Story by Adam Wilson
After the familiar misery of England getting knocked out of a tournament on penalties, fans can now look forward to the qualifying campaign for The world cup in 2 years which will be held in Brazil. With two years for players to show their worth and gain more valuable experience at the top level, let us look at the youth England has that could contest through the qualifiers and onto the tournament itself.
- Micah Richards: Quite how Richards missed out on Euro 2012 is a mystery, a powerful imposing right back who is also gifted with pace and skill. His strength means he can also provide cover at centre back.
- Jack Wilshere: Touted as England’s answer to Xavi, Pirlo or Schweinsteiger. Wilshere missed out on the Euros through injury, but had already cemented himself in the side. Let’s hope he returns from injury with the ability to play as remarkably as he did before.
- Kyle Walker: Seen as Richards’s main competition for the right back place, a brilliant season at Tottenham saw injury cruelly take his Euro place. Nevertheless he still has plenty of time to make an impact in future competitions.
- Alex Oxlade Chamberlain: His experience at the Euros will provide him with priceless experience if he is to become the creative player that many predict. Many suggest that if this player reaches his potential we could have a World beater in our squad.
- Phil Jones: If Ferguson trusts him to start for most of the season at Manchester United then who are we to argue? Another brilliant rising star that has proved his solidity with an excellent season at United.
- Chris Smalling: Another key player in Ferguson’s slow rebuilding of Manchester United. Like Wilshere and Walker he to missed out on the Euros through injury, but will be keen to impress and help Phil Jones take the reins from the old guard in the centre of England’s defence.
- Danny Welbeck: Stepped up and showed what he is capable of at Euro 2012, even though service to the strikers was lacking. He also scored a sublime goal against Sweden and he will surely find himself amongst the fans favourites if he continues playing as he has been.
- Daniel Sturridge: For the first half of the 2011-2012 season he was one of Chelsea’s star players, but after the sacking of AVB he found himself down the pecking order under Roberto Di Matteo. A player of unquestionable ability, but if he doesn’t get the game time at Chelsea then he won’t get into the team.
- Adam Johnson: Johnson is another player that does not play regularly for his club team, but when included definitely has talent in abundance. It is important that he leaves Man City either on loan or completely so that he can play consistently, however he may have to take a large pay cut…. not likely in the modern game.
- Tom Cleverly: Looked outstanding at the beginning of the 2011-2012 season, making a huge impact in the charity shield and his passing and dribbling ability could be just what England need alongside Wilshere in midfield. Perhaps an answer to the poor possession and passing statistics we suffered in the Euros.
- Kieran Gibbs: The left back position for England has been dominated for years by Ashley Cole, who it can be argued is England’s if not the World’s best left back. Therefore whoever takes over will have big shoes to fill. If Gibbs can overcome his injury difficulties he may be the man.
- Jack Rodwell: A couple of seasons ago, fans and pundits alike believed that Rodwell was destined for greatness. There wasn’t a transfer window that went by where his name wasn’t linked with one of the big names in English football. Nevertheless time out due to injury and a poor domestic season have seen his career halted, let’s hope that he will return to form in the season coming.
- James Tomkins: Tomkins has been a consistent performer in England’s youth sides and since West Ham United’s relegation and the sale of Matthew Upson he has been at the heart of the Hammers defence. After rejecting offers from Tottenham and Newcastle in January, he helped them to gain promotion. If he becomes a success back in the Premier League, these next few seasons could make or break his career.
- Ryan Bertrand: Similar to Gibbs, Bertrand requires a consistent run in the Chelsea side after breaking through last season and earning himself a Champions league medal in the process! After Cole retires it may be either him or Gibbs that secures the spot at left back.
- Jack Butland: Another regular starter in Goal for the England youth sides, besides being called up to the European championships as third choice; most of his football has been in the lower leagues. He needs to secure himself as his clubs number one before he can even think about challenging Joe Hart’s position, who looks set to remain England’s number one for years.
- Danny Rose: Yet to start a game for the full England side, he played regularly for the youth teams. His career has stalled since moving to Tottenham, but regular appearances somewhere may help reignite his chances.
- Martin Kelly: Has impressed at times when brought on by Liverpool, but hasn’t secured a first team place, either stay at Liverpool and challenge Johnson for his place or maybe a loan move would be beneficial.
- Jordan Henderson: Some may argue that Henderson has already broken through after getting some game time at Euro 2012 and his big transfer to Liverpool, he had played well at the Stadium of Light but he didn’t really achieve the same credit during his season at Anfield.
- Josh McEachran: McEachran has shined during his brief appearances for Chelsea, showing unbelievable vision and passing, but with the funding Chelsea have received this season again from Abramovich it may be time for him to seek pastures new.
- Wilfried Zaha: Crystal palace winger Zaha has had another impressive season in the Championship, consequently he has appeared on the radar of many Premier League clubs. If signed this summer it may only be a matter of time before his first full England cap.
- Connor Wickham: Wickham was signed to Sunderland from Ipswich and impressed in fits and starts during his debut season. Scoring a sublime goal against Aston Villa, before suffering an injury set back. Like many young players, game time is what is needed more than anything.
- Sammy Ameobi: Brother of Shola, but a completely different player. Unlike Shola he is gifted with pace and therefore plies his trade on the wing. Injury halted last season for him, but a loan spell to another Premier league club or a top championship side may benefit his progress.
- Ben Marshall: Marshall signed for Leicester City from Stoke last January and worked his way into the first team, if Leicester gain promotion then his career could greatly advance. He got himself noticed with a wonder goal against Chelsea in the F.A. Cup, but top flight football is a necessary target.