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In what has been the most up and down crazy premier league season since it's inception two players who will long stand out in the memory are Harry Kane and Jamie Vardy.
One who's completed the unlikely journey back from Non-League all the way to (potentially) winning the Premier League, with a narrow relegation escape last season to boot. One who's 'one of their own', spearheading a young Spurs team that are now challenging the big boys and look set to stay. Two English strikers leading the way in the golden boot stakes, what better duo to lead England to potential success this summer in France?
The unfortunate caveat is they won’t, or at least one of them won’t.
Even before considering the elephant in the room of a certain Manchester United and England captain and all time England top scorer, there is the stone cold fact that England’s (relative) success recently has been based on either a 4-3-3 or 4-2-3-1, in neither shape is there space to fit the potentially dynamic duo. Why not play 4-4-2 then? Well aside from the fact it would see England fall straight back to old tactics of completely throwing out any preparation ahead of a major tournament, which normally doesn’t end too well, there simply aren’t enough other resources to make the shape work.
Consider Leicester, they can make the 4-4-2 work through having two exceptionally hard working midfielders in Danny Drinkwater and particularly N’Golo Kante, as well as the unique brilliance of Riyad Mahrez and a more ‘orthodox wide midfielder’ in Marc Albrighton. Two of those are English, but the other two are arguably the key pieces to the puzzle. There isn’t a player with the skillset of Kante in England (sorry Fabian Delph), and most of our potential wildcard wide men are far more used to an ‘inside forward role’. In short, England require three men in the middle to stabilise the midfield, and will get more out of other key players by giving the wide players more freedom. As painful, and almost unfair, as it is to not give Vardy and Kane both starts this is the right shape when the entire XI is considered.
So there is our view, let us know what you think on the Green Card Facebook page, and don’t forget, you can watch the culmination of the Premier League, as well as all the football this summer, live in our pubs.