England have had some great strike partnerships in the past, like Gary Linekar and Peter Beardsley, Alan Shearer and Teddy Sheringham and finally Michael Owen and Emile Heskey. They haven’t had an established pair for a good number of years, but now they have options: Roy Hodgson needs to make a decision soon and let that pair develop over qualifying. Wayne Rooney is obviously captain, but many would suggest the side would be better off without him in the side, as Danny Welbeck and Daniel Sturridge both continue to develop at some pace, while Rickie Lambert offers something different from the bench.
Danny Welbeck has won a lot more supporters since his move from Manchester United to Arsenal, as he appears to be making an impact as a lone frontman for the Gunners. He scored an impressive hat-trick in the Champions League, while he also netted in the Premier League against Aston Villa. The main strength of Welbeck’s game is his ability to work hard, and put defenders under extreme pressure, his running will create a few goals per season, while he has also showed he can be an impressive finisher, if the chances are provided.
Wayne Rooney is obviously one of the most talented English players of all time, but in recent years he has failed to make the leap from a great player to a world class one, and it looks very unlikely he will be able to make that jump now. He has been rewarded the captaincy at club level and for his national side, so the spotlight is now on him to have a great season and it is hard to see him scoring the amount of goals he has in the past. He is still only 28 years old, with a number of years ahead of him at the top level, but his scoring rate has dwindled in recent seasons; he has three goals and two assists already this season, which suggests it could be about to pick up again, however, in a side with Falcao and Robin van Persie, he is no longer the main goal threat.
The final candidate to start for England is Daniel Sturridge, who was England’s major hope going into the World Cup after his superb 21 goal season last season. He has only found the back of the net once this season from three games. His pace and technical ability make him very difficult to defend against, while he is arguably the best finisher out of the players available to Roy Hodgson. If he returns from injury and starts to score regularly again for Liverpool, he has to be the first choice for England.
If Roy Hodgson was brave, he would go for a strike force of Daniel Sturridge and Danny Welbeck. The former could be the out and out forward who plays of the last man, trying to get in behind and taking up positions in which he can be prolific. Meanwhile, Danny Welbeck can be utilised for his hard working style and he can be the perfect foil for Sturridge. Also the two have a lot of pace, which would make them a nightmare to defend against as both have the ability to get in behind defences. Finally though, the best solution might be Hodgson trying to fit all three in, like Van Gaal is doing at Manchester United with Falcao, van Persie and Rooney with the latter playing deeper as a number ten.