England’s Striking Options

England went into Euro 2016 with arguably the best lot of strikers they could ask for as Roy Hodgson called up Harry Kane, Jamie Vardy, Daniel Sturridge and United end-of-season hero Marcus Rashford in the squad. However, all the club stars have been unable to play scintillating football for the Three Lions, leaving team’s ability to score goals in utter shambles.

Going into the competition, Kane and Vardy looked the likeliest duo to start up-front for England, but Roy Hodgson seems to have thought otherwise as he’s rotated all four strikers with United starlet Marcus Rashford getting the least playing time. The Englishman has made just one appearance coming off the bench.

England is facing a dearth of goals, and that can be attributed to the consistent rotation in attacking third. Harry Kane and Jamie Vardy have shared 49 League goals between them in the recently concluded Premier League season, but for some reason, they’ve not been given the nod to feature as England’s first choice double act.

Most would argue that a fit Daniel Sturridge is as good as Kane or Vardy as he possesses loads of pace and immense technical ability. As shown many times in the past, he can come up with something special even in dire situations. He’s already opened up his goal-scoring account for England in the Euros, something that Harry Kane has been unable to do so far. On that note should Sturridge get the nod ahead of Kane in the knockout stage?

Kane has been unable to find his rhythm, and Hodgson’s constant rotation doesn’t seem to be helping the whole situation if anything he’s only making matters worse for the Tottenham striker.

Kane has proven himself at club level as well as on the international scene. He’s scored over 20 goals in each of his two full Premier League seasons with Spurs and career stats clearly suggest that his huge success with Tottenham is no fluke.

The problem he’s facing at the Euros is the fact that he hasn’t quite settled in with his supposed strike partner Jamie Vardy. If Kane and Vardy had been partnering up front for England way ahead of Euro 2016, they would’ve become accustomed to each other’s style of play. It’s clear to see that they aren’t a cohesive unit when they’re on the pitch together which is why Hodgson has his doubts about the duo’s ability to spearhead England’s attack.

Daniel Sturridge, on the other hand, doesn’t seem to be wavered by the prospect of sharing the spotlight with another striker as he’s done so on many occasions at club level. The prized forward has already given Hodgson much to think about regarding England’s first choice duo going into the knockout stages of the competition.

It’s fair to say that Rashford won’t get too many opportunities to impress in the knockout stage and on that note, the battle for selection is obviously between Sturridge, Kane and Vardy.

Hodgson will opt for the duo that can induce some much needed lustre into the team as the knockout stage is going to be tough especially since they could potentially take on Cristiano Ronaldo’s Portugal in the Round of 16. A potential quarter-final clash against France also awaits them if they manage to get past the Round of 16 unscathed.

Hodgson needs to get over his selection headache and ascertain his first choice players going into the next stage of the competition. England needs to have their striker issues sorted out to stand a realistic chance of progression.


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