England's best 11 right now?

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I don't think we've had a better squad of players to choose from for a long, long time. We might have had a better first 11 on paper in regards to names alone some years back, considering there was the likes of Rooney, Gerrard, Lampard, Ferdinand, Terry and Ashley Cole, who were all world-class for years for their clubs. But I don't think for a moment they were a better team.

I should imagine there will be a few difference in most people's 11's which will prove my point about squad depth. I've gone for -

Pickford

James
Stones
Maguire
Chilwell

Rice
Phillips
Bellingham

Foden
Sterling
Kane

Subs:

Ramsdale
White
Alexander-Arnold
Mount
Grealish
Saka
Rashford

Sterling is fortunate to get in there right now, but I can't forget his record for England over the last couple of years regardless of his City form. Choosing James over Alexander-Arnold was also really tough, as the latter has more natural talent, but I think James is just more solid overall. Not easy to leave out Kyle Walker either who is still top class and has rarely let England down. Never been a fan of Maguire but you can't say he's ever not perfectly decent in an England shirt alongside Stones.

If you want to be a bit more attacking you could drop Foden into midfield and play him centrally, and replace Phillips with either Grealish, Saka or Rashford.

Couldn't find a place currently on my bench for Walker, Shaw, Henderson, Smith-Rowe, Tomori, Gallagher or Abraham, which shows the strength of the squad. Sancho will come good too sooner or later and be right back in the mix.
 
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You HAVE to find a way to play Trent imo. He's Liverpool's creative fulcrum, Klopp has practically built that team around his ability to create chances. Best crosser in world football, brilliant set piece taker, fantastic passer of the ball. He's easily one of England's best three players.

Whether that means going 5 at the back with Walker or James at RCB to cover for Trent playing wing back, or playing the right midfield combo to cover for Trent's defensive weaknesses, you have to do it. A top manager would find a way to get him in there. He's the best right back in the world.
 
You HAVE to find a way to play Trent imo. He's Liverpool's creative fulcrum, Klopp has practically built that team around his ability to create chances. Best crosser in world football, brilliant set piece taker, fantastic passer of the ball. He's easily one of England's best three players.

Whether that means going 5 at the back with Walker or James at RCB to cover for Trent playing wing back, or playing the right midfield combo to cover for Trent's defensive weaknesses, you have to do it. A top manager would find a way to get him in there. He's the best right back in the world.

Yeah, it seems wrong not to play him. But he also seems to play far better for Liverpool than he does for England. I don't even think he played well the other night really. But he has a wand of a right foot and bagged 3 assists in the end. But James has a quality right-peg too, though not as good as Trent's. But he's certainly better defensively. I wouldn't mind who started to be honest. Both walk into just about every other International side with one or two exceptions.
 
Yeah, it seems wrong not to play him. But he also seems to play far better for Liverpool than he does for England. I don't even think he played well the other night really. But he has a wand of a right foot and bagged 3 assists in the end. But James has a quality right-peg too, though not as good as Trent's. But he's certainly better defensively. I wouldn't mind who started to be honest. Both walk into just about every other International side with one or two exceptions.

I honestly don't even think there's any exceptions. Trent for me as I said is the best right back on the planet, maybe not the most balanced but by a country mile the most dangerous. James is an incredible talent as well .. it's pretty annoying both play the same position.

Up to Southgate to work it out. If he can get James playing the Walker role for England then great, but seems a waste of him given his productivity this season. But if he can unlock Liverpool Trent then that would be huge.
 
I honestly don't even think there's any exceptions. Trent for me as I said is the best right back on the planet, maybe not the most balanced but by a country mile the most dangerous. James is an incredible talent as well .. it's pretty annoying both play the same position.

Up to Southgate to work it out. If he can get James playing the Walker role for England then great, but seems a waste of him given his productivity this season. But if he can unlock Liverpool Trent then that would be huge.

Trent has said he see's himself playing in midfield for England down the line, but that won't be easy either. Rice as the anchor player is a dead cert. Bellingham will quickly become one of the first names on the team sheet. Then there's both Phillips and Mount who Southgate loves. Suppose it's a nice problem to have though if you're him. Let's not forget Lamptey too who has tons of potential, and that's also completely dismissing Walker and Trippier who are also both perfectly adequate and capable still.
 
