With COVID-19 suspending Euro 2020 until next year, we decided to give our opinions on what the England starting 11 should look like come the start of the tournament.
The podcast explaining our choices can be seen below, and it’s not one to be missed with a few honourable mentions that may cause a bit of a stir… make sure to check it out!
Goalkeeper: Jordan Pickford – Everton
In goal we’ve got current England number 1 Jordan Pickford. However, this wasn’t a decision that we came to lightly. Pickford hasn’t had the best of seasons for Everton, picking up plenty of criticism for his performances along the way. It would be completely unfair to point the finger directly at the 26 year old though, with the defence in front of him not proving to be the strongest. Our other main candidate was none other that Sheffield United’s Dean Henderson, who’s had a tremendous year for the Blades.
Pickford however seems to always be at his best in an England shirt, particularly after his heroics in the 2018 World Cup. With that experience of a major tournament to his name, and the quality we know he possesses, he just edged Henderson to the spot.
Right Back: Trent Alexander-Arnold – Liverpool
This was one of the easiest decisions for the starting 11 for us as a group. In the last two season’s at club level especially, TAA has become one of the best, if not the best, full backs in the world. Currently a holding Champions League winner and with Coronavirus not suspending the season he would most likely have a Premier League to his name by now. With 12 assists to his name this season and being a clear danger from set plays, he was a clear winner for the team.
An honourable mention did go to Manchester United’s Arron Wan-Bisakka, who we as a group see as one of if not the best defenders in the Premier League. However the quality and threat of assists from TAA was too good to turn away from.
Centre Back: Joe Gomez – Liverpool
Joe Gomez has not lost a game he’s played for Liverpool this season. He was in and out of the team at the start of the season because of his injury at the end of last season, but playing along side the world class Van Dijk he’s improving game by game. He’s still a young player, and with not much experience as an England international, this could be the perfect tournament to give him a proper chance.
Centre Back: Harry Maguire – Manchester United
This seasons Manchester United captain, and a leader England will defiantly need at the back. With his performances for the national side being very consistent since his main introduction at the 2018 World Cup, he’s a player that we discussed as ‘nailed on’ for his sport in the starting 11.
Left Back: Ben Chilwell – Leicester
Left back seems to be a position where England lack depth. Chilwell has been starting mostly every game for England recently, after Ashley Young’s international career came to an end. He hasn’t had the strongest of seasons for the Fox’s, and has received criticism from fans and pundits despite the club sitting in a Champions League position in the table. He did however safely make it into our team and in our opinion will be on that pitch come the first whistle.
Centre Midfield: Kalvin Philipps – Leeds United
The surprise package of the team, is none other than Leeds United talisman Kalvin Philipps. Over the past few seasons he’s been by far one of the best and most consistent players in the Championship, showing off real Premier League quality. His main goal on the pitch is to control the game, and this style looks to be what England have been missing over the past few years. With a season in the Premier League looking likely next year, it could be the experience he needs before stepping up to the plate for England.
This wasn’t a decision that wasn’t easy to come to with Declan Rice and Harry Winks both missing out.
Centre Midfield: Jordan Henderson – Liverpool
Jordan Henderson has been nothing short of brilliant for Liverpool this season, leading his team towards the inevitable Premier League title. His calmness and ability on the ball has gone up leaps and bounds over the last few years, putting him in the running for the Player Of The Year Award. It’s that quality and leadership he’s shown that got him a vote from every one of us to start in this England side.
Centre Midfield: James Maddison – Leicester City
One criticism England manager Gareth Southgate has received over the last year is that he hasn’t started James Maddison enough. For parent club Leicester he’s proving to be one of the best creative midfielders in the league, with both assists and goals being added to his name. We believe he’s the perfect player to add to this midfield three, giving it the balance it needs to be successful.
This decision came at a price, with us having to leave out the ever so similar Jack Grealish. However with his ability from set plays, and edge on experience, Maddison just nipped the spot.
Right Wing: Raheem Sterling – Manchester City
With a little debate along the way, we came to the decision that Raheem Sterling was nailed on to be in the side. Not many would deny that Sterling has recently got into that world class category. Goals and assists had been coming at a constant rate for around two seasons just before a slight dip in form throughout January. His performances for England may not have been up to standard in the past, but over the last year improvements have been show for his country and he’s really made that position his own.
Left Wing: Jadon Sancho – Borussia Dortmund
Since his move from Manchester City to Dortmund, we have been shown the real pure talent Jadon Sancho holds. With 14 goals and 15 assists so far this season, he’s once again has an incredible year out in Germany. Every time Sancho gets the ball, the crowd are on their feet expecting something to happen, and that’s the kind of player England have missed out on over the years.
With the addition of Sancho, it meant a close second and super sub role for Marcus Rashford. Having his most prolific year for Manchester United, and this along with him picking up an injury that saw him out for a good portion of it, it was a hard decision for us to make.
Striker: Harry Kane (Captain) – Tottenham Hotspur
Finally, leading the attack and the team as captain is none other than Harry Kane. Another player who was pretty much nailed on to start. It would be silly to disagree that he’s one of the best strikers in the world at this moment in time, and being at the age of 26, he’s moving into his ‘prime years’. Being injured for a large part of this season, and with only 11 goals to his name so far, by his standards he isn’t having his best year. This might could mean that the likes of Marcus Rashford will be bringing the pressure to Kane, which could do him the world of good. Winning the 2018 World Cup golden boot, his quality for scoring goals on the big stage reached an all time high, and we can only hope that he can go and do it again in the Euros next summer.