As It Stands- England, really?


Roy Hodgson’s England side are this week’s #1

# UP/DOWN The Culprit As It Stands
10 Jack Wilshere Back in training…again. And still in contention to be part of the England squad-how?! The midfielder is rarely fit and certainly won’t be at the physical levels required for the European Championship.
9 Remi Garde It’s a shame that  a man with such a reputation for attractive attacking football and youth development chose to dive into the viper’s nest that is Aston Villa. The club have been on the slide ever since the departure of Martin O’Neill and look set to be playing in the second tier next season. That being said, Garde did himself no favours during his short stint at the club, with it looking as though he’s given up before ever really getting started.
8 Ronny Deila With Rangers nearing promotion back to the Scottish top flight, Ronny Deila’s perceived underperformance at Celtic could see him leave at the end of the season. This is in spite of winning a Scottish Premiership and League Cup double last year and leading the table this season. The real gauge of his success will be the Scottish Cup semi-final against Rangers at Hampden Park in a few weeks time.
7 Benoît Assou-Ekotto The man who admitted that football is just a job has gone one step further, saying that he buys his boots on eBay- saying that he would “rather be free than prostitute myself for a sponsor“.
6 FIFA, UEFA and Gianni Infantino The man that is meant to usher in a new era of transparency for FIFA has a lot of explaining to do. Amongst the 11 million documents leaked in the Panama Papers scandal, contains some regional broadcasting contracts signed off by Mr.Infantino while he was at UEFA. The problem is that the rights were sold to two men currently wanted for extradition to the United States as part of the FBI’s investigation into corruption in football. If any evidence comes out against the new FIFA president, it could be the final nail in the coffin for the governing body.
5 Non-League Another gem plucked out of obscurity is Freddie Ladapo, signed by Crystal Palace from Margate. The 23-year-old had scored 10 goals this season before his dream move and will now have to step up a level and force his way into Alan Pardew’s matchday 18.
4 The FA Cup The spirit of the cup is alive and well. With teams like Crystal Palace, Watford and (potentially) West Ham reaching the semi-finals, the Cup can almost claim to match this year’s Premier League for entertainment.
3 US Women’s National Team Equal pay should be a given in the modern game, but the US WNT have filed a complaint against the US Soccer Federation with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission to gain parity with their male peers and have the backing of many in the Women’s Super League on these shores.
2 Johan Cruyff It seems strange to be ranking Cruyff in this table, but there is a reason he gets an upvote- sometimes you cannot truly appreciate something until it is gone. The impact that the Dutchman had around the world can be measured in the worldwide outpouring of emotion and gratitude for one of the greats of the game.
1 England A scintillating finish to the friendly against Germany and a burgeoning crop of bright young players…are you sure this is England? The usual hype surrounding major tournaments could actually be justified for the first time since the ‘golden generation’ under Sven Goran Eriksson. We however, are keeping our powder dry…it’s better to be surprised than disappointed- just ask Leicester City fans.

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