Here’s all of this week’s essential reading for England supporters.
Seb Stafford-Bloor has written about England, and when Seb Stafford-Bloor writes about England, we read it.
This week he’s outlined the England midfield he craves, a very fine trio of Declan Rice, Harry Winks and Mason Mount. I’ve got a feeling that Jordan Henderson will take the deeper role in the immediate term to allow for Ross Barkley to be selected ahead of Winks, but we’ll see. Seb is good anyway.
Harry Kane. England captain. Already knackered? Or, muses Jonathan Liew in his excellent article for The Independent, emerging as a surprising tactical misfit at Tottenham Hotspur, pending his presumed development into a different type of forward than the one that made his name.Embed from Getty Images
If Kane’s England role creates the need for a back-up, the answer might lie at Stamford Bridge. Daniel Storey’s Optus Sport column about Tammy Abraham speaks of the confidence and exuberance of youth, and touts the Chelsea striker as evidence of the EFL Championship’s growing fertility as a goalscorer breeding ground.
Kane’s Spurs team-mate Winks has spoken about missing out on the UEFA Nations League finals in June. The midfielder was available – if not entirely match fit – but was left out of Southgate’s squad for the matches in Portugal.
Southgate’s response to criticism of his selecting Jesse Lingard in the current England squad was typically measured. Lingard, says Southgate, is involved because he’s been good for England. And he has.
Andy Hunter of The Guardian has a lovely piece on Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, who watched a World Cup game at Boxpark last summer and realised what playing for England means.
Jadon Sancho is as eloquent as he is electrifying. A number of players have been racially abused on Twitter recently (and always) and Sancho has spoken of the risk that racism could kill players’ love of the sport.Embed from Getty Images
And, last but not least, a blue plaque has been installed at the childhood home of England centurion Billy Wright. The legendary Wolverhampton Wanderers player captained England 90 times.