut Ozil, Lionel Messiand Neymar to name a few. Hardly obscure names in football. So Steve Cook is in good company.
Is Gary Chaill better than Steve Cook? Is Chris Smalling better than Steve Cook? Its debatable, but they do play for Chelsea and Man Utd. Based on statistics no they aren’t. We might have a skewed opinion here at TFTSE Towers, but next time Roy take a look at the facts and you might find the best English defender in Europe is right under your nose.
If you are reading this Roy you can get the full stats and facts from Oulala