Seeing Richard Stearman turn out for the England U21s in the European Championships got me thinking about next years World Cup. I couldn’t help but wonder if any Wolves players have even the slightest chance of making the 22 man England squad?
I’ve looked at our current playing-staff and as I see it there are probably only two players who could realistically force their way in and that’s Kites and SEB. But to make it a bit more fun, I’ve thrown Stearman into the mix and a couple of rank-outsiders, Matt Jarvis and Karl Henry.
To my mind, SEB has the strongest chance of any Wolves player of getting into England’s World Cup squad. I think he’ll have to produce a very strong season and get somewhere around the 20 goal mark to stand a chance, but why not? I think he’s a natural finisher and given the right service, would have no problems finding the back of the net at the very highest level. And let’s face it, England don’t have a glut of top-class strikers at the moment so it’s an open race until somebody steps up. Could it be SEB?
Verdict: Good chance
We all know what Kites brings to the table; energy, pace, relentless dribbling and great creativity. Wolves certainly need a big season from him if we’re to have any chance of staying up, but if he does produce, can he make it to South Africa? My only concern would be that England already have a wealth of players in his position and I think he’ll find it incredibly difficult to dislodge the likes of Beckham, Walcott and Wright-Phillips.
Verdict: Very outside chance
He’s in the U21 squad, so that immediately stands him in good stead, but he’s not in the team as a regular and he’s not playing in his preferred position of centre-half. That means he’s not only got at least two centre backs from the U21s ahead of him, but all those involved with the full-squad. Added to that, he isn’t even a certain starter for Wolves come the start of the season, far from it. With all this to overcome, I don’t like his chances. I rate him very highly though, so just hope he can do the business for us.
Verdict: No chance
Has never even been mentioned as a possible international of the future, which surprises me somewhat. He’s got everything you need from a wide man; electric pace, two good feet and offers a genuine goal-threat. If he starts the season and plays to his full potential, it won’t be too long until he gets identified as a very useful player. In terms of England, the fact he plays on the left, which is a notoriously weak position, certainly counts in his favour. I’d imagine Joe Cole will make this position his own but whose to say a good season from Matty won’t put him in with a chance. You never know who might get injured in the build-up to the tournament, which could just open the door.
Verdict: Sneaky outsider
I’ll probably get stoned for even suggesting this, but I thought five players was a nice number to evaluate. Wolves’ captain still has to convince many of his own fans, let alone the nation. There’s no doubting he’s done an important job for Wolves over the last couple of years, breaking up play and feeding the more creative players. I don’t think he gets the recognition he deserves and alongside a quality partner in midfield, I think he could be the real-deal. This season will be massive for him and I fully expect him to start the majority of the games. Unfortunately though, I don’t think he’s got even the slightest chance of dislodging some of the powerhouses from the England midfield setup.
Verdict: No chance