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 By Michael Cox

Sorry Wayne Rooney, Dele Alli is now England's most important player

Former England captain Bryan Robson believes the form of Dele Alli could be key for England's World Cup hopes.

In an era where miniscule football stories can be blown hugely out of proportion -- especially during dull international breaks -- it's surprising that no-one seems desperate to discuss the news that England have dropped Wayne Rooney.

Rooney, of course, is England's record goalscorer. He is -- or was -- the team's captain, and is only six caps away from equalling Peter Shilton's record of 125. Since his breakthrough in 2003, Rooney has been England's key man for over a decade and his nation's chances...

Five things to know about Boro's Ben Gibson, England's new recruit

The FC crew discuss where the bar is set for England's expectations in the 2018 Russia World Cup.

After a few seasons starring in the Championship and being part of the impressive back four that helped propel Middlesbrough back to the Premier League in 2016, Ben Gibson has won his first call-up to the England squad. 

The battling centre-back is one of Boro's greatest assets and attracted the attention of Chelsea back in the January transfer window, but what else should you know about the man?

1. He's the nephew of the Boro chairman

One of the most notable things about Gibson is that...

 By Nick Miller

Jack Wilshere's once promising career remains in limbo after England snub

ESPN FC's Shaka Hislop has his say on Jack Wilshere and links with Pep Guardiola and Manchester City.

Eddie Howe seemed baffled. When he was asked about Jack Wilshere's omission from the England squad to face Germany and Lithuania, the Bournemouth manager said: "Am I surprised? Yes because of the quality of the player Jack is."

Howe's confusion would be a little easier to take at face value if Wilshere had been in the Bournemouth team recently. Instead, the Arsenal loanee was on the bench for their trip to Old Trafford at the start of March and after that creditable 1-1 draw, that was where...

ESPN FC  By ESPN staff

Trending: Simeone concedes Griezmann could leave, Podolski's 'dream' end

Could 2017 summer transfer window be the 'summer of strikers', with several high-profile names potentially moving clubs?

ATLETICO MADRID: Atletico Madrid coach Diego Simeone has conceded there is a possibility that the "incredible" Antoine Griezmann could leave the club this summer and says he would not stand in his way.

GERMANY: Lukas Podolski admitted the end to his international career with Germany was "like a film" after scoring the winner for his country with a stunning strike to beat England 1-0 in an international friendly.

- Germany boss Joachim Low called Wednesday's friendly against England a...

England's Harry Kane reliance shows vs. Germany, may hurt them in Russia

Tottenham and England's Harry Kane remains upbeat despite suffering an ankle injury.
Tottenham and England's Harry Kane remains upbeat despite suffering an ankle injury.

DORTMUND, Germany -- If there can be such a thing in professional sport, England suffered a "positive defeat" against Germany in Dortmund on Wednesday.

Gareth Southgate's team showed signs of being able to adapt to an unfamiliar defensive formation with three at the back, their use of the ball was an improvement on recent encounters with elite opponents, and the likes of Adam Lallana, Dele Alli and Eric Dier all underlined their growing importance within England's World Cup plans.

But with Southgate's...

Lukas Podolski steals the show as Germany defeat promising England

Lukas Podolski went out in style in his final match for the national team, hitting a rocket of a goal to sink England 1-0.
After signing off from international football with a stunning winner against England, Lukas Podolski reveals a special gift.
With his international career coming to a close, the FC crew shower Lukas Podolski with praise for his stellar career.
Lukas Podolski leaves the pitch in his final game for Germany, having scored 49 goals in 130 appearances.

DORTMUND, Germany -- Three quick thoughts from Germany's 1-0 win over England in an international friendly.

1. Podolski claims spotlight against positive England

It probably did not need Lukas Podolski's stunning goal on his final performance for Germany to remind England of the old adage that form is temporary and class is permanent, but a promising display by Gareth Southgate's players was put into proper context by the 31-year-old's spectacular, match-winning strike.

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Even when winning...