In the run up to the start of Euro 2012 there is likely to be much debate about the starting line up for England’s first game. England face off against France in their first game and will need to be at their very best to get off to a good start.
In my opinion it is likely that Hodgson will play it safe in his selection and select player’s who have played at the big tournament’s before rather than testing out the player’s that may have played their way into contention with more impressive displays.
Likely Starting XI
GK – Joe Hart
RB – Glenn Johnson CB – John Terry CB – Gary Cahill LB – Ashley Cole
RM – Theo Walcott CM – Steven Gerrard CM – Scott Parker LM-Stewart Downing
CF – Andy Carroll CF – Danny Welbeck
As much as this looks like a fairly strong side on paper it does have it’s weaknesses. For instance, Glenn Johnson is a good right back going forward, however his defensive abilities let him down at times.
Stewart Downing is by no means England’s best option on the left hand side, his crossing is predictable and at times misplaced. Andy Carroll despite his height and strength and decent showing at the end of the FA Cup final has been poor in front of goal.
John Terry although normally solid and dominant appeared to struggle in a few big games this season but that is more a squad complaint of mine rather than starting selection. Finally Danny Welbeck has not proven himself just yet as an out and out goal scorer.
My Proposed XI
GK – Joe Hart
RB – Phil Jones CB- John Terry CB – Gary Cahill LB – Ashley Cole
RM-Oxlade-Chamberlain CM- Steven Gerrard CM – Scott Parker LM – Ashley Young
SS – Theo Walcott
CF – Jermain Defoe/Danny Welbeck
Until Wayne Rooney returns the strike force is going to be a toss up and despite Defoe’s lack of first team action he is still a proven threat and a proven goal scorer. With the option of a support striker in Walcott you could easily have a system whereby Walcott, Young and Oxlade-Chamberlain switch roles and create a more dynamic and threatening team.