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"Players That Never Made It"

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Tue 11/02/03 at 13:41
Regular
Posts: 787
It's at a time like this, when an England squad full of new-faces is preparing to take-on its next opponents, that I am reminded of English talent from both recent-past and the present who deserved an international call-up or-two for their performances at club-level, yet for one strange reason or another they spent the entire length of their careers without having even been "capped" by England once.

To play for one of the biggest clubs around is one thing. But to play for your country, wearing those 3 Lions proudly on your shirt... that's just something else! Something that gives you a greater feeling and sense of pride than winning any European trophy ever could. It is every footballers' dream to represent his country at one point in their career, and to later lead them on single-handedly to glory as champions of the world.

Looking at the England sqaud today, you can say to yourself that it doesn't really get much better than this with the likes of David Beckham, Michael Owen, Steven Gerrard, Paul Scholes, and Sol Campbell on-show on a regular basis.
I bet that if you were the England manager, if given the chance, you wouldn't even consider trading-in even ONE of these players for a Ronaldo, Patrick Vieira, or even Thierry Henry! Alan Shearer may have retired from the international scene permanently, but this still looks to me like a team that could still achieve so-much.

Under Terry Venables, only several years ago in Euro '96 on home-soil, we looked like nobody could stop us, and that we would go-on to lift the trophy at the end of it all, and then on to even bigger and greater things. But it just didn't happen.
Our expectations were even-greater 2-years-later when the World Cup arrived in France. But yet again we were only dissapointed when the "big boys" came to town.
As a "football-mad" fan of the game for a good-10-years-or-so now, I've seen a number of promising English players come-and-go without even a glimpse of life on the international scene. And even today I still wonder how different things could have been against both Germany and Argentina - aswell as Brazil and Romania - had some of these names been envolved back then...

Steve Bruce is without-a-doubt one top-of-the-list in my book for hard-working players that never got the chance they deserved to play for their country.
As Captain, he lead Manchester United to silverware and glory on a number of occasions during the early-1990's in the early "Alex Ferguson" era at Old Trafford. Without his strength, determination, and good leadership skills as Captain across United's backline - along with the 2-or-3 late-winners he'd grab in those all-important FA Cup ties - Manchester United wouldn't have got their hands on anything more than a second-place consolation prize. Even today, I still feel that if Bruce had been in that England team instead of "buck-toothed" Gareth Soutgate that Football truly would've been "coming home" on a night where Alan Shearer leads his team to victory over the Czech. Republic...!

Gary Pallister was another of Fergie's "classic" back-four, yet he earnt himself an England call-up - twice. But the third-time never came around for old "broken back" "Pally" as he just didn't seem to fit-in with Terry Venables' first-team plans, and Glenn Hoddle barely even gave him a look-in, as he failed to blend-in with the rising-crop of Rio Ferdinand's and Sol Campbell's.
But if there was one man who was perfect for the role to play alongside Gary Pallister then it was Steve Bruce - as their many succesfull days together with United showed us, time-and-time-again. But for some reason, their proven-success together at Old Trafford wasn't enough to convince either Venables or the now-crowned "Sir" Bobby Robson. What a waste....!

You'll probably laugh harder-than-you've-ever-laughed-before when I give you this next name, but I still today believe that the former-Middlesbrough full-back Dean Gordon is one left-sided player that every-England-manager ignored and over-looked while they searched-on endlessly for the ideal man to fill-in the problemed left-sided positions. He may not have looked "extra-special" during his days at Crystal Palace, or even today at Coventry City, but during his time at Middlesbrough I really couldn't see why he was never given the chance he so clearly deserved.
Perhaps it was the defensive side of his game that let him down the most? As it certaily wasn't his attacking-side as a dangerous full-back who could bang-'em-in against Man United and co. from any sort of range! And that's what impressed me most about Dean Gordon, in his goal-scoring. Never before had I seen a left-back (well... left-"wing-back") with the confidence AND the abillity to score from Beckham-like distances in many-a Beckham-like way (from free-kicks, I mean). Hoddle was persistant in forcing Graeme LeSaux and Steve McManaman into uncomfortable positions, just to make-up the number, and clearly didn't work-out as well as he'd intended. Dean Gordon was certainly good enough for a left-back, and I even think he'd have done well on the left of midfield, or even as Hoddle's new left-wing-back. But why wasn't he chosen? Is because he was playing well for a Middlesbrough, and not a glamorous side like United, Arsenal, or Liverpool??
Sadly, now though, he seems to have passed his better-days, and is now edging even-closer to his retirement; and an England call-up now just seems like too-little too-late.