Trent has said he see's himself playing in midfield for England down the line, but that won't be easy either. Rice as the anchor player is a dead cert. Bellingham will become one of the first name on the team sheet. Then there's both Phillips and Mount who Southgate loves. Suppose it's a nice problem to have though if you're him. Let's not forget Lamptey too who has tons of potential, and that's also completely dismissing Walker and Trippier who are also both perfectly adequate and capable still.

Trent playing a midfield role where he's allowed to drift wide and overlap with the fullback would be ideal but tough to make it work. Guys like Mount and Phillips can step aside if we can, Trent is on another level to them as far as ability goes.

But yeah, we have an embarrassment of riches at right back, it's silly. Legitimately 3 guys you could claim are top 5 in the world in their position (Walker, TAA, James) and then as you said, a bunch of others who are great too.

I thought Walker was fantastic at the Euros too. His recovery pace was crucial to the gameplan.
 
Trent playing a midfield role where he's allowed to drift wide and overlap with the fullback would be ideal but tough to make it work. Guys like Mount and Phillips can step aside if we can, Trent is on another level to them as far as ability goes.

But yeah, we have an embarrassment of riches at right back, it's silly. Legitimately 3 guys you could claim are top 5 in the world in their position (Walker, TAA, James) and then as you said, a bunch of others who are great too.

I thought Walker was fantastic at the Euros too. His recovery pace was crucial to the gameplan.

I like him as part of a back three alongside Maguire and Stones much more than I do in a flat back four. Also means we get to play at least one of James or Alexander-Arnold.

There's just tons of options for Southgate. He must feel like a fat kid would moments after winning a Wonka Golden Ticket.
 
I like him as part of a back three alongside Maguire and Stones much more than I do in a flat back four. Also means we get to play at least one of James or Alexander-Arnold.

There's just tons of options for Southgate. He must feel like a fat kid would moments after winning a Wonka Golden Ticket.

I'd swap one of those right backs for a properly dominant ball playing centre back or a playmaking midfielder though, damn. Some decent options in those positions but still think we're lacking that one player who would win us a world cup.
 
I'd swap one of those right backs for a properly dominant ball playing centre back or a playmaking midfielder though, damn. Some decent options in those positions but still think we're lacking that one player who would win us a world cup.

It's a shame that Billy Gilmour is Scottish. He could have been that guy down the line. If we're to win one of the big tournaments Southgate has to get the team playing more to it's strengths than it currently does. He's done great to make us into a hard to beat team that concedes very few, but there's no denying it comes at a price at the other end of the pitch where we're stacked with pace, skill and technique but simply don't see enough of it.
 

Airfixx

Death to petro-murder-ball sports-washing.
You HAVE to find a way to play Trent imo. He's Liverpool's creative fulcrum, Klopp has practically built that team around his ability to create chances. Best crosser in world football, brilliant set piece taker, fantastic passer of the ball. He's easily one of England's best three players.

Whether that means going 5 at the back with Walker or James at RCB to cover for Trent playing wing back, or playing the right midfield combo to cover for Trent's defensive weaknesses, you have to do it. A top manager would find a way to get him in there. He's the best right back in the world.

Man for man, I'd prefer James if I could pick an English RB for Spurs.
 
Man for man, I'd prefer James if I could pick an English RB for Spurs.
As I said earlier, I think overall James is more solid. But I'd take Trent for us on the basis that we're desperate for creativity. He would guarantee Harry a number of goals over a season with his crossing and passing ability. James would provide too to be fair, but not to the same extent as Trent.
 

Airfixx

Death to petro-murder-ball sports-washing.
Trent playing a midfield role where he's allowed to drift wide and overlap with the fullback would be ideal but tough to make it work. Guys like Mount and Phillips can step aside if we can, Trent is on another level to them as far as ability goes.

Really don't like this idea..... If one is experimenting, I could see value in him as a winger in a 442 if playing tougher oppo, (if overloading the attack in other areas to counter-balance) but very little about him suggests to me he can cut it with a CMs remit.... I think if you stick a boss roaming DM on him he'd become a ghost (no space to run into, not someone you'd back to beat a man; cut off his passing lanes and he's nullified.)..... We saw as much when Gary tried him in at R-CM a few games ago against average oppo.

But yeah, we have an embarrassment of riches at right back, it's silly. Legitimately 3 guys you could claim are top 5 in the world in their position (Walker, TAA, James) and then as you said, a bunch of others who are great too.

