Dear Mr. Hodgson,
I know what you were thinking. You assumed that once you gave Rickie Lambert a chance with the England team it might get those pesky Southampton fans off your back. I'm afraid you couldn't be more wrong.
You see, it is rare in this day and age that a club and its fans actually want to see their players join up with their respective national teams, but Saints certainly do. It's a form of recognition that everybody at the club can be proud of. Especially when it is a player from the youth system that has got the call.
Bearing that in mind it struck me as pretty embarrassing this week that the FA were revealed to have paid an interest in Manchester United player Adnan Januzaj. Have things got that bad? Should the focus in 2013 be the potential recruitment of a Belgian/Turkish/Slovenian/Albanian/Kosovan in 2018?
- Wilshere clarifies Janujaz comments
Call me crass but I would suggest that England have more immediate problems. Don't get me wrong, I like the idea that you are looking at future flair players, an area I think England lack in the current squad, but have you thought about looking a little closer to home for players of similar ilk that could play now, and as a bonus are actually English?
Saints have a player called Adam Lallana, I know what you are going to say, "I gave him a chance Chris", well you didn't really. He was a late call up in September last year and didn't even train with the squad. Actually, based on his form last season subsequent to that call up I would back your decision not to try him again, but have you seen him this season? By his lack of selection, I can only assume not.
I know recently you did finally relent and accept that Ashley Young is rubbish, but it seems you are going to persevere with pedestrian players such like Tom Cleverley and James Milner. Lallana would give you something none of these players can, something England have lacked since the likes of Paul Gascoigne played. But hey, what a workhorse that Milner is.
To prove I have England's interests at heart and am not just on a crusade for Southampton recognition, may I suggest you also cast an eye over Nathan Dyer at Swansea. I know that means crossing the border into Wales, and yes he is small, but so was Alan Ball.
It's no coincidence that both these players play for clubs that like to play pretty, neat football. The kind of football that I would have thought most English fans would like to see the national team play. A good way to achieve that would be to pick players who can play it.
I don't think I am alone in thinking that the result in Ukraine was decent, but the execution of it was not. Are England really a side that plays for a point? Can't the Three Lions at least try to entertain?
Well, anyway, sorry to have bothered you and I do hope you win the two fixtures coming up. Try and actually give Lambert some service if you play him, and be careful of Artur Boruc in the Poland goal.
Dear Mr. Hodgson,