The question is not about whether Drinkwater is a great player, the question is when you are not picking players who are performing in favour of established stars who are not, and picking on hype not actual results and requirements.
England needed a creative MF in the 1990’s, and went with Batty and Ince over Le Tisser. Right now you have ONE, DM, Dier, and if he gets injured or suspended, who you going to play in that position?
I am no fan of Liverpool - being a Carlisle United fan I only give a damn about the Premier League in as much as it produces players for the international team, which I suspects puts me in the minority - but, when fit, Sturridge is probably the most lethal of England’s strikers. He’s only played the last 2 months of the season - he scored 8 goals in that time, which makes him basically the form striker for the end of the season. He’s in on merit, from what I can see.
It’s Wilshire and Henderson that are the contentious picks I think. I’d have had Drinkwater for one - agree he wouldn’t make or break the team but adequate cover for Dier in defensive midfield - and I’d have picked a spare Centre Half, where we look thin (and I don’t like Dier covering that area of the field).
As you say elsewhere though. These are quibbles at the margins really. These players are not going to win us the tournament. None of them are.
Elsewhere in this thread: LOL at the idea that Albrighton should be in the squad. Really - just because you win the league doesn’t magically make all your players international class. It just proves you’re part of a good team - his mediocre history elsewhere shows that he’s probably found a team that makes best use of his talents, which may well not be replicated by England.
Also Steve Bruce justifiably never played for England. He was behind Butcher, Walker, Wright and Adams for much of his career - and he wasn’t as good as any of them. Again, just because your team wins the league, doesn’t make you a world beater.
Yes, but after a while success and performance matters more than reputation. Albrighton has been a consistently better player than Sterling this last season and a part of a team which won the title; Sterling could not keep Jesus Navas out of the team. Rooney was abysmal most season. Wiltshire did not play except a handful of minutes all season. Yet they get selected.
And its not a case like Arteta not getting in a look in for Spain because of all the talent available. That Spanish side won three tournaments. England have been to two Semi FInals in 50 years.
As for Steve Bruce, you really think he was worse than Keith Curle, Carlton Palmer and Gary Mubbet, who did get capped? Even Bobby Robson admitted that he was wrong not to pick him.
You haven’t built a case for Albrighton, you’ve built a case not to take Sterling or possibly Rooney (which was never going to happen). One season where Albrighton performs well, in a notoriously tight unit, who had a substantial number of their best players not be English, is not evidence that he will perform well for England. The previous years of mediocrity still carry weight - Albrighton would be like some of Graham Taylor’s picks (for instance: Tony Daley had a season or two where he was alright in a reasonably successful team, surrounded by years of rubbish, that’s how he got into an England team that is as bad as I can remember - and was a contributing factor to being as bad as I can remember), which is not a model I would want to replicate any time soon.
Bruce didn’t play the same position as Carlton Palmer - you may as well ask whether he should have got in ahead of Gascoigne or Platt - since Palmer played in Centre Midfield. Curle played for England because he was “versatile” - he played full back as well as centre back, so was covering for deficiencies in squads Graham Taylor selected - indeed, he played right back for England as far as I can tell and was taken to Euro 92 to cover multiple positions, a reasonable thing to do, given the limitations of the squad system in tournament play. Bruce didn’t play full back, so he’s not a like for like comparison either.
Mabbutt is about the only player you’ve got here who matches up. He got 16 caps. But Mabbutt got 13 of his caps prior to 1987 when Bruce was toiling for Norwich City and then a Manchester United team that didn’t win anything until the 1990 FA Cup and weren’t a serious year on year contender in the league for for another couple of seasons after that - by which point Bruce was 32 and his central defensive partner, Gary Pallister, was a better player. Bruce and Mabbutt’s careers don’t overlap significantly for this to be a like for like comparison either - and when Mabbutt did pick up the last 3 of his caps, I can’t find whether Bruce was injured or not - but it is entirely possible because he missed 5 league games that year despite being joint captain with Bryan Robson. He’d only need to have been out for 2 weeks to overlap with two of those Mabbutt caps are they were in one international block.
Bobby Robson can say what he likes and was a notoriously lovely man. I suspect what he means is, I wish I’d picked him so he could say he played for England. But Robson was in those selection meetings and didn’t pick Bruce. Because he wasn’t good enough.
I suspect you’re going to come back with some more names to chew over.
