As the England national team look ahead to securing their place in the European Championships next year Liquid Football ponders whether one man – Bolton’s on-loan striker Daniel Sturridge is ready to get his chance in Don Fabio Capello’s England squad when his side face Wales this month.
Sturridge, 21, has found a rich vein of form recently netting four goals in five appearances since his loan move to Bolton Wanderers this season. With an upcoming international billing including an important European Qualifying match against Wales and a friendly against World Cup quarter-finalists Ghana, has the English striker earnt the right to stake a claim for a place in Fabio Capello’s squad? Liquid Football investigates the pros and cons.
Pros – Why he deserves a chance.
Much needed injection of youth – England’s World Cup debacle more than highlighted the lack of youth in English football at the moment as Capello’s men were comprehensively out-ran and out-played by a much more vibrant Germany side in South Africa last year. With ageing thirty-somethings Frank Lampard, Steven Gerrard and John Terry their losing pace and agility faster than Wayne Rooney loses his hair, perhaps it’s time for our veteran’s to nobly make way for some much younger, fresher English blood.
He’d work well with Rooney – With Wayne Rooney’s tireless running and unrivalled work ethic on the pitch, the United forward needs a fast and consistent finisher to partner him up front and Daniel Sturridge could well be that man. Sturridge is fast, useful on the ball and has the seasoned finishing ability his Bolton Wanderer’s counter-part Kevin Davies would be proud of.
Perfect time to experiment with Squad – Despite the presence of the seemingly unstoppable Gareth Bale in the Welsh national side, it’s true to say Gary Speed’s men are still distinctly average and although stranger things have happened, you would expect England to walk out comfortable winners in their Euro Qualifier later this month. England’s tie against Ghana will be a perfect chance to see ‘what could have been’ last year as England were to set face them in the World Cup knock-out stages if they had topped their World Cup group as expected.
Cons – Why he’s not ready yet.
Too much competition – Should Daniel Sturridge be at the front of the queue of a long list of strikers hoping to cement a place in Fabio’s squad? With Darren Bent, Andy Carroll and Ashley Young all impressing in country colours recently should we put our faith in the more seasoned members of our squad and give Sturridge more time to develop?
Too early to judge – With never being given a sniff of action during his time at money-bags City and playing a back-up role to Didier Drogba at Chelsea, it’s too early to judge whether Sturridge’s form is merely a Carlton Cole-esque flash in the plan or if the striker has the makings of a consistent England performer. Will he continue to regularly find the net in the run-up to the end of this season? Only time will tell.