Sports

May 162016
 

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Euro 2016: Marcus Rashford deserves England call-up – Alan Shearer

Wayne Rooney is no longer England’s number one striker, says former national team captain Alan Shearer.

England skipper and leading all-time goalscorer Rooney has been named in the provisional 26-man squad for Euro 2016.

Shearer says the 30-year-old is more suited to a midfield role, behind Harry Kane and Jamie Vardy.

“There was always going to be a place for the captain and rightly so,” he said. “But the days of Wayne being the number one striker are gone.”

How well do you remember previous England squad announcements? Take our quiz.

Match of the Day pundit Shearer, who was top scorer at the European Championship 20 years ago, added: “He’s still got a lot to offer.

“I think Harry Kane and Jamie Vardy deserve to have their chance up front but I still think Wayne has a part to play, whether that is in midfield or the number 10 role.”

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Euro 2016: England’s Roy Hodgson under no pressure to start Wayne Rooney

‘England’s Achilles heel’

Gary Cahill (left) and Chris Smalling (right) are likely to start in the centre of defence for England

Manchester United forward Rooney was one of five strikers named by Roy Hodgson in his squad on Monday, along with Tottenham’s Kane, Leicester’s Vardy, Liverpool’s Daniel Sturridge and another Manchester United player, Marcus Rashford.

Newcastle winger Andros Townsend and Arsenal midfielder Jack Wilshere have also been called up, with Gary Cahill (Chelsea), Chris Smalling (Manchester United) and John Stones (Everton) the three centre-backs selected.

“Defensively would be my one worry for England,” said Shearer. “I would be confident with us going forward and in midfield but the old Achilles heel is defensively – certainly down the middle at centre-half, which has been a problem for a number of years. We don’t seem to have been able to solve that.”

Who do you think should start at Euro 2016? Step into Roy Hodgson’s shoes and pick your XI – and then share it with your friends using our brand new team selector.

‘Rashford a bright prospect’

Rashford, 18, has scored seven goals in 16 appearances for Manchester United this season and has been given his international chance following an injury to Arsenal’s Danny Welbeck.

“He has been one of the bright sparks for Manchester United this season,” said Shearer. “He probably wouldn’t have got his chance other than injury to some players but he did get it and he took it.

“He has been full of energy, scored goals and he looks a bright prospect. It will be great experience for him, even if Roy doesn’t take him to France.”

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Euro 2016: Marcus Rashford, a breakthrough star in 15/16

‘Looking towards youth’

Rashford was selected ahead of Sunderland striker Jermain Defoe, who has scored 18 goals this season, including five in the past nine games of the season.

“Once Jermain had left this country and gone to play in Canada then that was probably his England career gone,” said Shearer, in reference to the six months Defoe spent with Toronto FC prior to joining the Black Cats in January 2015.

“Having said that, he has had a magnificent season with Sunderland. But Roy is now looking towards youth and rightly so.”

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Who’s in Roy Hodgson’s Euro 2016 squad?

‘Drinkwater deserves his place’

Midfielder Danny Drinkwater has played a big role in helping Leicester win the title, making 37 appearances for the Foxes.

He has been selected along with Arsenal’s Wilshere, who broke his leg in August and only made his first start of the season on Sunday. Liverpool’s Jordan Henderson, who missed a month before returning for the final game of the season, is also included.

“I’d be surprised if Roy was to take all three of Drinkwater, Henderson and Wilshere,” added Shearer. “That would be a big gamble, particularly with the lack of fitness of Henderson and Wilshere.

“Wilshere has only started one game and Drinkwater has been magnificent all season. He deserves a place in the squad.”

Danny Drinkwater is one of two players from champions Leicester in the England squad

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Rashford makes England 26-man squad

 Posted by at 6:39 PM
May 162016
 
Rashford has yet to play for the England senior team

England manager Roy Hodgson has named Manchester United’s 18-year-old striker Marcus Rashford in an initial 26-man squad for Euro 2016.

Newcastle United winger Andros Townsend and Arsenal midfielder Jack Wilshere are also called up for the tournament.

But Theo Walcott, Phil Jagielka, Jermain Defoe and Mark Noble miss out.

All 24 teams have until 31 May to submit their 23-man squads for Euro 2016, which is being held in France from 10 June to 10 July.

Rashford only broke into the United first team in the second half of the season but quickly became a firm fixture.

He scored four times in his first two appearances and has seven goals from 16 games since making his senior debut on 25 February.

Asked about Rashford’s chances of featuring in his final 23-man squad, Hodgson, 68, said: “The competition is quite strong, he’ll understand that.

“There’s no reason why he can’t knock someone off their perch, but it will be harder than some people might expect.”

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Euro 2016: England’s Roy Hodgson under no pressure to start Wayne Rooney

Townsend, 24, ended the campaign strongly despite his club’s relegation from the Premier League.

“Huge honour to be named in provisional England squad,” tweeted Townsend, who joined Newcastle in a £12m from Tottenham in January.

“Will give my all over next few weeks to try and make final squad!”

Wilshere, 24, broke his leg in August and only made his first start of the season for Arsenal on Sunday.

He tweeted: “Absolutely buzzing! I can’t wait to meet up with the squad and start preparing for the Euros. Thanks for all the messages.”

Responding to his omission, Walcott tweeted: “I am of course disappointed not to make the squad, but I have spoken with Roy and respect his decision.”

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Who’s in Roy Hodgson’s Euro 2016 squad?

Hodgson’s 26-man squad features two players from Premier League champions Leicester City – striker Jamie Vardy and Danny Drinkwater – while Tottenham, who finished third, and Liverpool both provide five players.

England will play Wales, Russia and Slovakia in the group stages of Euro 2016.

They kick off their Group B campaign against Russia on 11 June, before facing Wales (16 June) and Slovakia (20 June).