I thought Walker was fantastic at the Euros too. His recovery pace was crucial to the gameplan.

Yeh, he was great. The sad thing is that the attacking impetus we ought to have gained elsewhere by being so solid with out 3CBs/2CMs was just neutralised by a poorly performing Mount and a revolving door of a cast at RWF.
 

Airfixx

Death to petro-murder-ball sports-washing.
As I said earlier, I think overall James is more solid. But I'd take Trent for us on the basis that we're desperate for creativity. He would guarantee Harry a number of goals over a season with his crossing and passing ability. James would provide too to be fair, but not to the same extent as Trent.

We'd still need to fix our MF; in which case there'd be less need to put all the emphasis on the right flank.... Never will be a fan of a lop-sided; unbalanced attack..... Too predictable.
 
Man for man, I'd prefer James if I could pick an English RB for Spurs.

James is more balanced but Trent is the better footballer. His ability to create is such that Klopp is building the side around him, their aim is always to get the ball out towards him as much as they can, Klopp's found a role that is basically making him a De Bruyne from right back.

 
Really don't like this idea..... If one is experimenting, I could see value in him as a winger in a 442 if playing tougher oppo, (if overloading the attack in other areas to counter-balance) but very little about him suggests to me he can cut it with a CMs remit.... I think if you stick a boss roaming DM on him he'd become a ghost (no space to run into, not someone you'd back to beat a man; cut off his passing lanes and he's nullified.)..... We saw as much when Gary tried him in at R-CM a few games ago against average oppo.



Yeh, he was great. The sad thing is that the attacking impetus we ought to have gained elsewhere by being so solid with out 3CBs/2CMs was just neutralised by a poorly performing Mount and a revolving door of a cast at RWF.

Yeah I'm not sold on it either, but if he could master it then go ahead .. apparently it's something he's keen on. Would have to have the right setup and players around him to make it work. He couldn't play the traditional CM role but perhaps one in which he drifts out wide more alongside two more balanced players .. Pogba had a similarish role at Juve.

I don't rate Mount, in all honesty. I think he's decent enough technically and offers a hell of a lot off the ball (hence why managers love him) but my preference is always for a more canny player in that role. I never see quite enough of him in terms of ability to beat his man or play a pass. But coaches love him as he drops in to that midfield and does hard graft.

We really do need a proper right sided player .. Foden is the obvious one as he does it for City, but it doesn't work for England as Southgate prefers the more direct type and it works more with our style. Saka another option but he's another I'm still yet to be sold on.
 

Airfixx

Death to petro-murder-ball sports-washing.
James is more balanced but Trent is the better footballer. His ability to create is such that Klopp is building the side around him, their aim is always to get the ball out towards him as much as they can, Klopp's found a role that is basically making him a De Bruyne from right back.


Horses for course's mate..... "Better footballer" will always come with the caveat that is 'position'.

As said above, I'm strongly averse to putting predominant emphasis on just one flank.

Yeah I'm not sold on it either, but if he could master it then go ahead .. apparently it's something he's keen on. Would have to have the right setup and players around him to make it work. He couldn't play the traditional CM role but perhaps one in which he drifts out wide more alongside two more balanced players .. Pogba had a similarish role at Juve.

Maybe he is keen, but to me that's moot.

The kind of evolution into such a specialist, unique roll just isn't a feasible option for an international manager IMO.

I don't rate Mount, in all honesty. I think he's decent enough technically and offers a hell of a lot off the ball (hence why managers love him) but my preference is always for a more canny player in that role. I never see quite enough of him in terms of ability to beat his man or play a pass. But coaches love him as he drops in to that midfield and does hard graft.

Yeh, graft plays a big part in his appeal, but credit where it's due, I've seen him be excellent for the Chavs at times.

We really do need a proper right sided player .. Foden is the obvious one as he does it for City, but it doesn't work for England as Southgate prefers the more direct type and it works more with our style. Saka another option but he's another I'm still yet to be sold on.

Sancho would be the obvious for me tbh..... Shame his move to United is proving a mis-step (from an England perspective anyway)... Like Grealish, rather than on the wing, I'd rather play Foden Gazza-style tbh.

