NOV
09
2012
Osman And England What Might Have Been
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Leon Osman has been called up to the England Squad to face Sweden in a friendly next Wednesday.

For many, the 31-year old Everton academy graduate has been long deserving of an international cap, although few would have put money on it.

The question is, why now?

Osman has been a model of consistency for Everton since his senior debut in 2000 and is widely regarded as one of the most underrated midfielders in the Premier League.

Having said that, he will be 33 by the time the World Cup in Rio comes around and well past his prime so his call up for a friendly to open Sweden's new national stadium stinks of pure sentiment.

England boss, Roy Hodgson has claimed that he has been a fan of the Everton star since his days at Fulham. Why then has it taken him until now to hand him his first cap?

It would be easy to take Hodgson's comments with a pinch of salt and assume that Osman has hit a bit of form at the right time and caught the attention of the former West Brom chief.

In reality, he has been playing the best football of his career for the past two years and has transformed himself from a bit-part player at Goodison Park to an influential figure.

Why then didn't the Three Lions boss use him at the Euros then?

It didn't take a football genius to realise that England struggled to keep hold of the ball in Poland and Ukraine and were fortunate to make it out of their group.

That is not to suggest that Osman should have walked into that England squad and automatically lined up alongside Gerrard in central midfield.

However, if Hodgson has rated the Toffee man for the past five years, surely he should have noticed that the Huyton-raised blue could have been of use during the European campaign.

Spain romped to a 4-0 victory over Italy in the final with a team full of players of similar stature to Osman. In fact their midfield partnership of Andres Iniesta and Xavi have a combined height of one Peter Crouch, and are regarded as the best midfield pairing in football.

England had faced Italy in the knockout stages and were lucky to hold out for a 0-0 draw and force penalties in which the inevitable happened.

After chasing the ball around after Andrea Pirlo for 90 minutes, it would have been ideal to introduce an experienced midfielder who can keep hold of the ball and does not panic under pressure.

Instead Hodgson brought on Jordan Henderson. The Liverpool youngster has his whole career ahead of him and may well turn out to be a fine player for club and country.

However, as things stand, even the most avid Liverpool fan would surely agree that the former Sunderland man is all endeavour and little end product.

Henderson is just the latest addition to a long list of midfielder's who have been called into the England squad at Osman's expense.

The Goodison crowd favourite will enjoy his first taste of international football and rightly so, over a decade of consistent performances have earned him the right to represent his country.

Unfortunately time is a luxury that has not been afforded to Osman in his bid to establish himself in the Three Lions squad and he is likely to look back on previous snubs wondering what might have been.  The Gwladys Street Preacher.

Follow on Twitter @GaryMaidenEFC

Email Bluekipper at enquiries@bluekipper.com

Comments about Osman And England What Might Have Been
 
6
He was with Everton youth in the team that won the fa youth cup in 1998. He went on loan to Carlisle and then to Derby County. He returned to Everton near the end of 2003-4 season and made his 1st team debut against Wolves and scored within 3 minutes...Great little player very talented if not a bit lightweight.. He has scored some cracking goals for Everton, for me notably the one against Macclesfield in the 3rd round FACup ...
Doug , Tenerife, 7:02 PM 9/11/2012
 
5
Ossie is from Skem not Huyton.
Skem, Skemmer, 4:51 PM 9/11/2012
 
4
I'd have in the squad for RIO definatley. If your looking for someone to create something he's your man.
Lee, Rainhill, 3:16 PM 9/11/2012
 
3
Senior Debut in 2000? You sure? Might wanna check your facts on that one. That point aside, Osman has been a great servant to Everton and produced some good football and important goals at times. He fully deserves his call up in my opinion but I think the reason it hasn't came any sooner is simply because England have been blessed in that position. He has been competing with Gerrard and Lampard, two of the finest midfielders in Europe, the whole time, and more recently the likes of Parker. Hopefully he will play against Sweden on merit and not sentiment, if he has a good enough game then hopefully he will be invited back for a game of more significanc. I cant see him jetting off to Rio but if he can get a few caps under his bet in qualifiers and friendlies before then he at least has the chance to state a case. Good luck Ossie and I hope you take your chance with both hands and make the most of it when you get it.
Bored, Work, 2:46 PM 9/11/2012
 
2
Ozzie can get in the team if that bald headed big eared no mark pile of shite from analfield can.
Macca, Huyton, 11:30 AM 9/11/2012
 
1
The meek shall inherit the earth!
Mice Take The Elevator, Ross-on-Wye, 9:07 AM 9/11/2012
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