Since Fabio Capello abandoned the England team the other week, Stuart Pearce has taken the reigns at least for the Holland friendly at Wembley in six days time. He stated to the press that he would name 'an inexperienced squad' but the only real surprises were an unexpexted call up for Sunderland's Frazier Campbell and Joleon Lescott and Fat Frank being dropped from the team. If you want to see the squad click the link http://www.thefa.com/England/News/match-centre/2012/England-v-Holland/Match-Previews/squad-announcement-230212.aspx
The squad, as I'm sure you'll agree, is rather safe. The Only real problems are at centre back with Lescott and Terry out but the posistion should be well deputised by either the impressive Chris Smalling or the raw, but brilliant Phil Jones. I am also rather upset at the exclusion of Aaron Lennon, I'm not sure if he's injured but if he's not, it is criminal of Pearce to name both Theo Walcott and Stuart Downing ahead of him.
So I have taken it upon myself, to aid Stuart Pearce in his plight (not really much of a plight but I just want to speak my mind over the team) and name my starting eleven I would play against a quality Holland side.
GK: Joe Hart : No alternative in my opinion. 16 appearances and no losses with him between the sticks is reason enough but if it's not enough for you then watch the draw with Liverpool towards the end of last year. After the Balotelli red he single-handedly kept City in the game pulling of save after stunning save. In fact, I rate this guy so highly, I expect him to have the captain's armband by the Euros.
RB: Micah Richards : After being criminally rejected from the England squad under the rule of Don Fabio, the young City right back should have a great run in the national team. Strong going forward, Strong defender and the player that keeps the rather good Zabaleta out of the City team. Very tough decision between Richards and Walker but his defending is slightly superior and I also have a man love for his immense runs down the right.
CB: Gary Cahill : I don't particularly rate the guy but I don't want to see Jones starting a game for a while, I'd rather he got some experience with the under 21's for the time being. Also he is the most experienced center back and that's probably what we need against the brilliant Robin Van Persie and who ever partners him up top.
CB: Chris Smalling : The second best center back in the squad and so deserves the second center back place. He's also a big lad and I prefer him to his team mate Phil Jones. So on that logic, he's in.
LB: Leighton Baines : Every time he plays he makes an assist and/or a brilliant team contribution. The reasons I prefer him over our most capped named player are 1) He is brilliant at wing play 2) He is brilliant at defending 3) He is not Ashley Cole.
CM: Scott Parker : Consistently performs for his club and his country and was absolutely fan-bloody-tastic against the World Champions.
CM: Tom Cleverly : He started the season as one of United's kids of the future and was one of their best performers until he got injured. Now he is back and should definitely start as he has flair, precise passing and pure passion.
CM: Steven Gerrard : The only one of the Golden Generation midfield named and one of the best players to grace the country. He should never have been played out of position for Fat Frank because he is just so much better. Has had a tough time with injury recently but he is back now and if he performs well, so will England.
RW: Adam Johnson : He is a cracking player and due to there being no Aaron Lennon, he should definitely get the spot. He may be lazy but the guy has got a hell of a shot and does contribute to City when they play well. I would of named Walcott before but he has been more and more inconsistent and for recent performances, does not deserve his place.
LW: Ashley Young : Had a brilliant start to the season but has faded of late. That may be down to his injury but he is far better than the £20 million Downing, with no goals or assists in the league and does have a lot of skill when on the ball.
ST: Wayne Rooney : As with Joe Hart, this player is one which should not be out of the team, regardless of the game. One of the few brilliant players to come from England. A recent return to form as well and resides second in the goalscorer table. Great shooting, positioning and has the true British Bulldog spirit. We will really miss him at the start of the Euros.
I also hope that Fraizer Campbell gets some game time. The man has had a really bad time with injuries and seems a generally nice guy. Certainly a better guy than our old 'leader' John Terry. I feel a bit mean for leaving out both Barry and Milner as they are both really good players but I think Cleverly deserves this game and they will both get some game time regardless. Both Welbeck or Sturridge will get game time and will definitely be playing it off for a place in the team that goes to the Euros.
I know it is a friendly game, and the result won't count towards anything but if England want to be known as a true contender for the Euro 2012 then they will need to take every game (friendly or not) seriously, and Holland is as big a friendly as they come. It will certainly be an interesting game that's for sure. Here's hoping for a win hey?