The England squad being called-up has never been an event that has pleased one and all, and there are always fans aplenty rambling on about who should never have been picked, and who was unlucky to miss out. So, we thought we’d put the current crop of talent to the test by checking out their statistics on Fantasy Football.
It was obviously out of Hodgson’s hands when two of his usual choices in Fraser Forster and Ben Foster had to withdraw due to injury. The pick of Joe Hart is a sensible one, considering there are not too many English keepers in the country. However, the selection of fellow comrades Robert Green and Jack Butland are highly questionable. QPR are almost destined for relegation, and as they have been renowned this season for having such a bad defence, Green is a terrible pick. Furthermore, although Stoke City are enjoying a fine season, it is Begovic who has been playing in between the sticks and not Butland, who has rarely featured in the Premier League and not got a single fantasy point this season. Tom Heaton of Burnley can count himself unlucky to have not got the call. His fantasy premier league total of 100 points is only six points behind number one Hart, so Roy may have missed the trick here.
It is also rather unfortunate that by far and away the best defender no longer plays internationally, John Terry. His tally of 128 points not only brings sides defensive abilities but is also a threat in front of goal. The best player in the squad in the backline is Nathaniel Clyne, who is currently present in the overall dream team over the course of the thirty game-weeks. His assists, as well as his solidarity, have been crucial to Southampton’s rise to success. Joleon Lescott can count himself unfortunate on the other hand as his total of 96 is better than the likes of Gary Cahill (92) and Chris Smalling (70) who both got the nod. The choice of the best left-back in Leighton Baines is a sensible one; however the omission of Ryan Bertrand (126) is completely delusional. There are some poor choices in the back-four from Roy Hodgson.
The centre of the park is the Three Lion’s weakest area. The international departures of Frank Lampard and Steven Gerrard have left big holes in the midfield. Although Stewart Downing featured in the last set of fixtures, he has been omitted despite being the clear leader on fantasy premier league, with 137 points. Raheem Sterling could not even amass this tally, but alas is still worthy of selection with 134 points. The likes of George Boyd, Jonjo Shelvey and Jason Puncheon have been harshly treated here, bringing the selection of Ryan Mason into much more disrepute. It is arguable, albeit controversial, that this thus proves the theory that players are picked based on the club they play for, rather than their performances on the playing field.
England have been blessed with a number of young strikers in recent seasons, and Harry Kane tops the lot as he leads the Premier League scoring charts and has a firm position in the overall fantasy dream team. Roy still seems to have somehow been unjustifiable with his choice of Danny Welbeck, who only enjoys 86 points. Peter Crouch has had a better season than this and is not even up for consideration, let alone the disappointment that Danny Ings (111), Charlie Austin (140) and Saido Berahino (119) must be experiencing. You really do look at the stats and wonder what more these calibre of players have to do to play for their country. It is increasingly worrying that the solution to this is to move to a Champions League club.