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The Welsh View on England Heading into Euro 2016

20/04/2016 16:54

Much has been made of England's incredible defeat of World Champions Germany in the Olympiastadion, Berlin. As a Welshman living in England, a historical win for the old enemy can be hard to take - particularly when you're watching the game in a pub surrounded by countless Englishmen!

Typical of a big English win, cries of we're going to win the Euros echoed around the pub, social media and in the media, but it soon came crashing down after England's loss against the Netherlands. Despite being Welsh, living in England I can't help but get dragged into discussions about Roy Hodgson's side and forming my own opinions.

Unlike many England fan, though, my own Welsh-inclined views are slightly more pessimistic than 'we're gonna win the Euros'.

England Deserve Credit

As much as it pains me to say it, England deserves credit for the win against Germany. To be 2-0 down against the best side in the World and completely flip the game on its head and secure victory is something to be proud of.

The 'new crop' given their chances against the Germans proved their worth with quick, exciting play and proved to be incisive.

Tried and Trusted

The latest round of international friendlies proved that the crop of players who beat Germany is better suited for England than the tried and trusted players that lined up against the Netherlands. Despite this, I fully expect that come the European Championships this summer; Roy Hodgson will revert to the tried and trusted. These are players he trusts and as a result will turn to on the big stage. There was nothing to lose against Germany, but come the Euros where everything is on the line, Roy will play it safe.

Following Tottenham's demolition of Stoke last night, it's obvious that Harry Kane should be leading the line with the impressive Dele Alli behind him. Will Hodgson play that? Probably not.

Criminal Selections

Like many England fans, I really could believe the selections Hodgson made for this England squad. Mark Noble has been the best English midfielder in the Premier League this season, but he is still overlooked. Yet Jack Wilshere, who's been okay at best when he's actually made it onto the field this year, walked straight into the squad. Talk about injustice.

Aaron Creswell is another who should have 100% been included in the England squad, but did not get a chance. He's the most in-form left back in the Premier League and is certainly better than the likes of Bertrand, Gibbs or Rose as competition for the left-back slot.

2016-04-19-1461058081-8979670-left_backs1.png
Stats taken from Squawka.

At centre back, do the likes of Gary Cahill, Phil Jagielka and John Stones really deserve to be in the squad in place of Scott Dann and Ryan Shawcross? I seriously doubt so.

2016-04-19-1461057962-3148927-centre_backs1.png
Stats taken from Squawka.

Bring Back Wayne Rooney

Through rose tinted glasses, England fans (and Roy Hodgson) don't seem to realise that England are a worse team when Wayne Rooney is playing. There's no doubt that the United man is a quality player, but his style of play simply holds back Hodgson's England. With the likes of Jamie Vardy, Ross Barkley and Deli Alli playing, England is a fast-moving, decisive team but with Rooney's inclusion, he stagnates the play and takes the cutting edge out of the side.

From a Welsh point of view, please Roy - bring back Wayne Rooney.

Are the Welsh scared?

Deep down, every single Welshman was hoping to draw England in the European Championships. Why? It's a chance to get one over on the old enemy, something we have craved for far too long. We got our wish and now cannot wait for the summer.

Are we scared of England? To put it simply, no. Sure the victory against Germany was a great result, but these are too far and between for the Three Lions. Under Roy Hodgson, this England side is going nowhere.

At the Euros, good old Roy will no doubt resort to a more conservative approach, with his trusted players leading the team. Bring it on. If he does opt to continue with the likes of Barkley, Alli and Vardy, this will play right into the Welsh's hands. Our solid structure is the key to our success, absorbing pressure allowing the likes of Bale, Robson-Kanu and Ramsey decisive on the counter attack.

Whilst we're on that note, we've got Gareth Bale - why should we be scared?

By Scott Salter, who runs the online football magazine www.penaltymag.com. He can be found on Twitter at @penaltymag.

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