For the first time in several years, the England squad, on paper, has potential for lots of goals.
Having traveled to Ukraine last month with just Rickie Lambert and Jermain Defoe as the two strikers, the now fit and ready options for Roy Hodgson give England lots of hope going forward. However, the big hurdle of course is Poland at Wembley on Tuesday night; where England must win to qualify for the 2014 World Cup automatically.
With Daniel Sturridge and Wayne Rooney as the central pair on Friday night, England managed to find four goals to keep their Brazil 2014 dreams alive. Things did look a little out of sync at times, but it was very positive personally. Having only played together for 30 minutes before Friday’s win, the combination of Sturridge and Rooney was always going to be a little out of touch.
Despite that, it was slick, creative and fast. On many occasions in recent years, England have looked slow and predictable. But against Montenegro, even when things weren’t great, England looked like they could score going forward.
Tuesday night against Poland will give a better idea of just how good that combination is. Of course, it may be secondary if they fail to win. Sturridge is an in-form striker in the Premier League right now, and to have him and Rooney looking like a force is something really positive. We hear so much about how England don’t have quality young player coming through the ranks, but with Danny Welbeck also in that lineup, it is a threat that can cause a lot of teams trouble.
Behind these forwards is a midfield that has various options: the two who started on Friday were the experienced Steven Gerrard and Frank Lampard. They are known for their eye for goal. Add Leighton Baines‘ dead-ball ability, England’s threat from set pieces and the new boy Andros Townsend into the mix, and that is a team full of goals.
None of them may be world-beaters, but for the first time in a while, it is an England team who are seriously dangerous. I may be wrong, but as I said, this is an encouraging England team on paper.