England manager Roy Hodgson is going to have some headaches in the lead up to the World Cup in Brazil this summer.
The England manager declared that he can’t assure anyone's place in the team. Ostensibly Hodgson has fired a shot at those who may have expected a place in England’s squad.
Unlike the Euros in 2012, Roy Hodgson, who was appointed on May1 2012, just a month before the start of the competition, now has the luxury of time to tinker, test and get his squad selection right.
Rather then base his selection on name recognition Hodgson will instead rely on a selection of merit. This policy can be seen through out England’s campaign to the World Cup.
Hodgson has given out first time call outs for England’s senior squad to a number of players. Southampton’s Rickie Lambert, Adam Lallana, Luke Shaw, Everton’s Ross Barkley and Liverpool’s Raheem Sterling. All of which have merited a call up because of their excellent club form.
Lambert, Lallana and Shaw have helped push their side into a strong top six position in the Premier League. Barkley has been able to pull the strings in the Everton midfield and Sterling has been a terror down the flanks for Liverpool as they seek Champions League football while simultaneously challenging for the title.
Such players are going to inevitably force the omission of some “big names” from the England World Cup squad. Big names such as Chelsea’s Ashley Cole, West Ham United’s Stewart Downing and Manchester United’s Michael Carrick may see what they may feel as their place in England’s squad under threat from the previous group of youngsters. All three have not been in the greatest form this season.
Cole does not regularly feature in Chelsea’s defence with José Mourinho opting for Cesar Azpilicueta at left-back. Carrick has faced criticism from some for Manchester United’s poor campaign while Downing hasn’t had the impact a player with his talents should have. All will have to step up their form in the months to come should they wish to make the plane trip to Brazil this summer.
Their work is cut out for them though. Hodgson’s comments should be seen as a warning to such players. With 171 caps between the three of them Hodgson’s statements will prove that their seniority will not factor in the England manager's decision making.
England is loaded with talent and as such it will make Hodgson’s job will be difficult and should cause him some positive headaches while selecting his squad. Friendly fixtures such as the one coming up against Denmark will give the England manager the opportunity to try out some new faces.
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