Not very Gary, but with a little more growth from 1 or two of the players, I'd pick:

James(*) / Stones / McGuire / Chillwell(*)
Foden / Rice / Bellingham
Sancho / Kane / Sterling.​

(*As per earlier chat about TAA/FBs etc.; less dependence on FBs to be creative, yet still maintain the ability to be aggressive in attacking terms from those berths where the game allows)
 
Horses for course's mate..... "Better footballer" will always come with the caveat that is 'position'.

As said above, I'm strongly averse to putting predominant emphasis on just one flank.



Maybe he is keen, but to me that's moot.

The kind of evolution into such a specialist, unique roll just isn't a feasible option for an international manager IMO.



Yeh, graft plays a big part in his appeal, but credit where it's due, I've seen him be excellent for the Chavs at times.



Sancho would be the obvious for me tbh..... Shame his move to United is proving a mis-step (from an England perspective anyway)... Like Grealish, rather than on the wing, I'd rather play Foden Gazza-style tbh.

Not very Gary, but with a little more growth from 1 or two of the players, I'd pick:

James(*) / Stones / McGuire / Chillwell(*)
Foden / Rice / Bellingham
Sancho / Kane / Sterling.​

(*As per earlier chat about TAA/FBs etc.; less dependence on FBs to be creative, yet still maintain the ability to be aggressive in attacking terms from those berths where the game allows)

But when better footballer = more chance creation than anyone else in the premier league ... you'd be a fool to not realise how powerful that asset is, imo. Is it worth adjusting to cover for him defensively? I think so, personally. Liverpool are a dominant side in Europe with him, so it doesn't hurt them too much.

But yeah I agree, hard to make it work unless Klopp changed it for Liverpool.


I like the lineup but would be worried about Sterling if he continues to not be a starter for City, and also the inexperience in midfield. Looks like a good side, but not one that will win a WC IMO .. we still lack that midfield general, and a proper world class cb. It's funny that the two positions were were strongest in during the golden generation (central midfield, centre back) we now are somewhat lacking in. A Gerrard and Ferdinand in this side would make it insanely strong.
 

Airfixx

Death to petro-murder-ball sports-washing.
I like the lineup but would be worried about Sterling if he continues to not be a starter for City, and also the inexperience in midfield. Looks like a good side, but not one that will win a WC IMO .. we still lack that midfield general, and a proper world class cb. It's funny that the two positions were were strongest in during the golden generation (central midfield, centre back) we now are somewhat lacking in. A Gerrard and Ferdinand in this side would make it insanely strong.

Which is why I mention "growth".... Rice & Foden should mature a lot in the coming seasons (even if Bellingham is a few years behind them). I don't see why the former two can't become "generals" from their respective positions.

CB? ....Can't pick what we haven't got, but both were pretty damn good during the Euro's (though they did have 2 DMs as cover; whilst I'd be dropping Phillips... At least for the 80% of games where we're not playing top teams).
 
Which is why I mention "growth".... Rice & Foden should mature a lot in the coming seasons (even if Bellingham is a few years behind them). I don't see why the former two can't become "generals" from their respective positions.

CB? ....Can't pick what we haven't got, but both were pretty damn good during the Euro's (though they did have 2 DMs as cover; whilst I'd be dropping Phillips... At least for the 80% of games where we're not playing top teams).

Both already showing development this season, particularly Rice who I've been incredibly impressed with. Starting to really come in to his role/take more risks, easily been one of the best performers in the league thus far. Foden as well has been excellent. May be a little early for them in Qatar is what I really mean, we still lack that in his prime bonafide world class player with serious tournament experience imo, although some will argue for a few of our players.

They were great but yeah, lots of cover, conservative style etc. Walker was fantastic covering for them on many occasions too. One who would allow us to play with a little more risk who had recovery pace and actual ball playing ability (not Maguire's ball playing, which is a myth) would be ideal. I know Tomori is rapid and has been superb for Milan, so hope there.
 

Airfixx

Death to petro-murder-ball sports-washing.
Both already showing development this season, particularly Rice who I've been incredibly impressed with. Starting to really come in to his role/take more risks, easily been one of the best performers in the league thus far. Foden as well has been excellent. May be a little early for them in Qatar is what I really mean, we still lack that in his prime bonafide world class player with serious tournament experience imo, although some will argue for a few of our players.

Sure.... But again; can't pick what you haven't got.
 
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