Townsend’s past performances have him ahead of Dyer in England reckoning
Roy Hodgson’s named his England squad for the upcoming Euro 2016 qualifiers against San Marino and Estonia and there’s naturally been a little bit of fallout following some of his selections.
And then we come to the question of Swansea’s Nathan Dyer, who is on fire for his club at the moment.
The problem for Dyer is he’s got players like Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Andros Townsend in front of him in the pecking order.
Do you leave one of those out to accommodate Dyer?
Even though Townsend isn’t a regular at Tottenham, Roy owes him a place in the squad.
The reason England ended up at last summer’s World Cup was because of Townsend and he’s performed reasonably well in the Capital One Cup this season.
Townsend has never let the Three Lions boss down when he’s been in an England squad.
Roy is usually one to pick players on form rather than favourites but he’s probably made an exception in this case.
In that respect it’s perhaps slightly misleading for Roy to say it’s all about current form because he’s shown a bit of loyalty to Andros.
Meanwhile, when it comes to Jonjo Shelvey, you’ve got to remember that he was very well-sought after at Charlton and watched by a lot of clubs.
I was keeping tabs on him for one club but I won’t tell you who as they didn’t end up signing him!
It probably didn’t work out for him at Liverpool but he’s playing at an in-form team and is one of Swansea’s top performers therefore he merits his inclusion based on that.
Wenger’s Welbeck admission was a bit of a shock
He’s always been sharp, that’s why he could play out wide, because of that electric pace.
Arsenal are now playing him in his preferred position and Welbeck will be extremely relieved now that he has that chance to fulfil his potential and become a better player in his best position.
It’s no surprise to me that Welbeck produced against Galatasaray in midweek. He will continue to improve with the belief that’s been shown in him.
It certainly makes it easier for Hodgson to leave Daniel Sturridge out of the England squad as Welbeck is a quality replacement.
New managers are not prepared for the challenge of the Europa League
Every team that goes into the Europa League ‘fresh’ is not prepared for it.
When I say that, I’m specifically referring to those Premier League teams playing in the competition with a new manager.
It’s caught Mauricio Pochettino out at Tottenham and it’s also been a big adjustment for Everton boss Roberto Martinez.
It’s all about knowing who to bring in, who to keep fresh and how to approach games so that your team can compete both domestically and on the continent.
It’s never been a hindrance to play in Europe. Playing in the Europa League still has a lot of prestige.
Hopefully with experience both managers will get the blend right and be able to reach the knockout stages – that’s when it really gets serious!
Schneiderlin my ‘biggest surprise’ of the season so far
There have been a few players in the Premier League who you could argue have caught us all a bit by surprise.
Leonardo Ulloa at Leicester is certainly one name who fits into that bracket. I saw him last term at Brighton and must admit I did not expect the Argentine to have such a big impact at this level.
But for me the one player I’ve seen who I take my hat off to is Morgan Schneiderlin at Southampton.
The Frenchman saw a lot of big players leave the club in the summer and he himself could have gone to Tottenham.
Under those circumstances he could have easily demanded a switch in January and perhaps caused a problem for Ronald Koeman.
He didn’t get his own way but instead of throwing his toys out of the pram he’s knuckled down and shown what a good player he is.
For me, he’s one of my players of the season so far.
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