Steven Gerrard, Glen Johnson, Jordan Henderson, Raheem Sterling and Daniel Sturridge. All play for Liverpool. All should be in Roy Hodgson‘s starting 11 for England in their quest for 2014 World Cup glory.
When looking at some of the traditionally stronger European national teams, such as Spain, Germany and Italy, these teams are usually filled with players from a couple domestic teams in their starting lineups. Spain is usually predominantly filled with Barcelona and Real Madrid players while Germany has a large dose of Bayern Munich players and Italy will have a heavy influence of Juventus, AC Milan or Inter Milan members.
With the release of England’s World Cup team Monday, it is clear this England side should be built around Liverpool’s Premier League runner-up selections. Gerrard, the captain of both Liverpool and England, is a shoe-in for the England midfield. Likewise, so is Johnson at right-back and Sturridge up front.
Despite a lack of national team experience, Henderson and Sterling, capped a combined 10 times, should also play significant roles if England hope to advance out of a tough Group D (Uruguay, Italy, England and Costa Rica).
Finding quick, successful chemistry amongst players is key to competing at major tournaments. Liverpool was the second-highest scoring team in the league this season, netting an impressive 101 goals in 38 matches. To highlight just how effective Liverpool was offensively, Chelsea was the third-highest scoring team with 71 goals.
When it comes to chemistry and knowing where to play a pass or who’s going to make a run, these Liverpool five understand each other tremendously while in attack and with the ball.
How should the rest of the starting lineup look?
Joe Hart will be the No. 1 goalkeeper. Barring any catastrophes, he really has no competition for his jersey. Gary Cahill and Phil Jagielka appear to be Hodgson’s preferred pairing at the center of the defense with Johnson on the right and Leighton Baines on the left.
Midfield and up front get a little more interesting. Both Sturridge and Wayne Rooney are comfortable dropping deep to get the ball. Because of this, Hodgson may opt to put one, probably Rooney, in a more attacking midfielder type role to get another body into the mix if England aren’t controlling possession, which is likely against Uruguay and Italy.
Gerrard and Henderson can play in the deeper midfield roles while allowing Sterling and Jack Wilshere to play the wider positions, even though both are more than capable to play in the middle of the park.
As always, hot debate will surround the England team and the player selections. Each fan and pundit alike will have their preferences and think everyone else is an idiot for thinking otherwise and contradicting their opinion.
I am no different.