England striking the right note ahead of Euros
Is the skipper even England’s fourth-best striker?
England’s 3-2 win over Germany was impressive - but let’s not get carried away in the lead-up to this summer’s European Championships in France.
Yes, it was a terrific comeback win against the world champions and there were a lot of positives to take away from the game, but to suggest that England could now win the Euros on the back of one good game is just setting ourselves up for failure. As usual.
As an England fan I’ve been here time and time again: the team plays well in the run-up to a major championship only to be leave sobbing into our tea after the inevitable penalty shootout loss against the Germans or Portuguese.
With that in mind, let’s just stick to the main positive from Saturday’s match in Berlin; the goals scored by Jamie Vardy and Harry Kane.
Both goals were world-class and the turn by Kane was just magnificent. It was a perfect tribute to Johan Cruyff who passed away last week. Then the skill shown by Vardy for his back-heel flick finish not only proved that the flying fox is red-hot inside the box, but he can produce the ‘extraordinary’. That’s exactly what is needed at international level.
The duo are driving Leicester City and Tottenham in the Premier League title race and on current form alone they should be the first-choice strikers in Roy Hodgson’s squad for the Euros. There is one minor problem though: Wayne Rooney. The current England skipper and all-time leading scorer has always been Roy’s main man. Unfortunately for the Manchester United star I just don’t think he’s as good as the other options out there. Kane and Vardy have to be definite picks for the squad so that leaves only two other spots for out-and-out strikers.
If that’s the case then I would choose Danny Welbeck and Daniel Sturridge as well, fitness depending for those two obviously.
Other forward options could then come from the wide positions, namely Raheem Sterling or Theo Walcott.
Even with my dodgy maths skills, five does not go into four. So that would leave Captain Rooney watching the games on the box back in Manchester.
However, I just don’t think Hodgson has it in him to do this. If Roy’s in charge, Rooney will get a seat on the plane.
If England are to do well in France then they have to play with pace and unpredictability. This is what Kane and Vardy offer and to an extent Welbeck and Sturridge. Rooney is just too predictable.
Don’t think that I am not a fan of Rooney, I am, but he just would not be my pick for the squad.
For years, England fans have been seeking exciting, new blood and with Kane and Vardy we are getting that. Plus with the likes of Dele Alli, Ross Barkley and Eric Dier also coming through the future is bright for England.
I just hope Hodgson does not revert back to the old guard. Take a chance, Roy.
SHARP SHOOTERS: Harry Kane and Jamie Vardy
(below) were on target in England’s 3-2 victory against
Germany in Berlin