Roy Hodgson Is Mad To Pick Sterling Over Swansea's Dyer

With Roy Hodgson drafting in three new players for the England squad to face Ukraine on Tuesday, a few eyebrows have been raised...
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With Roy Hodgson drafting in three new players for the England squad to face Ukraine on Tuesday, a few eyebrows have been raised...

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The introduction of Adam Lallana to the full England squad is an understandable one, he has impressed everyone since the start of the season and his inclusion is not to be considered surprising given Gary Neville’s very complimentary analysis of him during the Saints’ game again Manchester United. Even Tottenham Hotspur’s Jake Livermore escaped the cynical eyebrows of England fans and Raheem Sterling’s fast-tracking can be comprehended if not claimed to be a little too soon for the 17 year-old.

The eyebrows that were raised were rather at Hodgson’s failure to call up Swansea City’s Nathan Dyer, a player who has been vying for a call-up since the Jacks introduction to the Premier League. The Twitterati were outraged, ‘Nathan Dyer’ was trending for the majority of Monday afternoon and even the likes of Dyer’s Swansea teammate Danny Graham expressed how baffled he was by the exclusion.

Thus, to understand this bizarre omission we can only look at his recent form. After scoring a double in Swansea’s opening-day battering of QPR it would be understandable that people would be calling for Dyer to be given his first cap for the national side, yet does his form in the two games after that suggest an international player?

 The Twitterati were outraged, ‘Nathan Dyer’ was trending for the majority of Monday afternoon

This season Dyer has only completed one out of nine crosses, which is largely irrelevant as far as the current England squad is concerned; Jermaine Defoe isn’t exactly one to thrive off of that kind of service. Still, Dyer has managed to create eight chances in three games, which is the sort of form that is to be celebrated alongside his 97% pass completion against Sunderland.

Going forward, there is no doubt that Dyer has the goods, even though he doesn’t have the club pedigree of players such as Theo Walcott, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Liverpool's Sterling (who only has two Premiership games under his belt). It could be that the defensively-organised Hodgson doesn’t think that Dyer can do the tracking back job that Oxlade-Chamberlain does so well, yet Sterling’s vast lack of experience only baffles the idea of Dyer’s exclusion even further.

However, it may be his off-field antics that have let the 24-year-old down. Back in 2008, Dyer, along with Bradley Wright-Phillips, was accused of stealing money, mobiles phones and other items from staff at Bar Bluu in Southsea. The actions caused incredible uproar as to why a professional footballer would go to such incredible lengths to thieve from bar staff when earning a substantial amount every week.

Sterling’s vast lack of experience only baffles the idea of Dyer’s exclusion even further

Dyer pleaded guilty and was ordered to pay compensation and court costs to the victims and sentenced to 60 hours of community service. His behavior is likely to have been forgotten by the England hierarchy and could well have played a part in his omission from the squad. Yet, if the FA are holding this over his head, then English footballs governing body can easily be accused of double standards, having allowed Jonathan Woodgate and Lee Bowyer represent their country having been charged with causing grievous bodily harm with intent and affray in 2001.

Needless to say, regardless of the 2008 offence, Dyer still has the talent to warrant a place in the national side, with his form last season and his two appearances this year seeing Swansea remain unbeaten three games into the campaign. His performances haven’t gone unnoticed by fans up and down the Premier League, regardless of new summer signing Michu largely stealing much of the limelight following his blistering start to life in England.

Swansea fans have been calling for their dynamo to be called up for some time now, yet managers seem to have their favourites and it’s surprising that he hasn’t been picked up by a bigger club yet, let alone been given an opportunity to show his talent in an England shirt.

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