Welbeck key for England

Co-hosts Poland took on Greece in the first game of Euro 2012, which showed a lot of heart, drama and bookings on the field of play, leaving the game 1-1 after 90 minutes. It also signalled the beginning of a tournament where all the best players in Europe will be on show.

Fans use the games to support their nation in hope that they can bring back the trophy or a finish in a respectable position, but the players use it to show the world what they have to offer against some of the best defenders around.

One player that will look to take his opportunity in the England squad is Manchester United’s front man Danny Welbeck, who has been selected alongside Wayne Rooney, Andy Carroll and Jermain Defoe, making up the four strikers that are apart of the set up on this occasion.

With club teammate Rooney suspended for the first two games, Roy Hodgson decided to go with the partnership of Welbeck and Carroll up front against Belgium last week and was rewarded with his first international goal, a smartly placed finish over the goal keeper by the 21 year old.

Cool, calm and full of confidence after a successful season when he managed to grab himself a regular place on the team sheet at his club, and help them come second in the Premier League after a thrilling title race that went down to the last day. Welbeck will look to exploit defenders at this up and coming tournament with his speed, intelligent runs, skill and clinical finishing.

His position in the England squad is not a definite one in the opening games but Hodgson would be slightly foolish to drop the young man after he was used as a fundamental tool by Sir Alex Ferguson. The mixture of height and strength with Andy Carroll, pace, clinical finishing and movement from the Old Trafford striker, could be the perfect blend to trouble the French back four who contain players who haven’t had the best of seasons, lacking pace and confidence to keep up with the youthful and energetic strikers on the team.

If Welbeck does impress then it could not only see his place in the national team at the tournament cemented alongside Rooney, but also at his club as they look to re-vamp the squad and come back stronger for next season.

Another thing that will help the young striker handle the nerves of playing in his first 1st team national tournament, is that there isn’t much pressure on the current squad since the introduction of their new head coach Hodgson.

Many expected Harry Redknapp to take charge, which would have seen most English fans expect too much from the squad, but with the appointment of Hodgson, many expect little from the former West Bromwich Albion manager.

If the Red Devil’s striker can produce the same standard of play that he showed over the previous season for his club at this European Championships, then England may be able to challenge for the trophy, we hope.

Jordan Brown

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