Times are changing in the England National setup with the ‘golden generation’ fading into the background. As SOTB Chief Writer Oliver Jay found after witnessing a promising performance against the Spanish World Champions, it’s time to focus on giving our youth a chance as we slowly build up to Brazil 2014.
So this week, I have picked the most promising young English talents, the players who we should be most nurturing to help them be reaching their potential and also be playing well together by 2014. Goalkeeper aside, none of these players are sure to be in England’s starting XI at present, will that have changed by 2014? – It’s the Future England XI
The Future England XI
Joe Hart – Age: 24
Charles ‘Joe’ Hart, as he’s officially known, is likely to be England’s Number One for another decade. Since David Seaman, we’ve stumbled through various keepers without any certainly when they’ll decide to let the ball through their legs. Thankfully, Joe seems to be able to handle the pressure, and is slowly becoming recognised as a world class ‘keeper.
Kyle Walker – Age: 21
First mentioned in my Upcoming XI – Players To Watch Out For in 2011, Walker has continued to improve and impress for both Spurs and England. He’s become Spurs’ first choice right-back this season and even picked up Man of the Match for England’s game against Sweden on his full debut. A real talent in the making.
Phil Jones – Age: 19
One of two players who look like they could become a great England captain, Phil Jones’ £16.5 million price tag speaks volumes about how highly Sir Alex Ferguson rates him, and Sir Alex claims to have got him on the cheap! He’s already become a regular fixture in the Man Utd team, and it’s only a matter of time before he makes a centre-back position his own for the National Team.
Chris Smalling – Age: 21
Having played alongside Jones at the England U21s Euro Championships, and now at Man Utd – their mutual understanding will benefit England no end. Tall, powerful, fast, and defensively strong – Smalling could be a real gem for England.
Kieran Gibbs – Age: 22
Having to push Ashley Cole out of England’s left-back position is likely to take some time. However after Polkraine 2012, it’s likely Cashley will hang up his boots for the National Team leaving various players scampering to fill his place. Gibbs, alongside Fulham’s 20 year-old Matthew Briggs and the experienced Leighton Baines at 26 years will all be hoping they’re seen as the next in line.
Adam Johnson – Age: 24
Johnson has been around for a long time, and it took him a seemingly long time to leave the relegated Middlesbrough. Now at Man City, he’s fighting with a lot of top quality players to become a regular starter and might decide to move on if City decide to keep on buying the most glamorous players in world football.
Jack Wilshere – Age: 19
Currently itching to get back playing after suffering a fractured ankle during preseason, Wilshere is alongside Jones to be a future England captain. Since making his debut in 2008, he’s become an Arsenal fan favourite and the stats from the games he’s played show he’s technically and physically a huge prospect for both club and country.
Jack Rodwell – Age: 20
Rodwell appears to have overtaken the promising Jordan Henderson in the race to partner Jack Wilshere in England’s future midfield, being described as ‘really interesting’ by Capello after his full International debut against Sweden. An all round capable midfielder, let’s hope him and Wilshere fit better together than Gerrard and Lampard ever did.
Ashley Young – Age: 26
Young is the most senior player in this team, and has taken a fair amount of time to prove his ability at the top level. Now starring for Man Utd, he must be having the best year of his life. With 4 or 5 years left playing at his best, it’s hard to look past him for a place in this team.
Danny Welbeck – Age: 20
Man Utd’s lightning paced forward has looked a great prospect since returning on loan from Sunderland. Added to his pace, he’s got a great head on him and an impressive amount of composure in front of goal. Obviously Wayne Rooney (barring his 3-match ban during the Euros) is one of few English players at the moment who would definitely be on Capello’s teamsheet, but Welbeck will be keen to challenge him for both club and country.
Andy Carroll – Age: 22
Not everybody’s favourite footballer, and the £35 million paid for him might still be stinging the pockets of Liverpool Owner John W. Henry, but at 22 Carroll’s got plenty of time to prove himself as a potentially world class player. His power, pace and height are a daunting prospect for any opposing defender – if he can mature to be a top professional, the sky’s the limit.
(Translated by Oliver Jay)
Would you pick anyone different? How good do you think this team could be? Please comment in the box below!