Watching England’s performances over the past two weeks leaves you with the impression that some of those players in France just shouldn’t be there.
Roy Hodgson had a plethora of talent at his disposal for this tournament and although everyone understands that the England boss can only take so many with him, it is about time that Roy woke up to those that just aren’t performing.
It’s not that they are not performing in France, but they have struggled all season long with injury and/or a drop in form, which does make you wonder why Mr Hodgson decided to choose them.
Roy is a very dignified man of the old school and he’s obviously taken the majority of the players based on loyalty alone. How else could the likes of Henderson, Milner and Wilshere be out there when there are others more capable. Surely it’s about winning matches?
With this in mind, West Ham have four players who would have given heart and soul for the cause. They would have been eager, enthusiastic and better than some already wearing the Three Lions badge. Hodgson, however, is colour blind when it comes to claret and blue. For whatever reason, he can’t see those particular colours and persists in those that are, at times, truly awful.
Time to remind Roy Hodgson about West Ham’s England quartet because with them it could have been an easier ride to the last 16…
A lot has been said about Mr West Ham’s omission from the final 23.
In his finest season yet, Noble led a successful West Ham side to seventh and broke record after record along the way.
Combative in midfield and capable of scoring goals, he is hands down better than Henderson.
Noble can pass, intercept and tackle better and anyone who has seen the lamentable Liverpool man last season must surely see that Mark Noble would have been the better choice.
Although Noble is three years older than Henderson, his performances should not have gone unnoticed, unless you are Roy Hodgson.
England will no doubt face a penalty shoot-out, they always do. Who better to take a spot-kick?
Injury-prone, yes, but a definite handful for any defence.
It would have been interesting and mildly amusing to watch the unsuspecting European defences trying to contend with the 6ft 2in striker. His powerful heading ability is beyond any of the other forwards in France, his ability to cause chaos would have been a sheer joy to watch and for a big man, his footwork is very neat.
Although, Carroll would never have started a game, he would have been a great dice to roll in the last fifteen minutes. Against Slovakia, England needed a big man in the middle to mix it up and Carroll would have been perfect instead of the tired Kane and the ineffective Vardy and Sturridge.
At 26-years-old, Antonio player is nearing his peak. After transferring from Forest on the final day of the transfer window last summer, Antonio had to bide his time for a first team opportunity, but when his moment came, boy did he snatch it with both hands.
The flying winger scores goals as well as being a half decent right back when required. He must be an England player of the future and will need to keep up his performances to get that elusive first cap. Many will say that he only played one season.
True, but on the evidence of Marcus Rashford, you don’t need to play a whole season. Eight league goals, eleven in all matches and talent – come on Roy, what are you waiting for?
Despite Danny Rose’s inclusion in the final 23, Cresswell is a far better option.
An ever-present since Big Sam bought him from Ipswich, Hammer of the Year in first season and the left back delivers in every game.
He is a superb crosser of the ball and likes to link up with the forward play. He defends exceptionally well and there’s no one else at West Ham to touch him in that position.
At 26 he is still right for England and a replacement for Rose, who doesn’t start every game for Spurs. What more does Cresswell have to do Roy?
Yet again when England come calling, they bypass the claret and blue. It’s happened before and it’s disappointingly happening now. Hodgson obviously favours bigger clubs, but bigger isn’t always better.