At the end of the day though, Hodgson is not picking the English Premiership team of the season, he’s picking the team that is going to be most effective at Euro 2016. Sterling might not have had the best year at Man City, but he’s more talented than Albrighton and has more to offer England at this present moment in time. Rooney may’ve had some pretty poor patches this season, but he showed enough for Utd, and more importantly England, to suggest he was worth taking.
That’s not to say I entirely agree with Hodgson’s selections, I would’ve taken Drinkwater and another centre back as this squad is too sparse on defensively-minded players for my liking.
As for Steve Bruce, he should’ve got a few caps, he was good enough - though our starting centre backs were better at the time. In fairness though Keith Curle was deployed as a full back for England and I don’t think Carlton Palmer ever played as a CB for England (I can’t remember tbh - but it wasn’t his primary position). I seem to remember Gary Mabbutt did play mainly as a centre back for England (though he often played in midfield for Spurs), and tbf he was perfectly adequate back-up player for England, though arguably Bruce would’ve been a better choice at times.
When Spain took an out of form Iker, a no longer first choice Xavi, over the hill Villa and Torres and an injured Costa to the WC, they dominated…wait. Del Bosque has learnt his lesson this time. I suspect Roy will lose his job. Talented means eff all if you aren’t performing. Sterling’s been pretty abysmal all season. Anf if you are not performing well for your club, you are not going to do well for country. Unless you are Fernando Torres. On the other hand, if you are playing well and winning, how much longer can you be kept out on the “talent” and “system” claim.
Another England player sans a cap is Jimmy Case. Maybe more surprising than Bruce.
As with all international tournament threads, people are apt to draw big conclusions from small samples. Spain did badly here, France did well there, so it follows that <etc. and so forth>.
Except, it doesn’t follow. These tournaments are rare, and short – a few games every two or four years, at best – with largely different personnel involved each time, and international football is a thing in itself anyway. I don’t think you can conclude anything much from how country X performed at some particular tournament in the past. All you can do is look at broad trends. Such as, Germany and Spain tend to win, England and the Netherlands tend to lose (on penalties ;)).
Yes, and qualifying and friendlies tell you something, but not everything.
You can almost always count on one or more of the usual big powers* doing very well. If the host is one of these, all the better for them. My pick for this category? France, or Germany. Duh.
You can almost always count on one or more of the usual big powers choking out earlier than they should. Italy would be my guess. I don’t expect wonders from Spain or Netherlands, either.
You can almost always count on a much-less respected and lowly ranked team doing surprisingly well, aka the darling of the tournament. They won’t win, but everyone will be inspired by their scrappy overachieving. Who knows who this could be. Iceland? Northern Ireland? Wales? Austria?
You can almost always count on a newish, “up-and-coming”** team doing as well as reasonably expected, making a deep run, sometimes winning. Belgium, obvious choice. Maybe Portugal.
*Meaning, they’ve won it it more at least once in the modern era.
**Meaning, they’ve never won it before.
But I could totally wrong about everything! That would be fun.
(ETA: I wish I had higher hopes for England. Not that much, but they should get at least to the quarterfinals, I hope. If you could make a UK Team of the best picks from Wales, England, Scotland, and N. Ireland, that would be a top-tier team, I’m sure. Alas.)
A UK team wouldn’t make much difference, occasional outstanding players like Gareth Bale notwithstanding. There are not enough British-but-not-English players for it to matter. Who was the last one before Bale? Ryan Giggs?
Run-of-the-mill Scottish/Welsh/Northern Irish players have all the same deficiencies as English players, and would rarely get into a UK squad. That’s just how it is when one of the four nations has a much bigger population pool to choose from.
Looking over the groups again, for the first time since the draw, I still think Group E is the “Group of Death.” Italy, Belgium, Sweden, Ireland. Group B is tough as well: England, Russia, Slovakia, Wales.
Euros and Copa America at the same time! Gonna be a fun month!
I think France is the team to beat, with Belgium a close second. The other usual suspects, Germany, Italy and Spain all look a bit compromised. I can’t see Italy or Spain being able to score much, while Germany’s defense is suspect. Pogba, Payet, Kante and Martial have all been playing like World Top 20 players. That said, I also think Delli Alli of England has a chance to be the breakout star of the tournament. He really impressed for Spurs this year and looked pretty dominant in the friendlies. It’s a shame that Drinkwater missed out; terrible decision keeping Wilshire in.
Prediction: France over Belgium in Final. England 3rd.
What about Slovakia?
I’m looking forward to the Wales game, though. I saw some of Wales’ last few qualifying games and they didn’t look all that good. I think they’re a bit inconsistent. Obviously if we let Bale do what he can do, we’re in trouble.