Joey Barton’s damning indictment of England’s strikers

Former Manchester City midfielder Joey Barton explains why England struggled to score against Honduras.

England were expected to register a comprehensive victory over Honduras in their final warm-up game ahead of the World Cup.

The Three Lions had played out a rather disappointing 2-2 draw with Ecuador in their last friendly international in Miami on Wednesday and were determined to put on a better show on Saturday.

However, in the end, Roy Hodgson’s side had to settle for a goalless draw and were just happy that no more players were injured.

The Honduran players looked very aggressive and made some strong challenges, but it was the 1966 World Cup winners who created the most chances. However, the Three Lions failed to take them and the man guilty was a certain Daniel Sturridge.

The Liverpool striker was in sensational form in the 2013-14 season, scoring 21 goals and providing seven assists in 29 Premier League appearances. But on Saturday, he really looked off form and none of his three shots was on target.

Sturridge was deployed up front on his own, with Wayne Rooney, Adam Lallana and Danny Welbeck playing behind him to create chances. However, a lack of a strike-partner cannot be an excuse for the 24-year-old failing to convert three very good chances.

England’s lacklustre performance in front of goal against Honduras led Queens Park Rangers midfielder Joey Barton to claim that they have no goalscoring strikers. He posted his comment on social networking site Twitter.

Is that an overstatement? With Rooney not looking in the best of form and Welbeck coming off the back of a rather disappointing season, it is Rickie Lambert (now a Liverpool player) and Sturridge who will have to bear the goalscoring burden for England. However, just because Sturridge had one bad game, it does not mean that he has gone off the boil.

Wayne Rooney Man Utd FW 17 29 2,448
Daniel Sturridge Liverpool FW 21 29 2,275
Danny Welbeck Man Utd FW 9 25 1,459
Rickie Lambert Southampton FW 13 37 2,816

While many football followers would agree with Barton’s opinion that Arsenal midfielder Jack Wilshere should start for England at the World Cup if he is fully fit, there could be some arguments that Everton’s 20-year-old starlet Ross Barkley should be used as an impact substitute in Brazil.

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