King. Dawson. Lennon. Defoe. Crouch. Huddlestone. Six of the best. All called to the provisional England squad by Fabio. Out of the six, I'd say two are certain. Two deserve to go. One of the remaining two should be awarded with the honour of being part of the final 23. Leaving just the one who will miss out, but might well be a candidate for the future.
Rewards for all regardless for a fantastic season. Tottenham Hotspur, the club with the English backbone. And bionic knee. It's a bit early doors, what with the season only just ending (well, almost - still the FA Cup to play out and Pompeys certain win over Chelsea) but I'm beginning to get the itch for the World Cup. I always do. Not that I'm ever obsessed with qualifying matches, but when we're involved in the main show it's fairly difficult to ignore it. As much dislike as I have for the likes of Terry, Gerrard, Lampard etcetc, I'm hoping the Tottenham contingent do us proud, to prolong the wide smile on my face through the summer and into next season.
King - Utterly deserves an England swansong. Proved his knee can survive 4 consecutive games on the trot. Colossus of a player and the best we have at the back.
Dawson - No pace. But makes up for it in the way of determination and bravery. A sort of raw version of John Terry. Just without the **** qualities. Proper 110 percenter is our Daws.
Lennon - Only just back. Has to go because he's best at what he does. He's no speed merchant (unlike Theo). He can pass and cross (unlike Theo). He doesn't have a book out and doesn't have his photo plastered over the celeb pages of tabloids (unlike Theo). He's a player who has improved and developed and terrorised sides prior to his injury (unlike Theo). And now he's back, granted he's only had a couple of appearances, but rather than be nothing more than an option asked to run directly at tired legs (Theo) in the final stages of a game, he can start and be used effectively over 90 minutes. Does concern me though, this nations obsession with Walcott. Johnson, SWP, Walcott, Lennon. Decisions, decisions, hey Fabio?
Defoe and Crouch - The best of the rest that England have available to them. Which isn't a lot. Heskey? Rather Crouch. Bent? Okay, let's repeat ourselves again - he feeds off scraps and counter-attacks, loose balls in the box. Ask him to play as part of a cohesive unit, inter-linking, intelligent moving...no chance. So yeah, JD and Crouch are far superior options. Even if JD has gone off the boil, and tbh lacks the ability to play himself onside at times.
Huddlestone - Mobility. Lack of adaptability. He'll only be able to play one way and we'd have to accommodate him. In the right game though, he could ping the ball about Hoddlesque. And he has proven more than capable at times, but arguably lacks the top level experience and 'testing' to be worthy of a risk in a high-pressured game. Does deserves his place in the final 30 though. Just think he's the most obvious to be left behind.
Good luck to all of them. In Fabio we trust, right?
Brings me nicely onto the below youtube clip. New Carlsberg advert. I must be more easy than a Sunday morning, because the hairs on the back of my neck stand up watching this. And I can't be the only person who gets a little choked up with the lovely Bobby Robson touch.