We saw yesterday that our local lad with a Geordie fighting spirit, Steven Taylor, will lead the England Under-21 side into this summer’s European Championships in Sweden – where they have to have a decent chance of winning the whole thing!
Steven Taylor – big opportunity to impress
Stuart Pearce has named an extremely strong side for the tournament, and it seems the FA wants to win this thing – good for them!
Stuart announced a 23-man squad named on Wednesday and it included players who qualify for the final – because they were eligible (Under-21) when the tournament started two years ago – so these players are now top players.
James Milner is included and so is Theo Walcott, so the first eleven should be a top side, and it puts Steven in the shop window for Fabio Capello to take a look at.
If we know Steven at all, he’s going to be going all out – to get over his terrible disappointment of having his home-town club relegated. Two years ago he was an England star in the last finals in Holland.
And Steven, along with Habib Beye, has already announced he is going nowhere, and if Alan becomes manager that will definitely happen, even though some big clubs like Arsenal are said to be interested in him.
England fly out to Spain next week for a pre-tournament training camp before returning for a friendly match against Azerbaijan at stadium:mk in Milton Keynes on June 8th.
Pearce’s side kick off their tournament against Finland in Halmstad on June 15 and will also play Spain and Germany in Group B.
“I have every confidence in this squad, and we are really looking forward to competing with the best Under-21 teams in Europe.”
“Hopefully, doing our country proud with our performances. It should be a fantastic tournament.”
The England Squad is very very strong as follows:
Joe Hart (Manchester City), Joe Lewis (Peterborough United), Scott Loach (Watford)
Martin Cranie (Portsmouth), Kieran Gibbs (Arsenal), Michael Mancienne (Chelsea), Nedum Onuoha (Manchester City), Micah Richards (Manchester City), Andrew Taylor (Middlesbrough), Steven Taylor (Newcastle United), James Tomkins (West Ham United)
Lee Cattermole (Wigan Athletic), Andrew Driver (Hearts), Craig Gardner (Aston Villa), Adam Johnson (Middlesbrough), James Milner (Aston Villa), Fabrice Muamba (Bolton Wanderers), Mark Noble (West Ham United), Jack Rodwell (Everton)
Theo Walcott (Arsenal) Gabriel Agbonlahor (Aston Villa), Frazier Campbell (Tottenham Hotspur – on Loan), Danny Welbeck (Manchester United)
One player missing – who may be considered for the full England squad is 22 year-old center-back David Wheater of Middlesbrough, and the 22 year-old could well become a target for Newcastle, as he has the makings of a top player and is certainly no nonsense, and very good in the air, at 6’5″.
Andrew Taylor – a full back and another local lad from Middlesbrough could also interest Newcastle – as Middlebrough have an excellent youth system – a s we all know.