Lee Hendrie is man who's had a tough-time of it when it comes to gaining the recognition he needs for an England call-up. Ever-since he first-emerged on the scene at Villa Park, several years ago, we've all know there was going to be "something special" about this kid; just like there is in Joe Cole and Wayne Rooney today. Hendrie did at least gain ONE full-England Cap at one stage a few years back, and I have to admit that he played VERY well on that night, almost scoring a superb individual goal to go with it, too. But after that, he just seemed to dissapear from the scene, and out of all future contention. He also seemed to just vanish mysteriously from the Villa first-team, then re-appear the next week, only to suddenly be gone again for several further weeks to come! With his first-team chances limited at Aston Villa, it is hardly very likely that he'll ever get to play for England again! But I think he's worthy of another chance, and possibly even as the established first-team regular down that left-hand-side after the performance he gave us on his memorable debut that everyone else just seems to have forgotten.
If Eriksson can call-up a 17-year-old "rookie" with a physique non-too-distant from that of a gorilla, then why can't he give Lee Hendrie a shot-or-two??

I look around at the England side for the Australia game tommorow night, and I see a lot of new faces to the internation scene; some of which I have my own doubts about, like Paul Konchesky, for example. Can all of these players really have `what it takes` to become part of a future England World Cup squad??
I'm glad to see Eriksson (a man I despise...) is giving so-many youngsters and players he feels have potential, the chances they may well deserve in order to impress him for future consideration in the more-serious matches that lie-ahead. But I still can't help but feel he is only showing the Glenn Hoddle's, Terry Venables', and Bobby Robson's, England managers of the past, what they should've been doing with the names in the paragraphs above, and had a little faith in players that may've been hiding something from us all at club level; just like Wayne Bridge has done.

I can only hope that England managers of the future can learn from what "Sven" has done here, and that they do no make the same mistakes in denying the Steve Bruce's and Dean Gordon's of the future the chances of international stardom, and success against the likes of Brazil...


Now, let us watch tommorow night as we stuff the Aussie's, with many more rising-stars to emerge as prime-candidates for a place in Mr.Eriksson's next starting-XI...!
Fri 14/02/03 at 19:25
Regular
"Baros!!!"
Posts: 6,989
Congrats on the GAD Solsjkaer,

:-D
Fri 14/02/03 at 16:26
Regular
"'what goes here?'"
Posts: 711
What an embarrasment to english football! My nan and the old people at her daytime club could have done better!!
Fri 14/02/03 at 12:49
Regular
"Long time no see!"
Posts: 8,351
Cheers! And thanks for the GAD, SR! :D


After I posted this I suddenly realised that I'd missed-out a few English names that I meant to include.

Tony Cottee is a player who I think should've been in the England squad for the first-time about 10-years-ago, mainly for his knack for grabbing late-winners, and the like, in the big-games. I was watching this `FA Cup Classic` on SkySports the other day between Liverpool and Everton, from 1991. Liverpool looked like they had the game wrapped-up and done-with, but up-popped Tony Cottee again-and-again to grab the goals that "The Toffees" needed to do-'em-over!
He was also a "fans' favourite" at West Ham - twice - and scored quite a few memorable goals for them.
And even towards the very-end of his career, with Leicester City, he played a big part in not only keeping them in the Premierhip with winning-goals against the likes of Man United, but also some crucial-strikes in the League Cup - which they went on the win.

Muzzy Izzet - another ex-Fox - is another player I think should've been given the chance to impress Glenn Hoddle several years ago, before he lost-hope with England, opted for Turkey instead, where he now finds himself on the sub's bench more-often than he'd like to be there.
Only a few years ago - when he scored that blidning-volley against Spurs - he was definite "England material" to me, and I still cannot see today why he wasn't given the chance to make Paul Scholes work for all-he's-worth.

