There comes a point in every fan’s life when the international break becomes the footballing equivalent of having to visit your Nan.
It’s fair to say that a plethora of abject finals performances have left England fans a little disillusioned with the international set up of late. Sure, tournaments can be fun, but only once you’ve decided upon a Costa Rica or Iceland to throw your hopes behind instead. Couple that with the fact that the current qualification process throws up, at best, one or two intriguing fixtures over a gruelling two-year period.
What can Southgate and his FA puppet masters do to recapture our imagination? Many of us have grown weary of watching the same players who set the Premier League alight on a weekly basis, put in a lackluster shift for their country and grind out a turgid win against the likes of Malta. Many players themselves must feel aggrieved at not pulling on a Three Lions jersey just because they aren’t on the books at one of the top-flight’s elite.
Malta aren’t as bad as say, San Marino but can any of us truly protest to be satisfied with beating them 2-0 at Wembley last month? The Maltese tasked with marking Harry Kane that day had spent the previous weekend squashing grapes at his vineyard! Surely, a team consisting of Championship misfits could manage the same result, if not better. At least they’d look happy to be there.
That brings us to today’s Football Manager: 90 Second Challenge. How would England have fared at Euro 2016 if they had only picked players from outside of The Premier League’s Top 10? Tom Skinner is convinced he can do better than Hodgson’s failed band of world-class talent (and Jack Wilshere) by only selecting players from the likes of Crystal Palace and… Huddersfield.
Watch the video to see how he got on…
Who would you select in your non-top 10 England XI? Let us know in the comments section below…