Wayne a good choice for England captain but Wilshere is the future
When you look at the squad, who else is there? Roy isn’t the type of person that would think “well, I’m going to go for a young Jack Wilshere or somebody like that to lead the country.”
When Gary Speed, God rest his soul, took over for Wales, Aaron Ramsey became his skipper because he was thinking of the future.
People were saying “he’s too young” but Gary put his faith in Ramsey because he believed that he was going to be a genuinely top player and somebody that people will respect.
But Roy Hodgson is old school. So that means that you go for tried and tested and the person you know is probably going to play more games than anybody else.
That means giving Wayne the armband was more or less inevitable under those circumstances, because who else of the older brigade would play?
You could make a case for Joe Hart as he’s going to be playing most England internationals but it’s never easy for a goalkeeper as a captain.
And elsewhere in the squad there simply aren’t enough players who’ve either captained at club level, could be considered regular England starters or those who have shown those necessary leadership qualities.
But if you had to name one youngster who you’d think would be a constant in the England team from now on, I’d probably say that young Jack Wilshere is likely to be a pretty steady presence for years to come.
So, that’s the reason why I would have gone for somebody like Jack because I’d be thinking ahead to the future rather than just focusing on the present.
But good luck to Wayne Rooney. We tend to forget that he’s still relatively young because he’s been around the scene for such a long time, and this is something that he’s worked for.
He’s stayed in England despite having opportunities to move abroad.
He’s now captain of Manchester United, and he’s now captain of his country. I just hope that this extra responsibility brings about the old Wayne Rooney.
I don’t think the media could possibly dish out any more criticism than they already have about Rooney’s performances in an England shirt.
Making Wayne captain could prove to be an inspired decision by Roy because it might bring the best out of him as a player.
A few years ago the way Wayne was developing it looked as if he’d match our expectations.
It was only three seasons back that he was top draw.
Don’t get me wrong, he’s been all right recently. He was probably still Manchester United’s best player last season but he still hasn’t been exceptional or performed to the level we all know, or at least think, he’s capable of.
Eric Dier should have been given a chance to shine for the Three Lions
Looking at the rest of Roy’s England squad selection, I’d have called up Eric Dier.
I know it’s early days and he’s only played a couple of games for Tottenham but I think he’s made a massive impression almost immediately.
Why is it too early? Why is two games too early? From what we’ve seen in those matches he’s shown enough to be an asset for England as either a goalscoring full back or centre half.
Callum Chambers has been drafted in having just made his debut for Arsenal as a centre back.
I would say as composed as Chambers has been in the first few games of the season – albeit he wasn’t as convincing against Everton of course when he jumped in on Lukaku for Naismith’s second goal – I think that Dier has been every bit as impressive, if not more.
Balotelli or McCormack? I know which signing represents better value!
Signing Mario Balotelli from AC Milan is a great move by Liverpool.
Forget the wages aspect. You have to look at the deal in perspective.
Leeds have sold Ross McCormack to Fulham for £11m this summer and Shane Long has gone to Southampton from Hull for £12m.
Liverpool are getting Mario Balotelli for just £4m more than the latter.
We all know Balotelli is a fantastic player although there’s no doubt he’s temperamental but we knew that about Luis Suarez too.
Despite the fact that Luis Suarez was unsettled and troublesome at times, Brendan Rodgers got the best out of him.
Balotelli doesn’t work as hard as or have the same desire in his make-up but the one thing he does have is class.
If Brendan can harness that class and that quality then Balotelli could be the steal of this summer’s transfer window.
Paying £16m for someone like Balotelli’s certainly doesn’t look like a gamble.
If he fails then so be it, because as we’ve seen you can just about get a Championship player for a similar amount of money!
Defenders going in goal used to be commonplace
Fair play to Ludogorets defender Cosmin Moti for his Champions League play-off heroics but I can’t say the idea of a big centre half getting in goal is completely new to me.
When I first started playing (not THAT long ago…) it wasn’t uncommon to see an outfield player have to go between the sticks.
After all, you only had one substitute. And it wasn’t usually a goalkeeper.
I went in goal once for Portsmouth and on a few other occasions for various different clubs.
I also played in games for Sheffield United where right-back Carl Bradshaw was occasionally given the gloves as our boss then, Harry Bassett, never used to put a goalie on the bench.
Did I keep any clean sheets? No, I conceded, unfortunately and my only job then was to pick the ball out of the back of the net!
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