Gareth Southgate has named his England squad for the upcoming games against Scotland and Spain, and there aren’t many surprises.
This in of course unsurprising in itself; Southgate could at best be described with the backhanded compliment of being ‘a safe pair of hands’, at worst a man so boring that he could (and probably did) put a coked-up Paul Gascoigne to sleep. Sorry, Scotland fans, but it’s England-Scotland coming up and Gazza has been mentioned – we have to do this.
If you don’t believe us, check out his U21s team-talk, following their elimination from the European Championships – looking more like a Mathlete coach commiserating his team on not making it to the regional quarterfinals than an under-21 manager who has just been dumped out of a major tournament.
To be fair to Southgate, the squad he’s picked is about the best available, but considering how fucking uninteresting international breaks are, regularly approaching us like a brutish school bully and snatching our sweet Premier League action out of our hands, wouldn’t you like to see him play a completely left field side? At least it might actually be worth tuning in, just to see how they fared.
Here at Clickon, we’ve taken a look at who that team might be if Gareth were to have a moment of inspired madness.
Actually in the squad after Fraser Forster pulled out, but unlikely to start due to the presence of chest thumping, anti-dandruff star, Joe Hart and the much-vaunted Tom Heaton.
Pickford has been immense this season, and transfer rumours linking the 22-year-old with Everton would see him actually challenging Hart, such is the unfair bias towards players from bigger clubs.
Another player who has been brought into the squad following an injury to Danny Drinkwater, but so far on the fringe that he'll probably travel to Edinburgh instead of London for England's friendly with Scotland.
Cresswell is an incredible left-back when fit, and the apparent rift between Luke Shaw and Jose Mourinho may give him hope of pushing into the side soon.
The first of two Bournemouth defenders in the side. That makes us a bit worried, but there's no doubt Cook has been in scintillating form for quite a while now, and surely deserves a call-up at some point.
Source: Daily Fantasy Focus
Davies is finally fulfilling the potential everybody knew he had, and has the most interceptions in the league of any nationality. Plus, he posted that brilliant pre-season photo of the 'squad' (all nine of them) training in the Austrian mountainside. That's the kind of self-effacing sense of humour that could go a long way in a side as shit as England.
Solid at the back and level on assists for the season with Alexis Sanchez, Roberto Firmino and Christian Eriksen.
Some of these suggestions may be contentious, but Smith's form really does warrant a place in the squad.
Like Davies, Clucas has been a huge positive in an undulating season thus far for Hull. He's made a huge 3.3 tackles per-game and is a pretty silky passer, too.
Source: Football's Top 10
Okay, so Gareth Barry is a bit of a relic. Like, at the type of age he might get rejected from staying in a hostel but get to ride buses for free sort of old. That doesn’t change the fact that the guy once regarded by one solitary man as being a better player than Xabi Alonso has been excellent this year, though, and he could give experience to this youthful line-up.
You may be laughing at the back, but Puncheon has been very effective for Crystal Palace so far this term, and actually has more key passes to his name than any other Englishman. Whether that record will remain as Pardew gets into full flow with his annual run of appalling form remains to be seen.
Put into the side in spite of the fact that he seems to score Fantasy Football points exclusively when outside the squad or on the bench of your beloved author, Stanislas is like Davies in finally showing the form that the hype a couple of years ago made you believe we would have seen much earlier.
Source: Lifestyle Sports Blog
Every goal West Ham scores this season seems to be put in by Antonio following a Payet assist. Granted, that’s not a lot of goals, but we’d love to see Michail get a chance over Jesse Lingard.
Redmond has excelled in a central role for Claude Puel’s Southampton so far this season, and with doubts emerging from all angles in the one area of the pitch England had previously been confident about, perhaps the former Norwich man could be worth a shot.