It’s that time of year when even casual football fans like myself become engrossed with the international scene. A major international tournament always brings out our inner fanatics, and the excitement has really started bubbling with today’s announcement.
Roy Hodgson has confirmed his 23-man squad for the tournament:
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), Eric Dier (Tottenham Hotspur), Jordan Henderson (Liverpool), Adam Lallana (Liverpool), James Milner (Liverpool), Raheem Sterling (Manchester City), Jack Wilshere (Arsenal).
Strikers: Wayne Rooney (Manchester United), Harry Kane (Tottenham Hotspur), Jamie Vardy (Leicester City), Daniel Sturridge (Liverpool), Marcus Rashford (Manchester United).
That means that Danny Drinkwater and Andros Townsend join Fabian Delph on the cut list. I’m sure it was difficult to leave out both of those in-form midfielders, but that 23-man squad looks impressive to me.
It’s an exciting side to say the least and there’s no reason we can’t go to France and make a great account of ourselves. I might even have a little bet on England to win the tournament, although the bulk of my bets will come from the professional tipsters.
I’m now really excited to watch England take on Portugal at Wembley on Thursday, and even more intrigued to see how we’ll do in France, starting with that Group B opener with Russia. I just hope we don’t encounter any major injuries between now.
And please, please, please don’t lose to Wales – I cannot stand the thought of being mocked by my Welsh colleagues at work.
Come on England!