Why the England team must be picked on merit – not reputation.

It is no real surprise to me as to why the England football team continue to disappoint at tournaments.  For as long as I can remember the team has been picked purely on reputation, those who actually deserve a chance to shine on the international stage don’t get one. If you look at the England teams of the past, you will find that most of the players involved will be from the the top four or five clubs in the Premier League.

Players who have not necessarily played well get called up to the England squad, this is because they play for one of the bigger teams.  This must come to an end if England are to be successful in a tournament in the near future.  If you look further down the Premier League and step down into the Championship, you will find an abundance of talent.  Newcastle United manager Rafa Benitez, said late last year that England should be looking at the players in England’s second tier.  Will Hughes, Jonjo Shelvey and the Championship’s leading marksman Dwight Gayle are only a few that should be looked at.
The return to form and fitness of Andy Carroll at West Ham should also have England manager Gareth Southgate taking notice.  The problem the England team has had for a number of years now is the distinct lack of effort and passion.  Euro 2016 was a huge opportunity to win a tournament for England, but they got turned over by little Iceland.  Players who are injury prone tend to still be selected by England, both Daniel Sturridge and Jack Wilshere were in England squad for last summers tournament.  Both players featured sparingly in the league last season but still ended up on the plane to France.
There comes a time when a team needs a good overhaul and a new strategy.  That time came a long, long time ago for England.  It is time England had a team that does the country proud again. That will not happen if the England team is continuously picked on reputation or who you play for.  Previous England managers stretching back to Sven-Goran Eriksson, are rarely seen at matches that do not involve one of the bigger teams in the Premier League.  The England team needs a manager who is not afraid to change things, unfortunately I do not see Gareth Southgate being that man.