Fringe players who could make or break England
England manager Roy Hodgson knows that there are certain players who will be in his squad for the 2016 European Championship in France this summer.
The likes of Wayne Rooney, Joe Hart, Gary Cahill and Raheem Sterling will, if they stay fit, be amongst the first names on Hodgson's squad list when he makes his final selections ahead of the tournament commencing on June 10th. Ahead of kick-off, England are placed in a tricky Group B that also contains Russia, Slovakia, and fellow home nation Wales.
The players who were instrumental in England's hugely successful qualifying campaign, such as Danny Welbeck, Phil Jagielka, Ross Barkley and Harry Kane, will also be left feeling aggrieved if they don't make it onto the plane. However, in Welbeck's case his lack of fitness and match action this season may well prove to be an obstacle to his chances.
But there are a clutch of players who won't learn their fate until much later, and for those players much will depend upon their selection for – and performances in – England’s forthcoming international friendlies against Germany and the Netherlands. The following players could have a huge role to play in England’s odds at international football betting destinations everywhere, if they get the nod from Hodgson.
The ongoing fitness struggles of both Welbeck and Liverpool’s Daniel Sturridge, should they continue, may leave Hodgson with a conundrum when it comes to his attacking options.
While Kane, Rooney and Leicester’s Jamie Vardy all look set to feature in his plans, the three of them don’t offer a huge amount of variety, and that could play into the hands of rejuvenated West Ham striker Andy Carroll.
Once the hottest property in English football, and a record-breaking £35 million signing for Liverpool, Carroll has never hit the heights of his 17-goal season at Newcastle back in 2009/10.
But his goal in the Hammers’ recent 2-0 win over Liverpool – in his 150th Premier League appearance – came as a timely reminder to many that he is capable of bringing a goal threat to any team. His height could make him a handful for international defences should he make it to Euro 2016.
This season is going well for Tottenham Hotspur, who find themselves right in amongst the title contenders in the Premier League.
One of the key players in their success has been Dele Alli, who is maturing into one of the league’s most creative midfielders. His outstanding performances for Spurs led to an England call-up, and his superb goal in the 2-0 victory over France will have put him firmly in Hodgson’s thoughts. But he might need more than his current four caps to confirm his place.
The timing of international tournaments can be cruel to certain players. Just six months ago, West Bromwich Albion star Saido Berahino was the subject of a £15 million bid from Tottenham, having picked up the Baggies’ Player of the Year award in the previous season.
Now, following a public fall-out with the club, the 22-year-old striker can barely get a game at The Hawthorns, and is desperately seeking a move during the January transfer window. If he can secure one, and rediscover his form of last season, perhaps he could be a surprise selection for England this summer.