Roy Hodgson’s resignation, after the humiliating defeat to Iceland at Euro 2016, might make this seem like the start of a new era for the English national side.

But in reality, Hodgson has lead us into that new generation, blooding plenty of young players into the team and allowing them a lot more creative freedom than we had seen from previous managers.

The problem is the players themselves. In that defeat to Iceland, they seemed frightened to express themselves, whilst lacking in motivation and passion.

Characteristics you would never see from a West Ham player.

With that said, it’s about time some players from this fast-improving Hammers squad started figuring for the national team.

Here are the three leading contenders…

Michail Antonio

Antonio was a revelation during his first season in the Premier League, completely repaying the gamble Slaven Bilic took on him, when bringing in the 26-year-old in from Nottingham Forest on transfer deadline day last summer.

A product of the Tooting & Mitcham youth academy, Antonio has risen through the footballing ranks pretty quickly and had established himself as one of the most powerful and dangerous wingers in the Championship, before stepping up to the top flight.

He had to wait until December for a chance to prove himself in the Hammers first team, but when he got the opportunity to start consistently, he took it with both hands, scoring eight times throughout the rest of the campaign and even filling in at right-back to great effect during the final few months of the season.

This form saw him linked with a late burst into England’s Euro squad and if he can carry on that form into his second season, we could see him making his England debut in the near future.

Aaron Creswell

Since moving to London from Ipswich for a fee of less than £4m, Cresswell has become an integral part of the Hammers squad and has only missed one Premier League game during his two seasons at the club. He has always been a very dangerous, attacking full-back, but over the years he has developed physically, become a lot stronger and really improved the defensive side of his game. He has been linked with Manchester City for the past year, but it looks like his future lies at West Ham, after signing a one year extension, and with England.

Left back is a position where we, as a country, have an abundance of talent at the moment. Danny Rose impressed at the Euro’s, but will have competition from Ryan Bertrand and the returning Luke Shaw during this season. If Aaron can continue to progress and impress, then his name will also be mentioned in that equation.

Mark Noble

The skipper embodies everything you need to be a West Ham player and has been a top quality Premier League midfielder for a number of years, but he’s continually ignored at international level.
The 29 year old is very technically solid and has a great engine, equally adept at playing in two or three-man midfield and, unlike most English players, he’s very good at taking penalties.

He’s the kind of character we really need in the squad at the moment. He is extremely passionate, has plenty of Premier League experience and is a natural leader on the pitch, dictating play from the middle of the park and always looking for a forward pass. His England debut has been well overdue. Hopefully the next England manager will see sense and hand Mark his first England cap.

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