Football Friends Online – When 90 Mins Is Not Enough10 players who could be on Hodgson's mind - Football Friends Online - When 90 Mins Is Not Enough 10 players who could be on Hodgson's mind - Football Friends Online - When 90 Mins Is Not Enough

10 players who could be on Hodgson’s mind

While I, along with many others I’m sure, was generally happy with the England squad, there were some inclusions, and exceptions that I was surprised about.

Take Daniel Sturridge for example, undoubtedly a player with talent, but when has he showcased it this calendar year? The striker has been out of the Chelsea first eleven pretty much ever since Di Matteo arrived at the club – behind Torres in the reckoning with little rotation – and has been chosen ahead of Tottenham striker Jermain Defoe, starter of every game this season, scoring 5 goals.

There was also no place for Michael Carrick, nor was there for Andy Carroll (although I’m slightly pleased we’re not going down the Nolan – Carroll route as I saw some people claiming for on twitter). Other than the aforementioned players though, there are others that are in some sort of form at this time, and while I’m not saying I think they should be included in the England squad now, or in the future for that matter, they could be on the manager’s mind.

In no particular order:

Charlie Austin ,23

Goals, goals, goals. That’s what you get. Austin has played and scored in non-league, league one, and not the Championship, notching 17 goals in 14 appearances this season. Probably needs to score in the top flight, or for there to be lots of injuries, to be considered though.

Wilfred Zaha, 19

The tricky winger has lit up the Championship this season, and has been linked with a host of clubs, namely Arsenal. His four goals this season have come in just two games so consistency may be a bit of an issue, but, and I say this with no disrespect to Crystal Palace, he is the main reason why the South London club are sitting at the top of the league. May have the same problem as Austin getting into the full side playing in the Championship, although he has played well for the under-21’s.

Mark Noble, 25

West Ham boy through thick and thin, and probably the club’s most talented academy graduate over the last few years. A tidy midfielder who is not afraid to tackle, probably owes it to competition in his position for him never being considered.

Adam Lallana, 24

Already called up once, and maybe a touch surprising 31-year-old Leon Osman was preferred to him on this occasion, with youth on the Southampton man’s side. The club’s player of the year for the last two promotion clinching seasons, the captain may have to put in more fine individual performances to lift his club out of the relegation places to be called up again.

Thomas Ince, 20

Like Zaha, has lit up the Championship – scoring 8 goals – and the under-21 side, but also like Zaha, may have to move to the top flight (he has been linked with Manchester United among others) to earn a call up to the senior side.

Leon britton, 30

The ‘English Xavi’ Leon britton was just awarded with an award for his 400th appearance for Swansea by the club, and it is a touch surprising to me that he’s never really been mentioned as having a chance of getting into the England side. At one stage last season, the midfielder had the best pass completion rate in Europe, let alone the Premier League, but it may be that Britton can only really shine in one position (at the base of a 4-2-3-1 short passing formation) that counts the 30-year-old out. One thing though, if Britton was doing a similar job at a top four club wouldn’t he be included?

Wayne Routledge, 27

Probably the most unlikely to be called up out of the ten, but his performances have forced out fellow Englishman Nathan Dyer (who was tipped for a call up at one stage), and has been one of Swansea’s best players this season. At 27, it is unlikely Routledge will get his chance, but his pace, dribbling and passing could get him into contention if he continues his form.

Gary Hooper, 24

It would have been interesting to see if Hooper would have been called up to this squad had injury not ruled him out of contention. Any Englishman who is scoring as many goals as he does, especially in Europe deserves to be included in my view, especially with the supposed lack of striking talent we have at the moment; do we really rely on Danny Welbeck and Daniel Sturridge for goals?

Gabriel Agbonlahor, 26

Only just returned to the Aston Villa set up after a long-standing injury, but has already shown why he’s such an effective striker. His movement, pace, and improved strength have seen him included in England squads before, and once he is back to full fitness and form, it will be interesting to see whether Hodgson includes Gabby.

Michael Kightly, 26

One of the better signings of the summer transfer window, Kightly seems to have fitted straight in to the Stoke set up, denying Jermaine Pennant a start most weeks. Probably needs someone like Crouch, or Carroll to be considered because of his crossing ability, but may get his chance in the future if there are injuries, just like former teammate Matt Jarvis did.