Who will be on the plane to Rio this summer?
With World Cup in Brazil just over three months away, Bluemoon has teamed up with JD Sports to assess the chances of each of City’s six English players of making Roy Hodgson’s final squad.
Hart’s position seemed to be in doubt for both club and country when Manuel Pellegrini dropped the popular goalkeeper last October, following a high profile error against Chelsea. However, Pellegrini’s decision to give Hart time to refocus has been vindicated with the keeper rediscovering his best form in recent months. An absolute shoo-in, not only for the squad but for Hodgson’s starting XI.
When Richards made his England debut against Holland in 2006, as England’s youngest ever defender, it was felt that he could make the right-back spot his own for the next decade. However, a series of injuries and loss of form have seen Richards disappear into the international wilderness. He’s behind the likes of Kyle Walker and Glen Johnson in the pecking order, and is extremely unlikely to make the final 23 man squad.
Lescott has made 24 appearances for City this season, and done well when called upon. However, he is no longer a first choice for Manuel Pellegrini, and looks certain to leave this summer when his contract expires. He will have no shortage of suitors and at 31 still has a few years left in the top flight. His chances of going to Brazil, however, are slim barring a defensive injury crisis.
Many City fans were disappointed when Barry was allowed to join Everton on loan last summer, and the midfielder has won plenty of plaudits as the Toffeemen challenge for a top four finish. Barry is often castigated as being too slow by opposition fans, but his positioning and awareness are second to none. His experience could be a valuable asset in Brazil this summer, but I suspect Hodgson will opt for youth as he plans for the future.
Rodwell was touted as one of the great English hopes when he broke into Everton’s first team at the age of just 16 years. However, his career has since been blighted with injury and it came as a surprise when City spent £12m to sign the midfielder in 2012. His injury problems have continued and City and, despite showing promise when available, has only made 14 appearances in almost two seasons. As such he represents far too big a gamble for Hodgson, and won’t be on the plane to Rio.
Every squad needs a versatile, utility man and few are better than Milner. The Yorkshireman can fill a variety of roles across midfield, and is the ultimate professional. Whilst unlikely to be in Hodgson’s first choice XI, he is nailed on for a squad place and could be a valuable asset as injuries and suspensions take their toll.