As a Premier League force, West Ham have been relatively formidable this season, but will that translate to international places in Euro 2016 for some of our outstanding individuals? Despite being dropped by Chris Coleman in 2013, James Collins has made a return to the Wales squad, and aft er their somewhat surprise qualification for the competition, Collins will be hoping to at least be in the final squad selection.
He was unfortunate to miss the qualifying campaign due to injury, but at 32 he should still be in with a good chance of at least travelling to France with Wales. If you were going to put money on a player to go to the Euros and do well, it would have to be Dmitri Payet. He was on top form before his injury layoff and hopefully he’ll return with the same fl are. As his home tournament it would be a dream for him to play in. However, are we set for a soap opera here? Payet was not picked for the France squad in earlier rounds of friendlies, a decision that he feels was unjustified by Didier Deschamps.
Payet last played for France in a friendly against Belgium in June and scored, despite only coming on in the 73rd minute, so there is obviously some confusion as to what has led to his removal from the team. It could be mixed feelings for ‘keeper Darren Randolph if he is selected as part of the Republic of Ireland squad for Euro 2016.
He shone in qualifying but, if Shay Given is fit, it’s hard to see him getting the chance to shine. Angelo Ogbonna has a chance of getting on the plane to France to be with Italy. He has 10 Italy caps in total, the latest being a 15 minute cameo during the side’s Euro qualifiers win over Malta, so it’s fair to say he’s still part of Antonio Conte’s plans, even if it is just for a small slice of action and to be a squad man.
The most likely man to be picked for England and albeit down to historical caps, is Andy Carroll. His chances are looking less likely as the season progresses. Injury will probably dictate his misfortune in missing out on a place. However, should he be fit in time and stay injury-free for the remainder of the season, he’ll give Hodgson a different dimension much as he has done with any club he has played at, and is certain to give his all. It also looks as though Mark Noble and Aaron Cresswell will miss the boat aft er being overlooked by the boss.