Roy Hodgson’s short reign over England has already started in controversy and plagued with injury problems. But as the three lions manager prepares for his first tournament that starts on Friday, the new problem is who will he choose to lead England’s strike force?
Without main striker Wayne Rooney, who will miss the two opening games in the group stage due to being sent off in a qualifying game, there is real question of who will be Hodgson’s target man.
Hodgson’s preferred formation usually consists around a 4-4-1-1 with one main striker, so the fight to start up top is up for grabs.
After the two warm-up friendlies against Norway and Belgium we have a glimpse of who will be likely to start up front in England’s opening game against France.
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In the first friendly against Norway, Andy Carroll was given the chance to show why he should be named in the starting 11 on the 11th June. But after passing the ball through to Ashley Young to score England’s winner, Carroll failed to really leave his mark on the game.
Carroll finished the premiership season with some good form which merited his selection for the Euros, but the Liverpool striker has truly failed to score as many goals as he is capable of and has only found the back of the net once for England in a 1-1 draw against Ghana.
In the second friendly against Belgium, England seamlessly failed to show any imagination even though they grinded out their fourth 1-0 victory in five internationals.
It was Danny Welbeck’s turn to prove why he should lead from the front against the French. The 21 year-old linked well with Manchester United partner Ashley Young and were both involved to provide England with the winning goal -Welbeck producing a top-class finish at the end of the move.
Although the goal against Belgium was his first International goal, it appears Welbeck’s performance has made him a favourite to become England’s target man.
With Hodgson admitting he was ‘impressed’ by the young striker and already partnering with Wayne Rooney at United, Welbeck may be the new England boss’s man.
Looking elsewhere to England’s next choice, Jermaine Defoe also featured in the game against Belgium. After coming on in the second-half he gave a very impressive display almost coming close after he hit the bar.
Defoe has a proven track record for scoring goals, although starting most of his games on the bench for Tottenham. Defoe has scored 11 times in 25 appearances for Spurs and holds 47 England caps.
However, out of the 47 caps 30 of those are from starting as a substitute, so it appears that Defoe will feature more as a sub in the summer tournament.
As England has only just departed for Poland there is still time for the players show the England boss who should start up front, but Welbeck may have done enough already to earn his place.