Since Fabio Capello walked out on his paymasters at the FA last month, much discussion has centred on the England managerial vacancy.
Many column inches have debated whether the fans, media and players favourite Harry Redknapp will take the job, if Stuart Pearce may remain in the hot-seat for this summer’s tournament or an appointment from left field will be made.
Seamless integration of club players into the country set up is one of the hardest feats for any possible Three Lions boss to accomplish. Unless you solve the situation through the selection of players with strong club rapport.
Manchester United took charge of the title race last weekend with a home victory over West Brom, whilst City slipped up away to Swansea. The Red Devils’ success this season has been largely thanks to the efforts of their patriotic partnerships, who have combined at the back and front of the team masterfully.
Match of the Day 2 praised United’s English energy up front during their 2-0 home win, labelling the influence of Danny Welbeck, Wayne Rooney and Ashley Young in the final third as the ‘Three Amigos’.
If you consider the efforts of the impressive Phil Jones, resurgent Rio Ferdinand and consistent Michael Carrick at the other end of the pitch, you begin to wonder whether United’s ‘Super Six’ should form the spine of the team for Euro 2012.
Jones can play right-back and defensive midfield, but looks most at home in central defence. The fact that the ex-Blackburn Rovers player has been talked about as a potential England captain just shows the regard he is held in. Shoe in for Euro 2012.
Former West Ham stopper Ferdinand, who has put his recent injury problems behind him and altered the style of his game to return with a vengeance to the Red Devils’ back line shows his determination and ability even at 33. With Terry a doubt for inclusion to Poland and Ukraine, Rio’s experience will be a vital component for the national side.
Under rated but ever present Carrick has been United’s Mr Consistent in midfield this season, making more appearances in a central berth for the club than Anderson, Darren Fletcher, Tom Cleverly, Paul Scholes and Ryan Giggs. With just 22 caps and at his peak aged 30, it is time for the doubters of the classy passer to accept him into the England team this summer.
Danny Welbeck’s progress this season at Old Trafford has been remarkable, occurring no doubt thanks to his spell last year at Sunderland. With nine goals to his name and a campaign leading the line for the league leaders, Welbeck deserves to be given the chance to shine when Europe watches come June.
Ashley Young has recently returned from injury to showcase the form that became a mainstay of his performances earlier this season. Curling in a beauty against Spurs recently, almost a carbon copy from his screamer against their North London rivals Arsenal in August, Young is not just on the plane but in the team for Euro 2012.
Wayne Rooney provides an answer as well as a conundrum to the England debate. Clearly the country’s most talented footballer, with him in the side and his club team-mates around him, it is possible to expect the Merseyside-born hit man to find his best form in an England shirt.
Having said that, Rooney is banned for the first two group games of Euro 2012. Capello’s successor will know how vital he is to England’s summer hopes, and could do worse than drafting in a temporary replacement for those matches before reinstating Rooney to the line-up.
England have always struggled to produce sides that could play with each other as an effective team unit, a problem that uncomfortably came to the fore during the country’s pathetic displays at the 2010 World Cup.
However, by utilising the relationship of United’s England stars, this summer’s European Championships could prove to be a promising tournament for the national side after all.
Follow James Dickenson on Twitter @jdickenson2010