The Hull man has been excluded from Roy Hodgson’s contingent for the latest Three Lions matches, despite strong early season form.
Roy Hodgson’s latest England squad has a few youthful inclusions and the Three Lions boss should be commended for giving a couple of fringe characters the chance to impress.
However, one man in my eyes is conspicuous by his absence, even if it is not a huge surprise that he has been omitted.
Curtis Davies has played a considerable role in Hull City’s excellent early season form following their promotion to the Premier League. The Tigers’ captain is their talisman, a rock at the back for Steve Bruce to build his side around and one of the most in-form players in his position in the Premier League.
The fact that someone like Chris Smalling is in the England squad and Davies is not is a travesty. If Hodgson was to pick his squad on form rather than from the club sides players step out for, the former Aston Villa defender would be given his chance.
The stats from the season so far do not lie, and show that Davies is one of the best performing English players in the league. He has won the most aerial duels of any Englishman and made the most headed clearances. His tackling stats are also impressive, while his average rating on most stats websites I could find is consistently high.
Despite stats, Hodgson should be looking for leaders in his side, especially in defence, ahead of the World Cup. With strong characters like John Terry or Rio Ferdinand no longer able to be called upon, dominant centre halves are thin on the ground in the English game.
Davies has been a commanding force in a Hull side that on paper looked like it would struggle in the top flight. The fact that Bruce’s men have conceded less goals in the Premier League this term than both Manchester United and Manchester City has a lot to do with Davies’ ever-presence.
Smalling has potential but has been out of form and is being played out of position predominantly at Old Traffor. The partnership of Gary Cahill and Phil Jagielka got England through the qualifiers and should rightly be first-choice in Hodgson’s thoughts, but someone like Davies could really give the pair solid competition.
With Smalling in the squad despite a mediocre start to the campaign and Jermain Defoe in the group despite starting only one Premier League game this season, the club that players play for clearly has a major factor in national inclusion. Would Smalling or Defoe be in the squad if they played for Hull?
Davies’ omission is a real shame, while had Tom Huddlestone been included there should also not have been any complaints.
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