I'll probably think-up some more names I meant to include initially in a second, too... :)
Fri 14/02/03 at 12:31
Regular
"Aka Hammond"
Posts: 446
Congrats on the GAD.
Wed 12/02/03 at 19:39
Regular
"Baros!!!"
Posts: 6,989
Dean Richards is a quality player, but who would he replace?
Wed 12/02/03 at 01:57
Regular
"Sexy Mexican Worker"
Posts: 261
I agree Gareth Barry should easily be in the England team along with Holt. I also think Dean Richards of Spurs, Alan Thompson of Celtic, Matt Oakley of Southampton and Chelsea's Cudicini(maybe next year even tho he is italian) should be in the squad. As a Dagenham fan I also feel Junior McDougal should be in the squad - you may laugh or say no way but theres is always hope i mean Heskey is usually there.

players who missed out

ian woan - when he was in fine form for forest
steve bruce - easily
ryan giggs - but he choose to be welsh
Tue 11/02/03 at 18:53
Regular
"Baros!!!"
Posts: 6,989
We have incredible young talent that are breaking there way into the England team, while playing good football for their club. Erikson had a very tough choice who to pick, as there are quality young English players playing very good first team football.


I'm very surprised that Russel Hoult (WBA) wasn't called up for a England place. He had a lot of clean sheets in Division 1, helping West Brom to the Premiership. He has kept West Brom in the game for most games, diong some wonderful saves.

Gareth Barry is another one that I thought should of got a place, scoring two in his last 2 games and providing some very dangerous crosses for defenders to cope with.

Lee Hendrie used to play some very good football, and is never afraid to get stuck in. Since the horrible car crash, he seems to be fading from the limelight a little bit, and has not had many chances to prove that he is once again a England worthy.
Tue 11/02/03 at 13:41
Regular
"Long time no see!"
Posts: 8,351
It's at a time like this, when an England squad full of new-faces is preparing to take-on its next opponents, that I am reminded of English talent from both recent-past and the present who deserved an international call-up or-two for their performances at club-level, yet for one strange reason or another they spent the entire length of their careers without having even been "capped" by England once.

To play for one of the biggest clubs around is one thing. But to play for your country, wearing those 3 Lions proudly on your shirt... that's just something else! Something that gives you a greater feeling and sense of pride than winning any European trophy ever could. It is every footballers' dream to represent his country at one point in their career, and to later lead them on single-handedly to glory as champions of the world.

Looking at the England sqaud today, you can say to yourself that it doesn't really get much better than this with the likes of David Beckham, Michael Owen, Steven Gerrard, Paul Scholes, and Sol Campbell on-show on a regular basis.
I bet that if you were the England manager, if given the chance, you wouldn't even consider trading-in even ONE of these players for a Ronaldo, Patrick Vieira, or even Thierry Henry! Alan Shearer may have retired from the international scene permanently, but this still looks to me like a team that could still achieve so-much.

Under Terry Venables, only several years ago in Euro '96 on home-soil, we looked like nobody could stop us, and that we would go-on to lift the trophy at the end of it all, and then on to even bigger and greater things. But it just didn't happen.
Our expectations were even-greater 2-years-later when the World Cup arrived in France. But yet again we were only dissapointed when the "big boys" came to town.
As a "football-mad" fan of the game for a good-10-years-or-so now, I've seen a number of promising English players come-and-go without even a glimpse of life on the international scene. And even today I still wonder how different things could have been against both Germany and Argentina - aswell as Brazil and Romania - had some of these names been envolved back then...

Steve Bruce is without-a-doubt one top-of-the-list in my book for hard-working players that never got the chance they deserved to play for their country.
As Captain, he lead Manchester United to silverware and glory on a number of occasions during the early-1990's in the early "Alex Ferguson" era at Old Trafford. Without his strength, determination, and good leadership skills as Captain across United's backline - along with the 2-or-3 late-winners he'd grab in those all-important FA Cup ties - Manchester United wouldn't have got their hands on anything more than a second-place consolation prize. Even today, I still feel that if Bruce had been in that England team instead of "buck-toothed" Gareth Soutgate that Football truly would've been "coming home" on a night where Alan Shearer leads his team to victory over the Czech. Republic...!

