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THE ENGLAND XI THAT WILL WIN THEM THE EURO 2020
-by Shubhranshu Gupta
The England squad for once in the last 7-8 years are favourites to win an international tournament, thanks to the depth of the squad and an amazing blend of experience, youth, technicality and ambition.
There are many strengths in the England squad but a few weaknesses as well and one of the weaknesses is the goal keeper position. Every trophy winning team has to have a reliable goalie, like Iker Casillas for Spain in the 2010 World Cup or Manuel Neuer for Germany in the 2014 World Cup. But the England squad does not have a goalkeeper of that stature. They do have a few upcoming goalkeepers, a category in which Dean Henderson of Manchester United leads the way but none are reliable first choices at the moment. Gareth Southgate, the England team manager will have to take a choice between Jordan Pickford of Everton an out of form and currently injured goalkeeper who has experience of international football, Nick Pope of Burnley who has very little international experience but is in decent form and Dean Henderson of Manchester United who has almost no international experience but is in great form. I believe that if Dean Henderson performs in the great form that he is in till the end of the season, he deserves the starting position in between the sticks.
The English defence relatively lacks the depth that other positions have. The right back position is an exception in a huge way. The depth of the right back position that England has , has lead to world class players like Kieran Trippier and Reece James to not even be in contention for the starting spot. The choice of the starting spot is between Trent Alexander Arnold of Liverpool or Kyle Walker of Manchester City. Trent Alexander Arnold has been the top 3 right backs in the world, if not the best for the last three years but his performance for England has been underwhelming to say the least and with the disastrous season Liverpool are having, just adds insult to injury for Trent's cause. On the other hand Kyle walker has been an absolute world class defender for Manchester City performing as both a centre back and a right back. His current form, pace and his excellent connection with his club teammate John stones at centre back, makes him the starting right back for the lions.
The two centre backs should not even be an issue of debate as Harry Maguire with his leadership skills and experience and John stones who is currently the best centre back in the English Premier league make them the clear choice for the centre back pairing. In case of injury to them, Gary Southgate might consider Connor Coady of Wolverhampton Wanderers or Tyrone Mings of Aston Villa who have both been in decent form of late.
The left back position offers two choices in Ben Chilwell of Chelsea and Luke Shaw of Manchester United. Even though Ben Chilwell has had a good season despite his injury, Luke Shaw has outperformed him by a mile, he has blossomed into one of the best left backs in the world which wins him the starting left back in the team for the euros.
The English midfield is the deepest position in the english squad which may even lead to great inform players like Maddison of Leicester City and Lingard of West Ham, being left out of the squad. Southgate has choices of top tier players and champions who are both physically and technically gifted which includes the likes of Phil Foden of Manchester city , Mason Mount of Chelsea, Declan Rice of West Ham, Jordan Henderson of Liverpool, Kalvin Phillips of Leeds and Ward-Prouce of Southampton. In my opinion, as England are a passive team, Southgate would choose Declan Rice and Jordan Henderson as his defensive midfielders as they protect the ball well and Declan Rice also handles the ball superbly which gives the midfield fluidity and control. The attacking Midfielder is a position which will be taken by either Mount and Foden and I think it should be Foden because this youngster brings a lot of creativity and composure to the game, he posses the ability to generate the offence. Mount on the other hand is also an exceptional talent and a favourite of Southgate who provides goal scoring to the team as well.
Lastly, the attack which is one of the most exciting parts of this team. England has one of the best number nines in the world in Harry Kane of Tottenham Hotspur and he will secure the striker position without a doubt. He has had a great season for the spurs and his recent tendency to fall back during the attack, has led him to not just racking up goals but also a lot of assists as well.
The Left winger position is deserved by Raheem Sterling of Manchester City who has been consistently performing at a superstar level for years now and this season is no exception and Southgate would start the winger without any concerns. My choice in the right wing role is a bit controversial as I have gone with Jack Grealish of Aston Villa as he is one of my favourite players to watch in football. His technical ability exceeds that of most players, not to mention his creativity and consistency. Even though he lacks a bit of pace, he makes up for it through his other talents. Southgate also has a very reliable bench of forwards with the likes of Marcus Rashford of Manchester United and Calvert Lewin of Everton, who are both outstanding finishers and can be brought on late in the game if the team is lacking a scoring touch.
This in my opinion should be the English starting eleven and the English squad. If these players replicate even a fraction of their club performances on the international stage, England has a great chance of lifting the Euros Trophy.