Roy Hodgson announced his England squad for the World Cup yesterday and Wayne Rooney, Danny Welbeck, Phil Jones and Chris Smalling were all selected. Tom Cleverley and Michael Carrick are on the standby list.
It’s no surprise that Rooney is on the plane to Rio. Despite having rarely performed well for England, and having not done the business for the International team probably since Euro 2004, he will always be the player England fans rely on the most. He is the player all the rival players talk about and there wasn’t a question that he wouldn’t make the squad. His 27 goals and assists in 27 starts (total of 29 appearances) probably haven’t harmed his bid either.
Welbeck was another fairly obvious choice, despite falling behind Daniel Sturridge in pecking order now, following the Liverpool striker’s excellent season. Still, Longsight’s scoring rate is one of the best in the league and he’s done well for England thus far. 8 goals in 21 appearances isn’t a bad return.
Jones and Smalling have done well to book their place in the squad though after neither have had stand-out campaigns for United. Jones is a useful player to take, given he can play in midfield, in the centre of defence and as a right-back. Smalling is almost equally as versatile, playing in the centre of the right-hand side of defence.
It’s no surprise that Cleverley and Carrick only have places on the standby list, although it is strange that Carrick has allowed himself to be in this position. For Euro 2012 Carrick essentially retired from International football, claiming that if he wasn’t going to play, he didn’t want to be considered. But now he’s happy to be on the standby list? Should have just done what Ashley Cole did, and “retired” once he’d be told he wasn’t good enough to play.
England’s World Cup squad: Hart, Foster, Forster; Baines, Cahill, Jagielka, Johnson, Jones, Shaw, Smalling; Gerrard, Barkley, Henderson, Lallana, Lampard, Milner, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Sterling, Wilshere; Lambert, Rooney, Sturridge, Welbeck.
Standby list: Carrick, Carroll, Cleverley, Defoe, Flanagan, Ruddy, Stones.
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