Euro 2016: Hodgson's England striker dilemma
Euro 2016 is fast approaching and as the season draws to a close, Roy Hodgson has a few selection headaches to solve before he leads his England side in France this summer.
It has been refreshing to see so many emerging English talent this season, especially in the Barclays Premier League as players look to stake a claim and cement their place in Roy Hodgson’s 23 man squad.
Suddenly, England have a wealth of options in attack and there is set to be some big names who miss out.
Hodgson’s biggest decision is which strikers to take and how many. It looks likely that five strikers will make it onto the plane, however it is still unknown what system England will play.
Does Hodgson stick with his preferred option of one upfront? Or do the premier league’s two leading scorers, Kane and Vardy, play together? So many questions to consider but it leaves one massive question, Where does Wayne Rooney play?
Regardless of where Rooney plays he is the captain and he will lead the team out against Russia on 11th June in Marseille. Rooney, along with Harry Kane and Jamie Vardy are all certain to be on the plane. Rooney is a leader and can dig England out of trouble, whereas Kane and Vardy have both had outstanding seasons for Leicester City and Tottenham Hotspur after their breathtaking title bids.
Meanwhile, England regulars, Daniel Sturridge, Theo Walcott and Danny Welbeck all have some convincing to do after having injury hit seasons. Despite having almost 100 caps between them, there place in the squad is far from concrete.
Daniel Sturridge’s goalscoring record speaks for itself. A campaign dogged by fitness concerns the striker is lacking sharpness and in recent weeks has been left out by Jurgen Klopp at Liverpool with Divock Origi and Roberto Firmino prefered. However, with Origi injured for the remaining three games, Sturridge is without doubt Liverpool’s main striker and will be looking to find the net in order to book his ticket to France in June. Whenever he is fit, he scores. However keeping him fit is Liverpool and England’s biggest problem right now.
Theo Walcott is a player who promises so much but fails to do so consistently. Walcott burst onto the international scene when he was a surprise inclusion in the 2006 World Cup squad in Germany, but Arsenal and England fans alike have been left frustrated at a talent which has failed to materialise.
Walcott has had a miserable season at Arsenal and has lost his place in the side. However he is an impact player and his versatility makes him a good option being able to play out wide or down the middle. His place is at risk and he needs to deliver sooner rather than later as there appears to be better options both in attack and out wide for England at the moment.
Danny Welbeck has had a season has been marred by injury but he seems to be a favourite under Roy Hodgson and has an impressive record for England with 14 goals in 34 matches. Defensively he is solid and is happy to put in the hard yards. Similar to Walcott, Welbeck can also operate out wide in a 4-3-3 system. His record for England is certainly a nudge in the right direction which has been boosted by his recent return to fitness.
The emerging Marcus Rashford is raw and he has certainly shown maturity beyond his years for Manchester United. However, an England call may be slightly too soon for the striker who has scored 7 Goals in 14 games for United. He is certainly one for the future.
Andy Carroll is also a striker knocking on the door. The striker is back among the goals for West Ham and is one of the in-form strikers in the Premier League at the moment. The target man has scored six goals in his last six games, reminding Hodgson of what made him take him to Euro 2012. Carroll offers something different in attack and if England find themselves chasing a game Carroll could be the man to get the nod with his aerial threat. His recent hat-trick against Arsenal has put him in contention and an England recall could well be on the horizon.
To watch England at UEFA Euro 2016 you can buy your England Tickets from Football Ticket Pad today. Follow Roy Hodgson's men around France and see if he can lead England to European glory this summer.