England Hopefuls: Newcastle United

Matthew Lewis

Will there be any Englishman representing Newcastle this summer at the World Cup? We look at their chances in this latest installment of England Hopefuls.

Newcastle at this stage this season is a typical mid-table side with no real danger of relegation, yet at the same time slim chance of earning a spot in Europe for next season. However with the World Cup just around the corner, many players will be eager to stake their claim for a spot in their respective national team. The same case apply to Newcastle's Englishmen. We dissect each one of Alan Pardew's fellow English compatriot:

Mike Williamson

The central-defender has been a key figure in Newcastle's defense this season, making 24 appearances in the league. His defensive performance score (according to Squawka.com) ranked him as the 7th best English centre-back, behind some England regulars such as Phil Jagielka, Garry Cahill, and John Terry, and also fringe players such as Michael Dawson, Steven Caulker, or Curtis Davies. He is also ranked in the top 20 in both statistical categories of blocked shots (18th) and clearance (14th). Clearly he's Newcastle best defender.

On the plane or on the beach? Despite his status (stats-wise) as Newcastle's best defender, the senior national team is pretty much set in terms of centre-backs with the likes of Cahill, Jagielka, Jones, Smalling, and (possibly) Caulker. It would be a long shot that Mike Williamson would be called-up to the squad in the foreseeable future.

Dan Gosling

Dan was in the news a couple of weeks ago, though for all the wrong reason, in which he admitted to misconduct related to betting in football games. He's only appeared in three games with Newcastle this season, as a substitute in those games, all in 2014. The central midfielder spent some time this season on loan with Blackpool in The Championship, where he made 14 appearances and scored 2 goals.

On the plane or on the beach? Without a doubt in the beach. He has appeared for England in all age levels up to the U21s but will need regular playing time if he is to stand a chance of competing for a spot in the senior side.

Ryan Taylor

The full-back who can also operate as a winger have missed almost two seasons of football due to ligament injuries. The free-kick specialist is looking to make a return for the upcoming season. At the moment, he's been involved with Newcastle's reserve side.

On the plane or on the beach? The beach, Ryan is probably more concerned with getting healthy and playing football again. Hopefully he can recover from his current injury and play again next season.

Gael Bigirimana

The 20-year old midfielder has not play a single Premier League game this season. His got quite a bit of a background, having escaped Burundi as a child and joined Coventry City's academy at 10. The latest news on him, is that he's been injured and are on his way back, turning out for a reserve match.

On the plane or on the beach? The beach. Bigirimana has represented England in FIFA U20 World Cup in Turkey last year, making 2 appearances. However, he has stated in the past that he is keen to play for Rwanda.

Steven Taylor

It was surprising that Steven Taylor have just played 7 Premier League games this season. However, the form of Fabricio Coloccini and Mike Williamson, means that Taylor is stuck watching from the bench, which isn't helped by his injury problem as well. In 7 league appearances, he's been sent-off once (in the opening week against Manchester City). It was rumored that he may move to another club in the summer, having failed to earn a move last January.

On the plane or on the beach? Taylor is actually the only Englishmen in Newcastle's squad to have been called-up by the senior side. However, he did not come off the bench in both occasions, and will more than likely spend the summer cheering on England in front of the TV.

Sammy Ameobi

Shola's younger brother, has also made limited appearances for the Magpies this season, appearing only in 9 Premier League games. He has not scored a goal nor contribute an assist to his name either, but have been booked once. On the field, he mostly played as a left midfielder.

On the plane or on the beach? On the beach. Like Shola, Sammy is also eligible to represent Nigeria, and he have played for their U20s squad. However, he have also turned out for England U21s. Perhaps we'll see the Ameobi bros playing for Nigeria in this summer World Cup?

Adam Armstrong

The striker who just turned 17 last month, made his Premier League debut over the weekend in a 4 minute cameo against Fulham. The stand-in manager, John Carver believes that the young forward will be a mainstay of Newcastle's first team in the foreseeable future.

On the plane or on the beach? The beach, but his 6 goals in 7 appearances for the U17s means that he's definitely one to watch for the future.

Adam Campbell

The young winger is currently on a loan spell with Scottish side St. Mirren, where he has made 9 appearances and scored two goals. Previously he spend a month on loan with Carlisle United, making only a single appearance.

On the plane or on the beach? The beach, still need plenty of regular football for his development.

James Tavernier

The 22-year old centre back is currently on loan with Rotherham United, his 6th loan spell away from St. James' Park. He's made 17 appearances for Rotherham chipping in with 3 goals.

On the plane or on the beach? Similar to his fellow Newcastle teammate, he'll be nowhere near the squad.

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