The headline news yesterday from many media outlets was the standard team leak which told us that Jamie Vardy is to be left out of the starting 11 for England’s first game in Euro 2016 against Russia later today. As I post this nothing as been confirmed but let’s be honest why is anybody surprised. Vardy could have scored 50 goals last season and he would not have been picked as a starter by Hodgson as he clearly does not trust him. Roy does like picking players from the so called bigger clubs (Manchester United’s Marcus Rashford being in the squad is proof of this); Vardy is only in the final 23 because it would have been ridiculous to leave him out. But for a missed penalty he would have been joint top scorer in the Premier League with number one striker Harry Kane, though you’d think the Spurs striker was a miles better option the way it seems to be dismissed that the Leicester title winner would only start in a two up front system. Don’t be fooled by people saying Vardy fluffed his lines against Portugal, as Kane was rubbish too, but I don’t blame the players there, it was the tactics and both of then being asked to do things that are not natural to them as strikers.
FYI LEICESTER ACTUALLY WON THE LEAGUE
I can understand why Kane would start, Roy wants the link with Dele Alli and the three other likely Tottenham starters in Dier, Walker and Rose, but then I would say why no Danny Drinkwater in the squad – he was arguably the best English midfielder in the Premier League last season and had an obvious rapport with his Leicester teammate which could also have been used if he was a member of the travelling party. To be fair Hodgson is the manager and it is his neck on the line so he can pick who he wants, but it seems obvious he wants certain players from certain clubs in the squad or team (don’t get me started on Arsenal’s Jack Wilshere and Liverpool’s Jordan Henderson by the way). If he gets results fine, if he doesn’t then unfortunately he will be subjected to a hell of a lot of criticism (and in some cases abuse in today’s immediate analysis social media world), something I don’t want to see as he is a good man and it would mean England are not winning – AGAIN!!!!!!! But he does not help himself by his muddled thinking as we stand. One thing in the managers favour is the options he has off the bench, he has plenty, so getting the starting 11 wrong can be rectified as a game goes along, I just hope he has the balls to take off players who are underperforming no matter who they are.
ps maybe Roy has got us all fooled – and he has a master plan by picking each team dependent on the opposition – he most definitely has a squad to do so – I very much hope the performances and more importantly the results show this.
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