I don’t know about you but I’ve never really cared too much about England. They’re constant under-achievers, have been poorly managed for decades due to the FA’s low-risk manager selection processand are supported mainly by Londoners who only know one dreadful song. Like most Liverpool supporters when asked if they would prefer England to win the World Cup or Liverpool to win the Premiership you don’t need an extensive opinion-poll to know what the vast majority would answer.
However, this time around it’s a slightly different story as there happen to be six of our lads in Roy’s twenty-three man squad for this years Euro’s. I’ll be watching with a lot more interest and naturally hoping all our lads get a chance to play and do well. It’s interesting that even though Hodgson failed at Liverpool it seems he is still impressed by the quality of their English players, three of which Kenny brought in during his time as manager. I have to admit nothing gave me greater pleasure than to see Kelly called-up over Rio Ferdinand. Petty? Maybe, but most of those so called football critics fail to recognize that if England are to have any chance of developing into a team that can compete with the best then they have to start giving the younger players experience in major tournaments. Hence Kelly, Henderson and Carroll being included. Nice one Roy. A lot of England fans feel that due to Liverpool’s underachieving season there shouldn’t be six Liverpool players in the squad but we know that’s nonsense with Gerrard, Johnson, Henderson, Downing, Carroll and Kelly all worthy of their call-up.
But as a Liverpool supporter the question is will their experience in the Euros set these six up for a more successful season starting in August? We know that Gerrard and Johnson will be automatic starters and for them the Euro’s is another highlight in an already successful career but you have to think that the opportunity and experience for the younger players will certainly give them a major confidence boost plus the chance to test themselves against some the of the best players in Europe which will be beneficial given Liverpool’s involvement in next season’s Europa league. If Carroll can bang in a few goals against France, Ukraine or Sweden with Downing as the key provider of crosses then it stands to reason the experience it will be nothing but positive. A player like Henderson still has a lot to prove in a Liverpool shirt, never mind an England shirt, and the lad must be developing the thickest of skins especially after being booed by some of the so-called England fans. But if given an opportunity to gain his 4th England cap and put in a solid performance then surely it will do him no-end of good. I’m actually hoping Henderson turns out to be another Lucas who had to work hard in his first few seasons to win-over his justifiable critics and become one of Liverpool’s most influential players
It’s unlikely that the younger Liverpool players will get an opportunity to play a major part in the tournament but the net effect should be that Rodger’s will end -up with better, more confident, players returning for training in July. I’m not sure if this England squad can actually go that far but if Roy holds true to his policy of giving the younger the players an opportunity to show what they can do then I for one will applaud him for it.