Gary Pallister was another of Fergie's "classic" back-four, yet he earnt himself an England call-up - twice. But the third-time never came around for old "broken back" "Pally" as he just didn't seem to fit-in with Terry Venables' first-team plans, and Glenn Hoddle barely even gave him a look-in, as he failed to blend-in with the rising-crop of Rio Ferdinand's and Sol Campbell's.
But if there was one man who was perfect for the role to play alongside Gary Pallister then it was Steve Bruce - as their many succesfull days together with United showed us, time-and-time-again. But for some reason, their proven-success together at Old Trafford wasn't enough to convince either Venables or the now-crowned "Sir" Bobby Robson. What a waste....!

You'll probably laugh harder-than-you've-ever-laughed-before when I give you this next name, but I still today believe that the former-Middlesbrough full-back Dean Gordon is one left-sided player that every-England-manager ignored and over-looked while they searched-on endlessly for the ideal man to fill-in the problemed left-sided positions. He may not have looked "extra-special" during his days at Crystal Palace, or even today at Coventry City, but during his time at Middlesbrough I really couldn't see why he was never given the chance he so clearly deserved.
Perhaps it was the defensive side of his game that let him down the most? As it certaily wasn't his attacking-side as a dangerous full-back who could bang-'em-in against Man United and co. from any sort of range! And that's what impressed me most about Dean Gordon, in his goal-scoring. Never before had I seen a left-back (well... left-"wing-back") with the confidence AND the abillity to score from Beckham-like distances in many-a Beckham-like way (from free-kicks, I mean). Hoddle was persistant in forcing Graeme LeSaux and Steve McManaman into uncomfortable positions, just to make-up the number, and clearly didn't work-out as well as he'd intended. Dean Gordon was certainly good enough for a left-back, and I even think he'd have done well on the left of midfield, or even as Hoddle's new left-wing-back. But why wasn't he chosen? Is because he was playing well for a Middlesbrough, and not a glamorous side like United, Arsenal, or Liverpool??
Sadly, now though, he seems to have passed his better-days, and is now edging even-closer to his retirement; and an England call-up now just seems like too-little too-late.

Lee Hendrie is man who's had a tough-time of it when it comes to gaining the recognition he needs for an England call-up. Ever-since he first-emerged on the scene at Villa Park, several years ago, we've all know there was going to be "something special" about this kid; just like there is in Joe Cole and Wayne Rooney today. Hendrie did at least gain ONE full-England Cap at one stage a few years back, and I have to admit that he played VERY well on that night, almost scoring a superb individual goal to go with it, too. But after that, he just seemed to dissapear from the scene, and out of all future contention. He also seemed to just vanish mysteriously from the Villa first-team, then re-appear the next week, only to suddenly be gone again for several further weeks to come! With his first-team chances limited at Aston Villa, it is hardly very likely that he'll ever get to play for England again! But I think he's worthy of another chance, and possibly even as the established first-team regular down that left-hand-side after the performance he gave us on his memorable debut that everyone else just seems to have forgotten.
If Eriksson can call-up a 17-year-old "rookie" with a physique non-too-distant from that of a gorilla, then why can't he give Lee Hendrie a shot-or-two??

I look around at the England side for the Australia game tommorow night, and I see a lot of new faces to the internation scene; some of which I have my own doubts about, like Paul Konchesky, for example. Can all of these players really have `what it takes` to become part of a future England World Cup squad??
I'm glad to see Eriksson (a man I despise...) is giving so-many youngsters and players he feels have potential, the chances they may well deserve in order to impress him for future consideration in the more-serious matches that lie-ahead. But I still can't help but feel he is only showing the Glenn Hoddle's, Terry Venables', and Bobby Robson's, England managers of the past, what they should've been doing with the names in the paragraphs above, and had a little faith in players that may've been hiding something from us all at club level; just like Wayne Bridge has done.

I can only hope that England managers of the future can learn from what "Sven" has done here, and that they do no make the same mistakes in denying the Steve Bruce's and Dean Gordon's of the future the chances of international stardom, and success against the likes of Brazil...


Now, let us watch tommorow night as we stuff the Aussie's, with many more rising-stars to emerge as prime-candidates for a place in Mr.Eriksson's next starting-XI...!

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