Emile Heskey Picks His Ideal England Starting XI
Speaking exclusively to BoyleSports, former England striker Emile Heskey has revealed his ideal England Starting XI ahead of qualifying action.
Heskey, who now serves as Head of Football Development of Leicester City Women, has highlighted the potential of young talents who can bring a new dimension to the team and also expresses optimism about England’s chances at Euro 2024.
Additionally, the former England striker gives us his England v Italy prediction ahead of their upcoming Euro 2024 Qualifier clash and reflects on the differences between England’s ‘Golden Generation’ that he was a part of and the new generation.
Heskey Picks His England Starting XI
Choosing my ideal England XI is tough as there are so many great players.
I love Kyle Walker, for example. Trippier is great too, and I can’t ignore his set-piece delivery.
Jude Bellingham has got to be in, and I love Phil Foden, too.
If everyone was fit, my England XI would be: Pickford, Walker, Guehi, Stones, Chilwell, Rice, Bellingham, Foden, Saka, Grealish, and Kane. I think Jack Grealish is fantastic on the left.
A midfield of Declan Rice, Jude Bellingham, and Phil Foden would be brilliant.
There won’t be many teams who could stop it. It’s so dynamic.
Kalvin Phillips hasn’t played enough for my liking. I love him as a player and he’s a fantastic back-up, but he just hasn’t had the minutes.
Emile Heskey’s England v Italy Prediction
Italy will be tough. They always are! They’re a team who want to defend and they certainly know how to do that. We all know that teams will turn up against England and they’ll be looking to beat them badly.
There was a lot of banter going around after the Euros final, with them mocking the Three Lions song! I’d go for a 1-1 or a 2-2.
Heskey’s Prediction: Draw & BTTS
Jacob Ramsey & Ollie Watkins Deserve England Call-Up
Jacon Ramsey will be in the England squad in the next twelve months. I watched him in the U21s, and it looked a little bit easy for him.
Ramsey glides with the ball and Steven Gerrard used to wax lyrical over him. He’s brilliant for Villa, and he’s a local lad.
Ollie Watkins is fantastic, too. Kane is a much more complete player, but Ollie can give you runs behind defences.
Once he starts doing that, then the likes of Bellingham and Foden would be able to strut their stuff. Defenders hate dealing with strikers like Watkins.
England Can Win Euro 2024
We’ve seen England get to a semi-final, and then a final, and I think this next step is all about winning.
People called the side I played in the Golden Generation, but I think that tag is better suited to this one.
England has a very good chance of glory at the Euros.
Current England Side Better Than ‘Golden Generation’?
I wouldn’t say the current England side is better, but they’re certainly more together. I’m not saying we weren’t together, but we didn’t really speak to each other outside. We had different facilities, though, as we didn’t have social media.
Roy Keane mentioned that he’d never hug a player in the tunnel! I’d agree.
I’m not saying I hated the opposition, but I certainly wouldn’t speak to them before a game.
Did Attitudes Hold England’s Golden Generation Back?
I don’t think our attitudes to each other held us back. People called us the Golden Generation, but there were so many other strong sides around us.
The France team of my era consisted of Viera, Zidane, Gallas, Anelka, Henry, Petit, and so many more!
We were a good side, but there were so many others competing with us.
Let’s hope this generation repeats the famous 5-1 win over Germany from 2001!
Let’s hope for a repeat of that performance!
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