England were set to host Holland in an eye-catching friendly today before the game was postponed due to the rioting in the capital. Fabio Capello will have been hoping to reunite his squad following a break from internationals but saw stars such as Jack Wilshere, Darren Bent and Frank Lampard withdraw early on through injury. The decision to postpone the game is one that will have been welcomed by the majority of Premier League managers so close to the upcoming campaign.
WhoScored.com Dream Team XI
Despite the postponement of Wednesday's friendly, WhoScored.com analyses last season’s stats from each of Europe’s top five leagues to gather the top-rated English players in WhoScored.com’s ratings. With this in mind, we present the best starting XI available to Capello in a diamond 4-4-2 set-up.
Goalkeeper - Joe Hart
It is no surprise to see Manchester City stopper Joe Hart occupies the number 1 spot, and consistent displays for club and country should see the 24-year-old keep the jersey for many years to come. Hart played in every single league game for City last term, picking up a WhoScored average rating of 6.88 ahead of the likes of Ben Foster (6.78) and Paul Robinson (6.67), who both prematurely called time on their international careers.
Right-Back - Glen Johnson
Since Gary Neville's international involvement came to an end, Glen Johnson has been the man to hold down a right-back berth for England more often than any other. The Liverpool defender only made 16 appearances from his favoured position last year, showing his versatility on the left for the latter half of the campaign, but was the best English right-back according to WhoScored ratings with 6.91 from that position. A total of 2.5 tackles and 1.7 interceptions per game, along with an 80% aerial success rate helped him to that total.
Left-Back - Leighton Baines
Everton left-back Leighton Baines has become an integral member of David Moyes' side in both attack and defence and beats mainstay England international Ashley Cole in the WhoScored ratings with 7.12 to 6.9. The former Wigan defender not only made 2.2 tackles and 1.3 interceptions per game last term but also netted 5 goals and picked up 11 assists- 7 more than any other Premier League defender.
Centre-Backs - John Terry, Michael Dawson
A central defensive pairing of John Terry and Michael Dawson would certainly prove a solid one, with both renowned for their commitment to the cause. The latter, now captain of Tottenham, outranked Rio Ferdinand with a WhoScored rating of 7.12 last season, while England skipper John Terry managed a league high rating of 7.27 for English defenders. With a combined total of 4.2 tackles and over 16 clearances per game, the duo could build a successful partnership in England's defence if Ferdinand picks up another injury, winning 70% and 71% of aerial duels respectively.
Right-Midfield - Joey Barton
Without doubt the most controversial inclusion in the WhoScored England XI comes in the form of one of the league's most controversial players, Joey Barton. The Newcastle midfielder excelled in an unfamiliar right midfield role last season, playing 18 times from wide and picking up a WhoScored rating of 7.24 to beat young rivals such as Marc Albrighton (7.1) and Theo Walcott (7.07) to the slot. His 4 goals and 9 assists came in handy for the side at the attacking end, while figures of 2.5 for tackles and 1.7 for interceptions per game prove his value defensively.
Left-Midfield - Stewart Downing
The left side of our XI is filled by former Villa winger Stewart Downing, who completed a £20m move to Liverpool this summer off the back of a terrific season last term. In 21 appearances from his more natural left-sided role, Downing picked up a WhoScored rating of 7.34; only 2 of our starting XI bettered that total. His 7 goals, 7 assists and 2.1 successful crosses per match last season saw him awarded Villa's Player of the Year gong, and deservedly so, starting every single game for the Midlands club in the league.
Defensive Midfield - Jack Wilshere
Arsenal midfielder Jack Wilshere followed a successful loan spell with Bolton by stamping down a regular place under Arsene Wenger last term, in a double pivot alongside Alex Song. At just 19, Wilshere has been tipped as England's brightest prospect, breaking into the senior international set-up with consummate ease. In making 22 appearances from defensive midfield last season he picked up a WhoScored rating of 7.03 attributed to by the youngsters fantastic distribution, reaching his target with 86% of his attempted passes.
Attacking-Midfield - Frank Lampard
It has been suggested that Chelsea midfielder Frank Lampard's international career could well come to a close due to the emergence of the likes of the aforementioned Wilshere, though the 33-year-old's stats show he still has plenty to offer. Known for timing runs into the opponents area to perfection, in 23 appearances last season Lampard helped himself to 10 goals from 2.3 shots per game on average. His attacking threat led him to a WhoScored rating of 7.5 from the middle of the park, proving their is life in the old dog yet!
Strikers - Wayne Rooney, Andy Carroll
Manchester United forward Wayne Rooney is and will be one of England's most dangerous assets for many years to come. At just 24, Rooney has established himself as one of the world's top strikers, obtaining a WhoScored rating of 7.54 last season- the best of our starting XI. In his 25 starts last season he picked up 11 goals and 11 assists, as well as contributing a magnificent 2.1 key passes per game.
Andy Carroll excelled at Newcastle last season in his first full Premier League campaign. He impressed so substantially that he earned a huge £35m move to Liverpool and will be hoping to carry his superb form from last season into this. The 22-year-old picked up his first international call-up and netted his first goal shortly after, epitomising the traditional target man centre-forward that defender's hate to play against. In 18 games for Newcastle he netted 11 times, winning a fantastic 62% of his aerial duels, and a partnership with Rooney for England seems inevitable for the years to come.