Players On The Outskirts Of Roy's Radar

Created on 25 Mar., 2014 2:22 PM GMT

As the season draws ever closer to a dramatic end, Roy Hodgson's decision to name his 23 man squad has taken a back-seat in the heat of the media of late. However, it is a decision that is looming and more and more players are finishing the season with a canter to embed themselves in their managers plans this summer; so I thought it fitting to fight a few possible outsiders corner before the squad is named.

Peter Crouch
Although it is well documented that the 6ft 7in striker does not exactly fit into Roy Hodgson's plans of playing a free flowing style of football, I believe that having a dynamic side at a world Cup is a lot more important than having a side full of talent. With an international record of 22 goals in 42 appearances between the time of 2005-2010, Peter Crouch boasts a great goals per game ratio when it comes to playing for England. I believe that the stigma held against his height and the fact that he plays for Stoke will play against him when it comes to choosing the squad, and the fact that he has not been chosen in an England squad for a long time. However, Crouch has shown over the years that his dominance in the air is not his only asset with showings of dainty footwork and acrobatics. He is also playing in a very different Stoke side that have become versatile by playing a passing game and reverting to their long ball tactics when under pressure, a system that has been very successful for Mark Hughes team this season, recently beating Aston Villa 4-1 away. Including Peter Crouch in the squad leaves Roy Hodgson an alternative when in desperate need of a change in a match and his extensive experience when it comes to International tournaments could be essential. With 10 minutes to go would you rather turn to Crouch as your saviour or the likes of Welbeck or Rodriguez?

Curtis Davies
Steve Bruce's Hull City have been somewhat of a revelation this term and at the heart of the side commanding the team has been captain Curtis Davies. The 29 year old has had somewhat of a scattered career playing for 7 clubs in 11 years at various levels throughout the football league. However, Davies has been a rock at the back for Hull City this season and could feature as back up to the starting CB's at the World Cup. If Roy Hodgson is sticking to his word that players are going to be picked on merit rather than stature, then surely Davies is a more worthy candidate than Chris Smalling who has played a limited role for United this season and hasn't impressed greatly with his performances, as goes for Phil Jones who personally has not done enough to warrant a seat on the plane to Rio.

Jon Flanagan
It wasn't too long ago that Jon Flanagan was the butt of all jokes amongst fans, seen as the flop of the Kop; this season however has seen a fantastic transformation for the young full back, who had been given a vital role to play for Liverpool this season due to the injuries picked up by Johnson and Enrique, and the young lad has more than excelled when given the chance.  Flanagan's incredible improvement is largely down to revolution Rodgers' at Liverpool which has seen a similar development in England internationals Sterling, Sturridge and Henderson, and Flanagan will look upon his team-mates success and feel as though he can achieve the same. In my opinion, although Kyle Walker boasts an abundance of pace he has been less than impressive in a shaky Spurs defence this year, and although Liverpool's defence has not left much to admire, Flanagan has been the stand-out player at the back for Liverpool displaying man of the match performances.

Adam Johnson
The Sunderland winger, 26, showed scintillating form at the turn of the year with a return of 7 goals in 7 matches, leading many to feel that the ex City player who once was seen as the shining light out of England's newcomers, however since losing his place at City and joining premier league scrappers Sunderland he has lost his place amongst the national team. Johnson's form this season should have been enough to see himself into the side ahead of Andros Townsend who after a tremendous season last year has seen his form dip after suffering a serious injury. Johnson has recently criticised manager Roy Hodgson over his non inclusion in the friendly match against Denmark and has suggested that the fact he doesn't play for a top 8 side has hampered his chances of going to Rio.

Fabian Delph
The Villa man signed from Leeds has seen his huge potential overshadowed by injury in his time at Villa Park, nevertheless this season has seen him show some fantastic performances and with Jack Wilshere's injury could see him earn a call up by Roy Hodgson.
Paul Lambert has recently expressed his belief in Delph's international potential and said 'I can only speak from my time here and in nearly two seasons that I've been here he's done fantastic for us".
"But I think that the injury situation with him has probably stopped him going as quickly as he should have.
"If England did call him in and give him a chance he wouldn't let anybody down, but that's up to the England manager to assess.
"I don't know if he's got a chance, but I always think there's one surprise.
"Whether it's Fabian or someone else, I don't know. But at the minute he's playing really well for us, which is my concern at the moment."

Jermain Defoe
When it comes to major tournaments Defoe has got to be one of the most unlucky strikers of his era, plagued by misfortune Defoe has made only 1 world cup appearance featuring and scoring in a game against Slovenia in the 2010 World Cup, his goal sealing England's advance into the knock-out stages. However throughout his career, Jermain Defoe unthinkably has always seemed to be second best at club level which has hindered his career on all levels. 
Now, raring to earn a place on Hodgson's team sheet, Jermain has found a new home in Toronto where he's hoping a bag full of goals and first team football should be enough to secure his place. However playing in the MLS could mean his World Cup chances will suffer as it is seen as a lesser league in terms of competitiveness. Nevertheless Defoe is a born goalscorer capable of playing at any level, he is not a player that suffers in terms of confidence or pressure on the big stage and for should have been included in every international tournament that he was available for.
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