With international friendlies approaching us, this gives managers like England boss, Gareth Southgate, a chance to see potential squad members for Russia 2018. England are desperate to finally perform to their potential against the best in the world. England have plenty of talent going into the Russian World Cup, but declining superstars and underwhelming performances is what always bites England in the end. Gareth Southgate must seriously consider handing the reigns of his team on the pitch to a new generation of Three Lions and the Lions of the past must step aside.
The Old Lions
There are three squad members who went to Euro 2016 who are very much considered to be taken to Russia 2018, but they must be avoided. The first, the oldest, and most high profile player who must be avoided from the England side is Captain Wayne Rooney. Rooney barely ever sees the field for Manchester United and is on his way out. Rooney still has a year and a half to prove to Southgate that he still has that killer attacking mentality. He wouldn’t see the field up top due to England’s best player, Harry Kane, makes his living up there. He’ll have to show his ability to create from an attacking midfield position. But that’s not going to happen, not with the crowded and talented midfield that England has. The next is perhaps the man who is charged to lead the English backline, and that’s Gary Cahill. Cahill was meant to be the spiritual successor to John Terry but he has astonishingly underwhelmed as the leader of the English defense. The glaring holes in the backline has been well documented and Gary Cahill was heavily criticized along with Joe Hart in their humiliating loss to Iceland. Gary Cahill hasn’t been able to take Terry’s mantle and now it’s time to search for a new and improved heir. The next player that must be avoided is Torino keeper Joe Hart. Hart has done some soul searching since moving to Italy and has learned some valuable lessons but his failures in Euro 2016 made it apparent that Joe Hart is not the right man for England going into Russia. Since his failure at the Euros, he’s been pushed aside by Pep Guardiola at Manchester City and now he’ll have to be dropped as England keeper by Southgate.
The New Lions
With the passing of the mantle, there are three young talents who are more then competent to fill the shoes of their successors. Rooney’s new successor is a Tottenham combination of Harry Kane and Dele Alli. Rooney can no longer act as England’s striker for England’s best player is Harry Kane who owns the striker position. The other spot that Rooney would hope to play is a creative attacking midfield but Dele Alli is one of the most dangerous midfielders that the Premier League have to offer. These two Englishmen are one of the best duos in England and it’s time for these Super Spurs to carry the English attack. Replacing Gary Cahill is tricky because the only young and upcoming defender that England really have is John Stones, but I’m not very convinced. He has wonderful vision for passing out the back but his defense can be very shaky and he’s been dropped out of Guardiola’s XI on numerous occasions due to poor form. No, the young defender that England must turn to is Calum Chambers who’s at Middlesbrough on loan from Arsenal. Others may also say that Eric Dier could be the next great English defender but I see him being a better holding midfielder due to his passing ability. So without Stones and Dier, I see Chambers as the next prospect and he should be taken to Russia. The last successor is Joe Hart’s and that should be Jordan Pickford of Sunderland. Pickford has been one of the top keepers in the Premier League for a terrible and hopeless Sunderland. The Black Cats are the flimsiest side in the Prem and without Pickford, Sunderland’s net would be abused by England’s best goal scorers. He is already a top keeper in one of the world’s top leagues, and Russia 2018 should be his first opportunity to star as England’s new number one.