We have just saw the first 10 matches of the new Premier League season, already there were some surprises, some controversy, and goals too. With 370 matches to go, without a doubt we'll see plenty more memorable moments throughout the season. New season also means a new beginning, whether in the form of new managers or new signings, it's a clean slate for most of those involved in Premier League and that extends to those who didn't switch clubs in the summer.
For the national team it is also a new beginning, gone are the veterans such as Steven Gerrard, Ashley Cole, and Frank Lampard. In their place several fresh face is ready to take their place in Roy Hodgson's squad for the upcoming Euro qualifiers. Now that the new Premier League season is well and truly underway, let's take a look at several English players hoping to use the new season to break into (or return) to the national team fold.
Initially, I was going to put Kieran Gibbs' name in this piece. The 24-year old enjoyed a relatively clean bill of health and had a great season with The Gunners last season. With Luke Shaw out injured at the moment, there's a spot open for Gibbs in the national team should he continue to make good progress. However, a hamstring injury suffered against Crystal Palace last weekend will sidelined him for three weeks, all but dashing his hope of getting an England call-up.
Now, let's talk about Jack Wilshere.
At 23 years of age, Wilshere is now faced with a crucial season in his career. He can no longer hide behind excuses such as being "inexperienced" or his potential. For Wilshere, its time to start living up to the hype and fulfill his potential. Last season, Wilshere managed to stay mostly healthy making 35 appearances (the most since 2010-11 season) and scoring five goals. However, he still needs to improve in several areas, mainly learning how to slow down and providing an end product to his game. His tenacity and drive is a plus but it cost him the last two months of the season when he charged into a 50-50 ball against Daniel Agger in a friendly, in the first half, in the 12th minute which also doesn't help his aspiration to start for England in the World Cup. If Arsene Wenger opted against signing a defensive midfielder, Wilshere will have the chance to start most of Arsenal's games this season providing him the chance to make an impression.
Cahill is an established England international now, but he'd do well not to rest on his laurel. It remains to be seen whether Cahill will continue to partner Phi Jagielka, both were mainstays during the World Cup qualifier but weren't exactly convincing during the World Cup. Whether it's Jagielka or someone else (or two someones if England follow the "three-in-the-back" trend), the onus will be on Cahill to shore up England's defense.
It has been quite a meteoric rise for John Stones, who was one injured player away from making the England squad for the World Cup. Last season was Stones' first full season with The Toffees, where he make an impression playing in both right back and centre back positions. With Seamus Coleman currently injured, Stones have the opportunity to start at right back, as he did against Leicester City in the PL opener last weekend. England's right back situation is in a bit of a flux, so should Stones continue to impress he could be making his first England start pretty soon.
Flanagan went from a possible loan candidate into a starter during the course of last season (he was also named as a standby for England's World Cup squad) and was a key member of Liverpool's squad as they challenged for the PL title up until the very last match of the season. His impressive display playing as a left back or right back even earned him the nickname "Red Cafu" after the legendary Brazilian right back, Cafu. The original Cafu himself has also praised Flanagan's display, being impressed with his strength and quickness. Flanagan did not took part in Liverpool's 2-1 win over Southampton, and will face an uphill battle to win a place in the starting XI as Brendan Rodgers has strengthened both full-backs position. He has proven himself once last season, so don't count him out to do so again this season.
AND THE REST...
Aston Villa - Fabian Delph
Last season, Delph finally began to live up to the hype that surrounds him when he made the move from Elland Road to Villa Park as a 20 year old. With Villa sticking to the bargain bin and free transfer, Delph's performance will be key for Villa's survival in the PL.
Burnley - Danny Ings
Ings scored 21 goals as The Clarets won a promotion to the PL. If he can continue to score goals at the top level, he should land himself into Roy Hodgson's consideration.
Crystal Palace - Martin kelly
Injury propels Kelly into England's Euro 2012 squad but a string of injuries also halted his progress since. Now healthy, he should have plenty of opportunities to display his ability.
Hull City - Tom Ince
Opted against following his dad's footsteps and resist Inter Milan's approach during the summer, Ince decided to stay in England. He has the talent but can he unleash it at the top level?
Leicester City - Danny Drinkwater
He averages the most passes in The Championship last season and has the accuracy to match it, if England need a tidy passer he could be the guy.
Newcastle United - Anyone
Ryan Taylor is injured, Michael Williamson is solid but he's also 31, Steven Taylor barely plays, Jack Colback rarely gets a look even in the youth level. So maybe Adam Armstrong (10 goals in 12 appearances with England U17s)?
Agree? Disagree? Have another name to suggest? Have your say in the comments below!