The end of the season, but not the end of football for 2016

May 17, 2016 15:44

The end to this unpredictable and unforgettable season has, regrettably, arrived. A season in which the perfect underdog story took place as Leicester won the coveted Premier League crown by 10 points. A season in which the mighty Chelsea fell from grace and the nail-biting competition between the bitter Manchester rivals for a valuable Champions’ League place went right down to the wire. A season which divided London as Arsenal mercilessly claimed second place to taunt fans of Spurs, but which also united the country in support of Captain Claudio and his motley crew.

It is the inevitable fate of the football fan, that, at the end of every Premier League season, we sit on our sofas staring forlornly at the television, begging for some more Ford Football Specials. But alas they are no longer there. Yes, we still have three major cup finals to look forward to, but there just isn’t the same atmosphere of a good old giant-killing or the drama of post-match press conferences.

And then we realise; it’s 2016 - the year of the hotly anticipated Euros in France. Our televisions still have some pleasure in store for us yet. We won’t have to watch cricket all summer long.

Roy Hodgson has just announced his 26-man squad for the tournament. In an overall good-looking side, I have just two problems with the famous pragmatist’s selection. The inclusion of Marcus Rashford is one which I fail to comprehend. Granted, the 18-year-old prodigy has caused a storm in the Premier League this year. However, if Hodgson’s plan is to include people based on merit this season, not based on experience, then why has he included Jack Wilshere, who has appeared in an Arsenal shirt just three times this season, accumulating no goals and no assists?

And this is going on the assumption that Rashford deserves a place. He has scored just four goals this season, from 10 appearances. Compare this to Jermain Defoe, who missed out on a place in the squad, who has put the ball in the back of the net 15 times this season from 33 matches. The veteran England striker could not have done much more to earn himself a place.

Hodgson’s selection has been inconsistent, to say the least. If England wants to succeed in major competitions, they need to find a selection process which is not simply arbitrary. This is my message to Mr Hodgson: reward success or reward experience.

The competition hasn’t even begun and there is already controversy. Whoever goes to France, let’s hope that they do better than England have done in recent, disastrous campaigns.

Joshua Korber Hoffman is a 15 year-old football fanatic and Arsenal supporter. He writes a football blog called The Young Gun, in which his love for writing and the beautiful game intersect.

May 17, 2016 15:44

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