Inspired by a cracking Set Pieces article we perused today, Pies got to thinking about the England B team of yore and how, in a right and just world, the concept would be reinstated immediately.
Basically, the B team was exactly that: a semi-officially recognised chance for your second stringers – your Dave Beasants, your Tony Dorigos, your Gary Pallisters, Brian Deanes, your Chris Suttons, etc – to have a bash at international football.
A mainstay during the 1980s/90s, the whole thing has been defunct since 2007, but we reckon it’s high time to give it another bash, if only to give these lads a bit of a run-out at Wembley…
Just like Kevin Nolan before him, Noble has been a model of chin-jutting consistency for West Ham for many years without quite possessing that little extra *something* to bump him up into that next echelon.
Perfectly decent player in the ‘Steady Eddie’ mould, Surman would slot in nicely once Noble is chuffing out of his backside with 65 minutes gone.
The spiritual successor to the likes of Deane and Sutton in that ‘physical handful’ role up top, Deeney has been the recipient of lots of prospective England calls for many years without ever actually receiving one from anybody whose opinion matters.
Drinksy and Nobes running that midfield together in a 2-0 win over Andorra. Try telling us that doesn’t sound like pure footballing nirvana.
One of those players that you can never quite remember who he’s playing for at the moment, Jenkinson could have been a 10-cap England B man by now if the universe had been a little kinder to him.
The Crystal Palace defender has all the hallmarks of a 90s England back-up centre-half: stout, sturdy, committed – but sadly looks just a little too much like Russell Brand to be taken seriously at international level.
Cork had brief flirtations with a couple of England squads at the tail end of last year (earning a cap with a four-minute cameo against Germany in November) but it would appear that that particular phase is emphatically over.
An important part of Leicester City’s title win, Albrighton can deliver a mean cross and effect certain Premier League games without quite possessing the quality and consistency to nudge him ahead of the entrenched England mainstays.
See also: Gray, Demarai.
Nailed on. The Newcastle midfielder often skirts around a patch of dazzling form for a month or so at a time before sliding back into anonymous mediocrity, making him the perfect foil for this England B midfield.
Continuing the 90s tactical theme, we’re thinking Big Man (Deeney) – Little Man (Ings) would be the ideal strike combo made in heaven for the Three Lions II (with Glenn Murray cruelly overlooked at all costs, naturally).
All managed to glory by Harry Redknapp, of course.
Anybody we’ve missed? Feel free to call up your own suggestions into the squad…