PETER CROUCH’S GUIDE TO ENG­LAND’S WORLD CUP SQUAD

Daily Mail - - World Cup 2018 -

GOAL­KEEP­ERS 1 JOR­DAN PICKFORD AGE: 24 CAPS: 3

The way he played in the first game of last sea­son has stuck in my mind. That was his debut for Everton af­ter his £30mil­lion move from Sun­der­land but he was out­stand­ing. He’s bril­liant with the ball at his feet, too, and is every inch the mod­ern goal­keeper who can spray passes around. Gareth South­gate wants the team to play out from the back and that will hold no fears for him.

13 JACK BUT­LAND AGE: 25 CAPS: 8

If my Stoke team-mate isn’t No 1 in Rus­sia, there will come a day when he holds that po­si­tion. In­juries have cost him but he has a good head on his shoul­ders and is a top goal­keeper. He’ll never let any­one down.

23 NICK POPE AGE: 26 CAPS: 1

Peo­ple will ask what ben­e­fit Burn­ley’s No 1 will get go­ing to the World Cup as No 3 keeper for Eng­land if he is not go­ing to play but let me put like this: I’d go as No 3 ’keeper! I’d go as the kit man if they gave me the chance! What a bril­liant ex­pe­ri­ence to cap an ex­cel­lent in­di­vid­ual sea­son.

DE­FEND­ERS 2 KYLE WALKER AGE: 28 CAPS: 35 GOALS: 0

Played with him at Tottenham. What an ath­lete! When I first saw him play, I didn’t think it would be pos­si­ble to sus­tain those runs up and down for 90 min­utes but he’s dif­fer­ent class. Has taken his game up an­other level at Manch­ester City. He’s our best right back but he has the abil­ity and in­tel­li­gence to play on the right of a back three.

12 KIERAN TRIPPIER AGE: 27 CAPS: 7 GOALS: 0

Every time I watch him play, I think to my­self how good it would be to have him on my side. The first-time balls he puts in from the right are a striker’s dream — you would just love to be on the end of those inch- per­fect crosses. An­other one whose form has gone up a notch this sea­son.

22 TRENT ALEXAN­DERARNOLD AGE: 19 CAPS: 1 GOALS: 0

I men­tioned him a few times in my col­umn dur­ing Liver­pool’s run to the Cham­pi­ons League fi­nal. He keeps on stand­ing out and you saw an­other ex­am­ple in that game against Real Madrid when his first touch was to cush­ion a ball out of the sky and lay it off. Noth­ing bothers him. If the 19-year-old is called upon, he will be ready.

5 JOHN STONES AGE: 24 CAPS: 26 GOALS: 0

You couldn’t say last sea­son was ideal. He had an in­jury then didn’t get the starts he would have liked but there is no doubt­ing his qual­ity and Gareth South­gate knows him in­side out. I’ll be sur­prised if he doesn’t start.

15 GARY CAHILL AGE: 32 CAPS: 60 GOALS: 5

I’ve al­ways had trou­ble play­ing against him, right back to the days when he was at Bolton. He’s stepped for­ward and re­placed John Terry at Chelsea and you’ll see him put his body on the line and make a block in an im­por­tant game that is as good as a goal.

6 HARRY MAGUIRE AGE: 25 CAPS: 5 GOALS: 0

It now feels like he is get­ting more ap­pre­ci­a­tion for what a good foot­baller he is. He is a proper de­fender but he’s got qual­ity on the ball and I can’t for­get when Stoke played at Hull the sea­son be­fore last when he did a Cruyff-turn on the edge of his penalty area and then hit a 60-yard inch-per­fect pass. Harry is right up there with the best in the Premier League now and de­serves his place in the squad.

16 PHIL JONES AGE: 26 CAPS: 25 GOALS: 0

When Sir Alex Fer­gu­son signed him for Manch­ester United, he was given a huge build-up. It’s been dif­fi­cult for him to reach those lev­els but he’s come on each sea­son. He’ll be valu­able as he can play dif­fer­ent po­si­tions.

18 ASH­LEY YOUNG AGE: 32 CAPS: 34 GOALS: 7

He was my pick for left back in the PFA Team of the Year. His set­pieces are al­ways a threat, he is solid and you don’t see many wingers give him the run around. For an at­tack­ing mid­fielder, his tran­si­tion to de­fence has been seam­less.

3 DANNY ROSE AGE: 27 CAPS: 18 GOALS: 0

The one nat­u­ral left back in the squad, he’d prob­a­bly have been a cer­tainty to start Eng­land’s open­ing game against Tu­nisia were it not for in­juries. We go back a long

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