England’s one-cap wonders

Scoring a goal for England is what most schoolchildren dream of when they’re emulating their heroes on the playground. For those lucky enough to become professional footballers, representing their nation is the pinnacle of their career. But unfortunately for some players, running out in the white of the Three Lions doesn’t always go to plan.

With the European Championships just a few months away, some players are already guaranteed to be in Gareth Southgate’s squad. There are still plenty of places up for grabs for those with only a few caps and with impressive odds on some outsiders making the final 23 man squad, it’s worth considering generous bookie offers. Even if they only manage fleeting international appearances, all players will want to break into the squad for a major tournament like the Euros. In this article, I’ll go over England’s greatest one cap wonders, past and present.

Only the best players usually get to represent their country

Joey Barton

Most recently the manager of Fleetwood Town, Barton’s career has been a rollercoaster experience. The combative centre midfielder was a mainstay of the Premier League for 14 years, with a brief hiatus at Marseille during 2012-13. With reports of Barton starting a brawl during training and spitting at youngsters, the outspoken Liverpool born athlete is arguably football’s biggest badboy.

Barton only won one England cap in an experimental 2007 side against Spain, but he was clearly not part of Steve McClaren’s future plans. With close to 300 Premier League appearances Barton was clearly a proficient footballer, but his attitude and lack of discipline is possibly what prevented him from becoming a regular at international level.

Chris Sutton

Former Premier League Golden Boot winner Chris Sutton had all the attributes to lead the England line for years, it’s just a shame he played in a golden era of English strikers with Alan Shearer, Teddy Sheringham and Les Ferdinand all fighting for places.

An integral part of the SAS (Sutton and Shearer) frontline which famously landed Blackburn Rovers their only Premier League title in 1994-95, Sutton went on to find success north of the border too and added another four league titles with Celtic to his trophy cabinet.

Sutton led the Premier League in goals in 1997-98 and his scintillating form forced manager Glenn Hoddle to select him for the international side.

The Nottingham born poacher was the master of his own downfall when he famously refused to play for the England B team, which led Glenn Hoddle to refuse any future call up for the 6’3’’ striker. Sadly, despite a goal-laden career, Sutton only managed to tot up a grand total of 11 minutes for the national side when he came on in the 79th minute against Cameroon.

Running out on the hallowed turf of Wembley is every player’s dream

James Maddison

Leicester’s current number 10 is one of the most creative players in the Premier League and a real influence in a Foxes team which is challenging for the title.

Known as Madders, the attacking midfielder is a technically gifted youngster who can play passes few in the league can anticipate. His link up play is elite and he’s also one of the best dead ball specialists England has to offer.

It’s surprising that Maddison hasn’t already notched up double figures of appearances, but competition with Mason Mount, Jack Grealish and Raheem Sterling for the same position is preventing Maddison excelling at international level.

Gareth Southgate has kept a close eye on the 24-year-old’s progress this campaign and will surely be considering him for the Three Lions. With only one England appearance to date in a 7-0 win over Montenegro, Maddison will be hopeful that his club form will land him a place in the squad for the Euros this summer.

England’s one-cap wonders

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