Greenwood and co could usurp England's 'Golden Generation' and deliver trophies


In 12 months time, we will have witnessed the men’s Euro 2020 final (albeit on July 11 2021) and will know if England’s years of hurt will be extended further or not.

One person who looks ever more likely to be in the squad for the tournament is Mason Greenwood of Manchester United, whose performances I have watched in awe over the past few weeks.

During my international hockey career, I saw many youngsters promoted to the senior side and you can very quickly spot those who have not just the skill set to succeed but also the temperament.

Ability can get you into the first team but it’s a player’s confidence that will keep them there. And it is confidence, not arrogance.

Phil Foden and Mason Greenwood have begun to establish themselves at club level this term

You need a confidence in yourself but also in the process of your development that will allow you to showcase your talents.

I don’t get excited about young players often but Greenwood is special.

He is two-footed, blessed with pace and has a rocket of a shot. He also has stature and a self-assured nature on the pitch.

He has the confidence to let chunks of the game pass him by, happy to play in those around him, but when his opportunity comes, he seizes it.

As a Liverpool fan, Greenwood’s ability concerns me, but as an England fan it is extremely exciting.

I grew up watching the England Men’s team dubbed ‘The Golden Generation’ – a strange tag given that they never actually won anything.

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That squad was blessed with world-class talent but when I look at a current crop of English youngsters, we may soon have a team that is even better than their predecessors.

Marcus Rashford and Jadon Sancho could be England stalwarts for years

Using players who are all 23 and under, you can construct a side that would comfortably be pushing for a Champions League spot if they played together at club level.

Using a 4-3-3 formation, you would have Dean Henderson in goal, Trent Alexander-Arnold, Joe Gomez, Fikayo Tomori and Ben Chilwell at the back, Mason Mount, Declan Rice and Phil Foden in midfield with Jadon Sancho, Mason Greenwood and Marcus Rashford up front,

Players such are Aaron Wan Bissaka, James Maddison and Bukayo Saka could be switched in as you wish.

Unlike the youth prospects that have gone before them over the past 30 years, these players are already playing regularly for their clubs and a majority of them are competing in Europe.

They are four to five years ahead of anything we have seen before.

Throw in three of England’s best current players

Raheem Sterling, 25, Harry Kane, 26, and Harry Maguire, 27, and you have a side that should top any in the world in a few years’ time.

The Euros next year may still be too soon but with talents like Greenwood coming through, we may soon have an England team with the trophies to justify a Golden Generation tag





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