With us now arriving in January it means we have entered a World Cup year, with that it also means that Gareth Southgate is in the final stages of his preparations for the tournament in Russia in Summer. As per usual when it comes to international tournaments the manager in charge will pick the 23 players he feels gives him the best chance of success. However what if he only needed half that amount? I’m not sure about you but I am noticing an increasing trend when it comes to English players with a double barreled surname.
So it got me thinking over Christmas while chatting to my younger brother, could we make a first eleven of players with a double barreled surname. By the time we finished drafting the team, we had managed to name seven and in turn build the shell of a pretty decent team. I then threw it over to twitter (you can follow me at @dantracey1983) and I am happy to announce we have this team of potential world beaters.
Now there is a bit of artistic license when it comes to positions but it is as close to a team that we are going to get, so work with me here. So without further ado here is our double barreled England team
Goalkeeper: Reice Charles-Cook
Slightly slim pickings for the No.1 shirt, Charles-Cook almost gets the honour by default
Right-Back: Kyle Walker-Peters
Spoilt for choice on the right hand side, Walker-Peters gets to play in his stronger position due to the fact that I support Tottenham and my decision is final
Left-Back: Terence Alexander-Arnold
And because of that decision, Alexander-Arnold will slot in on the left hand side of the back four. Might not be his strongest side but he will do a solid job I’m sure
Centre Back: Cameron Borthwick-Jackson
Currently plying his trade at Leeds United on loan for Manchester United, he will be using what big game experience he has picked up in his formative years to lead England to glory in Russia.
Centre Back: Troy Archibald-Henville
A somewhat surprise call him for the Exeter defender who makes the team for the simple fact that Cameron Carter-Vickers has already declared for the United States.
Right Midfield: Ainsley Maitland-Niles
Could have also played right-back but the fact he can also be utilised as a wing back sees him deployed further forward
Left Midfield: Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain
Perhaps not his strongest position but he should link up well with Alexander-Arnold on the left as the Liverpool colleagues combine forces
Centre Midfield: James Ward-Prowse
One of the first names on the team sheet. Whether he is double barreled or not he has always been on the fringes of the national team setup, now is his time to shine
Centre Midfield: Ruben Loftus-Cheek
Impressed in the international friendlies back in November of last year, the Crystal Palace loanee now gets to show what he is really capable of
Centre Forward: Dominic Calvert-Lewin
Already tasted international success at youth level, the question on everyone’s lips is whether he can make the step up in the senior ranks.
Centre Forward: Bradley Wright-Phillips (c)
Playing in Major League Soccer usually means that you are overlooked when it comes to international selection, not with this team. Not only that but Bradley will be leading from the front with the captain’s armband.
Subs: Nigel Reo-Coker, Shaun Wright-Phillips
Going to need a bit of experience throughout the tournament, not only that but we could go to a 4-5-1 and swap the Wright-Phillips brothers over depending opposition.
Manager: The obvious option was Sven Goran-Eriksson but unfortunately he wanted too much money so Gareth Southgate keeps his job this time around.
There are probably a litany of academy players with the correct naming criteria, not to mention players in the lower reaches of Non-League but I’m setting out this team to win, so there has to be some level of quality threshold. That said we could have a burgeoning youth setup, so my scouts will certainly be keeping an eye on some of the other names mentioned on twitter in the week.
Thanks to all that help me build this select group of winners. If there are anymore that you can think of please mention them in the comments below.