Euro 2012: Why England should drop Young for Arsenal’s Walcott
Sharethematch.com looks at Ashley Young's performances at Euro 2012 so far, and why Theo Walcott should replace him
Drop Milner? It should be Young on the bench
There are a growing number of England supporters groaning about the continued inclusion of James Milner at Euro 2012, but the Manchester City man is not the problem.
Milner has started all three games but has failed to score, missed an open goal against France and has not even managed to put in a good cross – it is little wonder he has struggled to win over the England fans.
And despite playing his part in a team that won a tough group against most people’s expectations, there have been calls for Theo Walcott to start ahead of Milner.
But while Walcott has been much more effective in nowhere near the same amount of game time after scoring the equaliser and setting up the winner against Sweden in a devastating cameo from the bench, he should not replace Milner.
What Milner lacks in attack, and he lacks a lot, he does make up for in defensive duties – he offers Glen Johnson the kind of protection that Walcott never could, and for that reason alone it is worth keeping him.
Still, Walcott should be brought into the side but not at the expense of Milner – it is Ashley Young who needs to make room.
While Milner, who has been capped 30 times for his country, has been getting all the flack, Young’s dross displays have gone under the radar.
The Manchester United winger has been just as bad if not worse than Milner during this tournament.
He has been put into the team to be England’s main threat but so far all he has managed to do is get tackled a lot, fail with crosses and struggle to manage any shots on target – it would be no surprise if Walcott started instead of Young against Italy on Sunday.
Diamanti could haunt England on Sunday
Euro 2012, just as any other major tournament seems to be, is awash with players flourishing on the big stage having flopped in the Premier League – but there is one who could really haunt England on Sunday.
Helder Postiga was utterly useless at White Hart Lane, scoring just one league goal in his season in England while Yuri Zhirkov wasn’t much better at Stamford Bridge but just as he did at Euro 2008, he was excellent in bombing forward for Russia.
A handful of Greek players including Kostas Chalkias and Theofanis Gekas came to England after Euro 2004 but they were quite frankly awful while players like Andrey Arshavin and Fernando Torres have also broken the shackles that last season’s Premier League put on them.
But the one who could really hurt England is Alessandro Diamanti who made 28 appearances for West Ham United between 2009 and 2010.
Diamanti was a superb addition to the Hammers’ squad and in the 2009/2010, and he finished second behind Scott Parker in the club’s Player of the Season awards.
It is unsurprising to see him crop up in the Italian squad. He has skill in abundance, great technique and superb dead ball accuracy and it could well be him, and not Mario Balotelli, who punishes England.