England warm up for the tournament with matches against Turkey (22 May), Australia (27 May) and Portugal (2 June).

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Euro 2016: Marcus Rashford deserves England call-up – Alan Shearer

Hodgson said he would like to tell the 23 players who have made the final squad after the game against Australia.

Former England striker Gary Lineker said the 26-man squad contained “bags of talented youngsters”.

He tweeted: “Great experience for them. Give them their wings, take pressure off, have fun and see where it takes us.”

Squad

Goalkeepers: Joe Hart (Manchester City), Fraser Forster (Southampton), Tom Heaton (Burnley).

Defenders: Gary Cahill (Chelsea), Chris Smalling (Manchester United), John Stones (Everton), Kyle Walker (Tottenham Hotspur), Ryan Bertrand (Southampton), Danny Rose (Tottenham Hotspur), Nathaniel Clyne (Liverpool).

Midfielders: Dele Alli (Tottenham Hotspur), Ross Barkley (Everton), Fabian Delph (Manchester City), Eric Dier (Tottenham Hotspur), Danny Drinkwater (Leicester City), Jordan Henderson (Liverpool), Adam Lallana (Liverpool), James Milner (Liverpool), Raheem Sterling (Manchester City), Andros Townsend (Newcastle United), Jack Wilshere (Arsenal).

Strikers: Wayne Rooney (Manchester United), Harry Kane (Tottenham Hotspur), Jamie Vardy (Leicester City), Daniel Sturridge (Liverpool), Marcus Rashford (Manchester United).

Who do you think should start at Euro 2016? Step into Roy Hodgson’s shoes and pick your XI – and then share it with your friends using our brand new team selector.

Analysis

Chief football writer Phil McNulty

There is still a good chance Rashford will miss out when the squad is whittled down to 23 for France, but it is a sign of his progress that he is included while Walcott misses out.

Hodgson, predictably, has included Wilshere despite being injured for virtually the entire season.

The Arsenal player is a key figure if fit, Hodgson having used him at the base of a diamond formation and also as a creative force, as shown by his two goals in the 3-2 qualifier win in Slovenia.

Jordan Henderson appears to have regained fitness in time, but both the Liverpool player and Wilshere will be under scrutiny in the three friendlies.

England’s defensive heart is arguably the most suspect part of Hodgson’s team and perhaps reflected in just three recognised central defenders – Smalling, Cahill and Stones – being selected.

Tottenham’s Eric Dier is picked as a holding midfield player but will act as central defensive cover.

England look well blessed with attacking options but there must still be very big question marks for the defence when facing opposition of the highest quality.

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Euro 2016: Marcus Rashford, a breakthrough star in 15/16

England squad in stats

  • Forster has kept 19 Premier League clean sheets in the last two Premier League seasons; Joe Hart (29) is the only England keeper to keep more.
  • Bertrand is one of only five Premier League full-backs to have made more than 200 crosses in the last two seasons
  • Smalling has been present for 17 of Manchester United’s 18 clean sheets in the Premier League
  • Stones made 33 Premier league blocks for Everton – nine more than any other player at the club
  • Alli has been involved in 19 Premier League goals (nine goals, 10 assists) this season, more than any other English midfielder in the division
  • Drinkwater made more tackles (106) than any other English midfielder in the Premier League this season
  • Henderson made more passes than any other England midfielder during Euro 2016 qualifying (353).
  • Wilshere played more successful passes than any other England midfielder during the Euro 2016 qualifying campaign (291).
  • Rashford became the youngest player to score in a Premier League Manchester derby this season, when he netted against Man City aged 18 years and 141 days.
  • Sturridge scored a goal every 122 minutes in the Premier League this season, the best goals per minute ratio of any English player to score.

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Pick your England starting XI

 Posted by at 5:58 PM
May 162016
 

England coach Roy Hodgson has named an initial 26-man squad for Euro 2016 – but who should start against Russia on 11 June?

Would you play captain Wayne Rooney in attack or midfield? Or would you not start with him at all?

Is there room for Jamie Vardy? And what about Harry Kane?

And then there is the question of formation – does Hodgson go with a lone striker or should he try to fit two up top?

Use our new squad selector to pick your England team, selecting from the whole squad and slotting them into the formation of your choice.

And after you’ve done that, you can share them with your friends or post them on your social media accounts.

It couldn’t be easier – and you never know, Roy might just be reading.

Who do you think should start at Euro 2016? Step into Roy Hodgson’s shoes and pick your XI – and then share it with your friends using our brand new team selector.

Analysis

Chief football writer Phil McNulty

England’s central defence will be their biggest problem at Euro 2016 having had failings against quality opposition exposed in recent years.

And yet Hodgson has decided to sacrifice one central defender to add to his resources further forward. Everton’s Phil Jagielka is left out while Manchester United’s Chris Smalling, Gary Gahill of Chelsea and Everton’s John Stones are selected.

Hodgson has covered himself with Tottenham’s Eric Dier. He is likely to start as a holding midfield player but is also the central defensive cover. A gamble.

In attack, Manchester United’s Marcus Rashford has the chance to be the squad’s “bolter” – but he will have to produce something special in the pre-Euro 2016 friendlies to unseat any of the established names.

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May 162016
 
Nordtveit helped Borussia Monchengladbach to fourth place in the German top flight this season

West Ham will sign Norway midfielder Havard Nordtveit on a free transfer on 1 July after his contract with Borussia Monchengladbach runs out.

The 25-year-old, who left Arsenal to join the Bundesliga team in December 2010, has signed a five-year deal with the Hammers.

“It has always been a dream to play in the Premier League and now I have a big opportunity to do that,” he said.

Nordtveit, who made his Norway debut in 2011, has 28 international caps.

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