Wednesday, 10 March 2010

A thought: England Team Prediction 2014

Yes it's a long way away right now, but indulge me.

I was mildly concerned about the future of the England squad whilst watching Rio Ferdinand putting in a half decent performance in against AC Milan just now.

Then I looked at our recent under-21 squad and was actually not as alarmed.

Some predictions (and a lot of typos):

*Joe Hart will be first choice by this point.
*Rob Green might still be knocking about as back up.
*Hopefully Ben Foster will have joined a club where he'll get some games, the lad's got talent but could go the way of Carson and Robinson.
*Scott Loach will have made a move to a prem club by then (posibly this summer in fact if Watford's financial woes should continue).
David James will be running a comedy club somewhere.

I hesitate to lump them all together but some of them are yet to specialise as full backs or centre backs.
I would be shocked if Terry and Ferdinand haven't retired from international football by this point, probably Cashley too. Unless Upson and Lescott suddenly raise their games they will be replaced by young uns.
*Glen Johnson will be 29, nd hopefully have learnt to defend as well as bomb forward.
*Micah Richards will have matured by this point so will be in there at right back or centre back.
*The only positon where we have proven specialists right now is left back, and Leighton Baines and Kieron Gibbs will be a good shout.
*Gary Cahill continues to look useful,and will be 28 by then.
*Ditto David Wheater.
*If Chris Smalling fulfills his promise he's a possibility.
*Ditto Mancienne.
*Spurs signed two lads called Kyle - Naughton and Walker, both of whom are very highly rated.
*Stephen Taylor, assuming he ever makes it back to the Prem, is an outside chance.

The Gerrard/Lampard conundrum will have disappeared with their respective retirements from international football, Beckham will be nowhere near the squad, and Barry will be getting on a bit. Joe Cole and Owen Hargreaves probably won't even make it to this world cup.
*James Milner should have established himself as a regular someone in this side. Anywhere frankly.
*Ashley Young will be an option on either wing.
*Lee Cattermole (cat? or mole?) already looks like a future Hargreaves, hopefully with less brittle legs.
*Lennon another option on the right.
*Jack Rodwell looks a fantastic prospect, very skillful and has some power.
*Ditto Jack Wilshire.
*And probably Dan Gosling.
*I'm not convinced about the likes of Muamba, Delph and Jack Cork, but they all have a lot of time
*Tom Huddlestone is a fantastic player on his day. He seems to have shed his beer gut over the last season, and could make the step up.
*Stewart Downing - don't laugh, he's doing well for Villa right now and is probably the only proper left-footed player on this list.
*I'm going to throw Lewis McGugan into this list because I'm mental. He's a fantastically talented player, and there's been rumours about Prem clubs sniffing around him for a couple of years.
*Micheal Johnson appears to have fucked his life up with pies, beer, fighting and going to 42nd Street, he won't make it, which is a shame as he was a great player.

Surely no one will be talking about Owen or Heskey at this stage. Crouch and Defoe will be in their 30s but are possibilities.
*Rooney, obviously. By this stage he should be recognised as one of the best players in the world.
*Gaby Agbonlahor should be reaching his peak. He's not reached great heights yet but he's got the talent to do so.
*Daniel Sturridge might have ruined his career by going to Chelsea, but he looks a great prospect and if he can get games he could be fantastic. Unlike Frazier Campbell (who will end up a mid-range Prem player at best) his club did not want to lose him, and Chelsea actively courted him. The lad's a bit special, and if he can learn from Drogba and Anelka he could end up deadly.
*Can't really tell with Carlton Cole - he could end up at a top half club this summer, and that will be the making or breaking of him.
*Freddie Sears looked great in the few West Ham starts he got, he hasn't had many goals though so another unsure one.
*Danny Welbeck - probably not.
*If James Vaughan ever gets fit he'll be great!

*Theo Walcott might have turned into a striker a la Henry by this point. Hopefully he'll have learnt to put in a consistent performance too.
*Tom Cleverley - you're thinking "who?" unless you're a Watford fan or a particularly dedicated ManYoo fan, he's 20 and looks very useful, can play attacking midfield or striker.

Obviously more players will emerge in the meantime, and some of these lads could go downhill rapidly (Shawcross is highly rated right now, I have missed him out because I think he might be another Nicky Shorey/insert briefly promising player here).

Of course, it's going to be held in Brazil so we probably don't have a chance, but it's nice to dream.

Any thoughts/glaring omissions?

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