Football

Roy Hodgson persists with the old guard

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England national team manager Roy Hodgson has called up 30 players to the squad for the upcoming friendly against Denmark, in preparation for this summer's World Cup in Brazil.

And 18-year-old Southampton left-back Luke Shaw is the man grabbing the headlines, winning his first call-up to the senior squad after a season of consistent performances.

Many believe his call-up has been a long time coming, having been a staple of the Southampton first team since August 2012 and accelerated through England's youth teams.

With Ashley Cole demoted to second choice left-back at Chelsea and questions still hanging over Leighton Baines' defensive abilities, Shaw's call up could ease some of the pain for England supporters for the imminent future.

However, with limited time to impress manager Hodgson before he announces his final World Cup squad in May, this is expected to be the batch of players in contention to make the plane to Brazil, with a few notable additions including the injured Phil Jones and returning Andy Carroll.

Worryingly, Hodgson still insists on picking many of the 'old guard', including Frank Lampard, Glen Johnson, Steven Gerrard and Toronto-bound Jermaine Defoe in addition to Cole. At least three of these can surely be expected to make the final 23-man squad.

Although they have experience and are ever reliable, the question is to what extent?

They've been reliable enough to guide England to the round of 16 of the last two World Cups and quarter finals of the 2012 European Championships, but the hype surrounding England prior to a major tournament suggests supporters expect more.

While Gerrard is enjoying a second wind in his career in a new holding midfield role for Liverpool and is a certain starter for England, on a whole these aren't the players destined to lead England to World Cup glory in the summer.

One thing England do have is an exciting, young midfield, both on the fringe of the national team and in the Under 21 set-up. This is mostly made up of Liverpool and Southampton players who have gained national team recognition within the last six months. These two clubs are two of the most represented in this squad, with five and four players respectively.

These clubs play a different brand of football compared to England's notable defend and counter-attack style when playing in major tournaments.

Starting these players would give England a greater emphasis in playing with the ball, utilising players such as Adam Lallana and Daniel Sturridge’s creativity and take the pressure off an ailing defence (minus Baines and Shaw).

And while there is hope for the imminent future of England, Hodgson's insistence in calling up the 'old guard' is why many remain sceptical for England's chances in this year's World Cup.

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Topics:
Luke Shaw
World Cup
Football
England Football

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This article has been written by a member of the GiveMeSport Writing Academy and does not represent the views of GiveMeSport.com or SportsNewMedia. The views and opinions expressed are solely that of the author credited at the top of this article. GiveMeSport.com and SportsNewMedia do not take any responsibility for the content of its contributors.

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