Having seen two performances from England in the past week which have highlighted some positives heading towards Euro 2012, PlayUp has put together what it considers the best squad to take to Poland and Ukraine. Some of the players are shoe-ins, others are a little more contentious, and there are a few who have played recently have missed out altogether.
23 man Euro 2012 squad:
GK: Hart, Carson, Green
Defenders: Ashley Cole, Baines, Johnson, Richards, Jones, Lescott, Terry
Midfielders: Parker, Gerrard, Wilshere, Young, Walcott, Johnson, Milner, Lampard
Forwards: Rooney, Agbonlahor, Bent, Welbeck, Crouch
Rob Green has been in the international wilderness for a while, but he has experience of major tournaments. If disaster struck with Joe Hart, who would you rather have – Green or David Stockdale.
Micah Richards comes into the squad despite being overlooked by Fabio Capello recently. His current form is superb and it was a shock when he was left out. Kyle Walker has been impressive in for Spurs and on his full England debut, but he needs to do a lot more to prove he is international class. John Terry retains his place assuming the racism case against him proves nothing. There is no place for Rio Ferdinand due to continued injury concerns and a need for more pace at the back.
Scott Parker has cemented his place, while Jack Wilshere and Steven Gerrard must be selected. Gareth Barry is the central midfielder to miss out because he lacks the goal threat of Frank Lampard and the tenacity of Parker. Adam Johnson is preferred to Stewart Downing due to the continual frustration that is Downing’s final ball.
Wayne Rooney is selected despite his ban. He needs to play in the big matches. Bobby Zamora is left at home, having not impressed on recent England appearances. Peter Crouch is perhaps the most surprising selection. He is scoring goals at Stoke, has a proven record for England and he offers something different when Plans A, B and C go wrong.