Danny Drinkwater’s England Exclusion Is The Right One


There was an odd trend on Twitter following Roy Hodgson’s squad announcement for Euro 2016, with #Drinkwater getting almost as many mentions as the official #Euro2016 hashtag.

Three Lions fans gathered their pitchforks and burning torches, ready to march on the FA HQ, all because of the omission of the Leicester City midfielder who has never played a competitive international match.

Professional pain in the arse, and former Wales international, Robbie Savage, summed up the mood of the nation by adding a simple #disgrace to the end of his tweet on the matter.

Danny Drinkwater has obviously had a great season, sweeping up the space left behind by juggernaut teammate N’Golo Kanté, as well as firing missiles over the top for the scampering Jamie Vardy in Leicester’s astonishing title win.

Drinkwater, however, didn’t play a single second of England’s Euro 2016 qualification campaign. A campaign in which England won every single match and played some decent football, with Jack Wilshere controlling things from the base of a diamond on the odd occasion when he was able to stand up without crutches.

As well as Arsenal’s midfielder, Jordan Henderson, James Milner and Adam Lallana all played important roles in qualification and were all able to fit into the system that Hodgson used, something that Drinkwater hasn’t had the chance to do for England.

The passes to Vardy are all very nice, but they came about because Leicester play in a very specific way, one that England will not necessarily do in France, particularly against smaller nations such as Slovakia and Wales.

A player has to prove themselves on the international stage before being guaranteed a place at a major tournament – Marcus Rashford is a different kettle of fish but I’ll save that for another article.

Drinkwater’s time will come once the qualification cycle for a new tournament begins later this year, but his emergence has simply come too late for Euro 2016. You can’t learn a new system and a new way of playing from friendlies against Netherlands, Turkey and Australia.

Twitter user Tom was particularly furious about the whole thing and even appears to believe that Drinkwater’s name is actually a personal motto for living his life:

“Instead of drink water, Danny should have got pissed, smoked fags and not played all season.”

In general, though, us fans complain when the squad is full of Manchester United or Chelsea players, even if one of those teams has just win the Premier League title. People wanted Hodgson to pick a team based upon squad unity and an English identity, rather than just 11 players from the most successful teams.

This time he’s done that, but people are annoyed because Leicester City had a great season and one of their midfielders can’t get in the team.

Roy, he just can’t win.

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