Ross Barkley, Harry Kane and Raheem Sterling – Three of the Premier League’s most exciting youngsters, three exciting Englishmen, three players Roy should look to build his England team around.
With the heroes of ’66 constantly trying to be emulated, England need to start building a team around their best and most promising players. It worked before when the team built around Paul Gascoigne in Italia ’90 and Euro ’96 reached the semi-finals in both tournaments.
Since England have been frustrating, with the latest golden boy to inject some hope and excitement in the nation ultimately being too inconsistent to fire the Three Lions to glory. With Rooney’s career seemingly coming to an end, should Hodgson look to build his side around Barkley, Kane and Sterling – also known as BKS?
All three are under the age of 23, and therefore have at least 10 years of football at the highest level still in them. They are all emerging as the top players in the Premier League: Barkley is the focal point of Everton at the moment, and is attracting attention from some of the world’s biggest clubs as a result.
Of course Kane is the Tottenham’s star man and has been their main outlet for goals over the last 18 months, and he’ll certainly be Rooney’s main competitor for a starting spot in France this summer.
And then there’s Sterling is one of the most exciting English players in the Premier League. For England he has proved to be a handful for opposition, and when he played at the World Cup he caused a lot of problems to other countries who seemed a little unaware of what he was capable of.
When you consider the rest of the England side, there’s plenty to be positive about. Joe Hart looks to be a dead cert in goal for years to come. In front of him will most likely be Luke Shaw, Chris Smalling, John Stones and Nathaniel Clyne, all of which have the potential to force a solid defensive line.
But in midfield there’s a bit of a problem. Depending on injuries and fitness, Hodgson would most likely go with Jack Wilshere or Jordan Henderson to hold down the midfield, but the emergence of Dele Alli at Tottenham this season has given the manager a welcome selection dilemma.
He could go with both, or perhaps prefer to use the option of Rooney in the middle, to allow for a diamond front three of Barkley, Sterling and Kane up front.
This would all depend on injuries, but BKS should be the combination that to give England the best possible chance of success.
When looking at their stats for this season, all three have goals in them, with Barkley recording seven goals and eight assists. Kane has scored 16 goals in all competitions, while Sterling has netted 10 and laid on seven assists. It illustrates that all three players are exciting, and that is what England fans want.
When Euro 2016 comes around in June, many fans will be hoping that England produce a better performance than at the World Cup where we crashed out at the group stage.
If Hodgson does not utilise BKS, hopefully the next England manager will realise just how good these three are, and implements them into England’s system. Maybe those frustrating, painful days of supporting England are coming to an end?