Shearer accuses England of favouring reputation over form


Former England captain Alan Shearer has accused Roy Hodgson of picking players for Euro 2016 based on reputation.

Hodgson's final 23-man squad was announced on Tuesday, with Leicester City midfielder Danny Drinkwater and Newcastle United winger Andros Townsend being cut from the group, along with the injured Fabian Delph.

Jack Wilshere and Jordan Henderson both kept their places despite concerns over their fitness, while Daniel Sturridge was also included, even though he missed both of the recent friendly wins over Turkey and Australia.

And Shearer, who feels Drinkwater in particular can feel hard done by, believes England have failed to learn from previous tournaments when it comes to taking players despite injury worries.

"Once again I think we have gone for reputation rather than fitness and form," he wrote in his blog for Coral. "It's a big gamble from Roy to take two injury-prone players and another player who has been injured in Jordan Henderson.

"Jack Wilshere has not shown anything in the two friendlies he has played recently, while Daniel Sturridge has been injured for the last couple of weeks. Drinkwater has had a magnificent season for Leicester, would have been full of confidence after their title win, and I do not think he deserves to be left out.

"We have regretted taking players who weren't fully fit before, so I thought we would have learnt from previous mistakes."

Manchester United teenager Marcus Rashford was included in the squad after scoring on his debut against Australia last week, but Shearer does not feel his is a similar case to that of Theo Walcott, who was a shock choice for the World Cup 2006 but failed to make an appearance.

"I remember Michael Owen breaking onto the scene in 1998. Just like Owen did 18 years ago, he'll bring a great amount of energy to the camp," he added.

"Some people are comparing Rashford's inclusion to that of Theo Walcott in 2006. I think it is different as Rashford is in form going into the tournament. 

"I don't think he'll start the first game but he might be able to come on and make an impact. It just goes to show, if you're good enough, it does not matter about age."