Khamis, 4 Ogos 2011

Siapakah yang akan mengikut jejak langkah Wilshere ke sukad utama England?

10) Marc Albrighton (Aston Villa)
Having played in 29 Premier League games when Stewart Downing and Ashley Young were still at Villa, you would expect Albrighton to start almost every game after their exit. There are plenty of players currently ahead of him in the right-wing pecking order for England - Theo Walcott, Aaron Lennon, Adam Johnson, James Milner and arguably Young - but a solid season at Villa should at least ensure that Shaun Wright-Phillips has received his last text from the FA.

9) Lee Cattermole (Sunderland)
Cattermole topped a similar list I wrote two years ago, when I noted that 'you may laugh but before you do, try and think of another tigerish English midfielder who will run all day making tackle after tackle after tackle'. It's rather worrying that two years have passed and we're no nearer finding that tigerish midfielder. Cattermole will still cherish hopes that he could fit the bill, though two seasons punctuated by injury and suspension have seen his star fade.

8) Tom Cleverley (Manchester United)
One big criticism of Stuart Pearce after the England U-21 tournament this summer was his under-use of Cleverley, who did enough for Wigan last season to convince Sir Alex Ferguson to promote him to United's first-team squad. Able to operate anywhere across an attacking midfield, Cleverley is a little bit special - blessed with the kind of vision that has thousands of United fans half-convinced that they don't need to buy another Scholes. While Jack Rodwell (more beloved of Henry Winter than David Moyes) and Josh McEachran get plenty of folk purring, Cleverley has that priceless stamp of approval from Ferguson.

7) David Stockdale (Fulham)
While Ben Foster was making himself unavailable for England, Stockdale was telling England he would gladly ruin his wedding by going to sit on the bench for the Switzerland game the day after his nuptials. His offer was turned down but his willingness will have been noted. With Scott Carson off the scene at Bursaspor, Stockdale has every chance of establishing himself in England's regular triptych of goalkeepers during a season-long loan at Ipswich. We would be surprised if he doesn't get 45 minutes in a friendly before the season is out.

6) Ryan Shawcross (Stoke)
It was either Shawcross, Roger Johnson or Scott Dann for this spot but the latter pair were consistently snubbed by Capello even when Birmingham were an impressive defensive force, while Shawcross has at least been in one England squad - even if he was snubbed for some 'random choices' last season. As the captain of an established mid-table Premier League side, Shawcross should be in Capello's thoughts. Unfortunately, he's probably eight or nine places down in Capello's thoughts.

5) Martin Kelly (Liverpool)
"Kelly is a good right-back but he is very young. He is an interesting player for England for the future," said Capello in January just before he opted for Kyle Walker over the Liverpool defender for February's friendly with Denmark. Then Kelly got injured and missed the chance to go to Denmark with Walker and the rest of England's U-21s. As long as Liverpool curiously fail to buy a left-back, there's a decent chance that Kelly will start the season at right-back for the Reds. And if you're English and play regularly for a top-six side, you will almost certainly remain on Fabio's radar. Unless you're Tony Hibbert.

4) Phil Jones (Manchester United)
If an English player gets transferred to the Premier League champions for £17m, you'd sodding well hope he'd be a candidate for an international call-up. Nemanja Vidic's heir at United could well be John Terry's heir for England, especially if he continues to a forge a partnership with Chris Smalling that looked very promising in Denmark this summer and will be coming to a domestic cup competition near you very soon. Jones could even offer the bonus of being an alternative defensive midfield option to the Championship's Scott Parker.

3) Daniel Sturridge (Chelsea)
For England's last qualifier, England's striking options were Darren Bent, Peter Crouch, Jermain Defoe and Bobby Zamora. Fabio Capello still has Wayne Rooney and Andy Carroll to add to that mix but none of those players scored eight goals in their last 12 Premier League games and that kind of form cannot fail to pique the interest of Capello. Impressive at the U-21 championship in Denmark, we have a sneaky suspicion he will be in the England squad for next week's Holland game a year after a loan spell at Bolton earned Wilshere his first call.

2) Kyle Walker (Tottenham)
The Spanish press dubbed him 'the new Roberto Carlos' after his performance against Spain in the U-21 European Championships but Walker would probably be happy to be 'the new Alan Hutton' this season and establish himself as Tottenham's first-choice right-back. Do that and the England call-ups will keep on coming and eventually he will get off the bench. At some point, Fabio Capello will have to acknowledge that Phil Jagielka is not the second-best right-back option in England.

1) Chris Smalling (Manchester United)
If you're going to be an understudy, make sure you understudy someone with a propensity for injury. Smalling is undoubtedly Rio Junior at United and that gave him 16 Premier League and nine Champions League appearances last season. As Ferdinand gets older, those figures will surely rise and so will the likelihood that Smalling will play for England and establish himself as the quick, ball-playing half of an England central defensive pairing. We will be very surprised if Smalling does not make the plane for Euro 2012 - with or without Ferdinand.


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