Qatar, providing the tournament is not relocated due to continued mass protest or scheduling reasons, will host arguably the most controversial and historic FIFA World Cup tournament in the history of the competition.
The tournament, rather than scheduled to take place during the summer months or June and July like previously, is scheduled to take place between November and December over a 28 day period. The tournament is set to start on November 21st and conclude on Qatar National Day, December 18th.
This change in schedule will have a huge impact on domestic league fixture schedules across Europe Elite leagues, particularly for English Players and Premier League players, who would find themselves replacing domestic football in the cold climate over a busy festive period for a long international break playing in a very humid climate.
Here is my predicted England XI with 11 more players labelled underneath to show alternate options. I have decided, based on my years of watching England and the players I have selected, to implement a 4-3-3 formations because of the pacey attacking players particularly in the wings and full back positions that are available. It’s important for England to play to their strengths against opposition, which I believe is counter attacking the opposition rather than attempting to play possession based football. The players selected are based on quality of the player, experience, potential and being fully fit.
- Jack Butland (Age by 2022: 29) A solid goalkeeper who could become England’s no 1 as early as Russia 2018
- Jordan Pickford (Age by 2022: 28) A standout player along with Jermaine Defoe in what is a very poor Sunderland side
- Luke Shaw (Age by 2022: 27) Has the potential to be one of the best full backs in the world providing he can stay injury-free
- John Stones (Age by 2022: 28) Will need to start finding consistency and cut down on defensive mistakes to justify starting place
- Michael Keane (Age by 2022: 29) Able to prove himself as a quality centre half with great pace and jumping ability
- Dominic Iorfa (Age by 2022: 27) An athletic, tall, strong, pacy full back who will run the channel and break up play
- Danny Rose (Age by 2022: 32) A player that has come on leaps and bounds since his iconic step onto the scene, will provide great backup and experience
- Chris Smalling (Age by 2022: 33) A tall, intelligent centre half who could push for a place to start providing he can still match opposition for pace.
- Rob Holding (Age by 2022: 27) A cool-headed, versatile centre back with great interception and blocking attributes
- Nathaniel Clyne (Age by 2022: 31) A determined, hard-working full back with great crossing ability
- Tom Davies (Age by 2022: 24) Super promising central midfielder who can play through balls passes and make key passes
- James Ward-Prowse (Age by 2022: 28) A set piece specialist who can also score from long range
- Dele Alli (Age by 2022: 26) A tall, skillful and goalscoring attacking midfielder who can score any type of goal
- Will Hughes (Age by 2022: 27) An aggressive, ball winning midfielder who can set up and assist teammates
- Eric Dier (Age by 2022: 28) Versatile, strong midfielder who can also cover as a centre back and is great at blocking the ball
- Ross Barkley (Age by 2022: 29) A selfish player who can dribble and score from long range efforts but needs to live up to potential
- Raheem Sterling (Age by 2022: 28) A pacey, direct, tricky little winger who will look to continue to get better and better and justify his price tag
- Marcus Rashford (Age by 2022: 25) Bursted onto the scene in sensational style with his direct style, pace and finishing ability
- Patrick Roberts (Age by 2022: 25) A bright talent who can cut inside and will look to improve under Pep over these next few years
- Demarai Gray (Age by 2022: 26) Hard-working, pacy winger who can ease past defenders but also tracks back well to help defense
- Harry Kane (Age by 2022: 29) A super clinical finisher from close and long range and a great option to have if a goal is needed
- Jesse Lingard (Age by 2022: 30) If outcasted by Manchester United, he could potentially excel at another Premier League club and earn a spot
TOTAL SQUAD AGE: 616 years old
AVERAGE SQUAD AGE: 28 years old
Thoughts on squad:
If this was the squad to be selected, it would be a much more mature squad than usual for England, with a lot of players entering or at their peak in terms of growth and performance. There are lots of experience players in the side would can use this experience as well as pass it on to some of the younger members of the squad. Even so, the youngest member, Tom Davies, is 24 years old, which shows that the whole squad has multiple years of experience at the top level domestically and internationally. This squad will need to develop leadership skills however as this is something that has been lacking in England squads since the Early 2000’s. There also needs to be a completed spine in the team, from goalkeeper to striker. For me, Butland, Stones, Alli and Rashford would be the strongest spine to create. Finally, there needs to be a clear plan B and a plan C prepared, because one system isn’t always going to work against every opponent, which was very evident in England’s Euro 2016 campaign.
And Finally, Prediction for England Manager for 2022 World Cup:
If Eddie Howe doesn’t take over Arsenal or another top club in the next 5 years, I would say that he would be my favourite and a fans favourite for the job. It is difficult for him so early on into his managerial career to make the switch from domestic to international football but his knowledge of English players and his style of play will certainly make him the strongest English candidate. You also have to consider current Burnley manager Sean Dyche who is starting to turn heads and change his reputation in terms of his style of play and team identity. He isn’t as likely to get a job with one of the big boys and he definitely will get the players working very hard on and off the pitch. An overseas manager that could maybe take over England is Mauricio Pochettino due to his fresh ideas and willingness to give new players a chance. Bringing in such a high-profile manager which fresh and new ideas could also take off a lot pressure being put on The FA by fans and pundits alike regarding lack of ambition and reform. There is also David Wagner, current Huddersfield Town manager and the understudy of Jurgen Klopp, who is building a strong reputation as one of the best up and coming managers since working in England. If he was to get Huddersfield Town into the Premier League or succeed at another Premier League club, he could certainly be a good candidate with the passion and determination he has.