Should Glenn Murray Be On The Plane To Russia?
Time is running out for Gareth Southgate as he looks to cement his final 23 for the World Cup and there are still a few names with a real 50/50 chance.
One of those men is Glenn Murray who has been in fantastic form for Brighton and has rightly got people talking.
The 34-year-old has scored 13 goals in all competitions this season and has the height and structure to offer something different for Southgate’s men.
He’s banged in more than Danny Welbeck, Daniel Sturridge and Marcus Rashford this season so there is certainly cause for him, but age and inexperience could be the thing to hold him back.
Murray believes age won’t be an issue, but at 20/1 and no friendlies remaining before the provisional squad is named, it looks highly unlikely.
Southgate left him out for the recent games with the Netherlands and Italy, which perhaps is very telling, but it could come back to haunt him.
It’s clear from recent games that Southgate is looking to play a certain way. They’re looking to play out from the back and play possession football. For the most part that has worked, but up against the likes of Belgium, who England face in Group G, and they may need a plan B.
Over the years that has been Andy Carroll or Peter Crouch, you can even look back to Emile Heskey. A big, strong centre forward who can act as a target man and hold the ball up. Harry Kane can do that to an extent but are we really going to be asking Jamie Vardy or Marcus Rashford to do the same?
An alternative striker could be exactly what Southgate needs and ignoring that could be a big error for the Three Lions boss.
The question is, is he good enough?
The England boss won’t be buoyed by his penalty miss against Leicester but his goals and general hold up play can’t be ignored.
It’s a fine line though and if Southgate doesn’t fancy him, it would be a waste of a spot. Especially, if Murray was to prove ineffective. It can’t be argued the game has moved on from his style of play, certainly at the highest level, and with no friendlies left to play him it’s high risk.
That’s of course unless he’s named provisionally with the chance to drop him. But Southgate appears to have set his stall out.
Southgate has been adamant that players who are in form and playing regularly are in with a chance though. Currently only Jamie Vardy is in that position for England as Kane recovers from injury.
If he can continue to play well then there will still be hope of a provisional place. We wouldn’t be putting our money on a place in the 23-man squad but as all England fans know, anything can happen between now and the end of the season.
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