The major talking point for the England national team is obviously who our boss Roy Hodgson is going to put on the plane to Brazil this summer. For me, we cannot forget about the youngsters we have seen blossom this season and they deserve the chance just as much as the elder pros to play in the World Cup 2014.
My 23 man squad would be as follows;
Joe Hart, Ben Foster, John Ruddy.
Joe Hart will be our number 1 in Brazil, I have no doubt about that and rightly so too as even with a mid-season blip he is by far our best keeper. Foster and Ruddy are great back up to have and both have experience with the national team.
Leighton Baines, Luke Shaw, Phil Jagielka, Gary Cahill, Phil Jones, Chris Smalling, Nathaniel Clyne, Kyle Walker.
Many have argued that Ashley Cole should go over the young Shaw but for me its clear that Shaw is a fantastic player up and down the left, whilst Cashley just hasn't played enough games this season to warrant a place. I would love to see John Terry at the back alongside his Chelski partner Cahill, but unfortunately we wont see that this summer. Jagielka will start alongside him, with what I believe is poor back up in Smalling and Jones. Jones does offer one positive in that he can offer cover a variety of positions which is a plus for Roy. Clyne has also been excellent this season and I really do believe he is up to it this summer. Maybe a brave choice from the boss but it could pay off.
Steven Gerrard (C), Jordan Henderson, Jack Wilshere, James Milner, Ross Barkley, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Raheem Sterling, Adam Lallana.
Stevie G is and will be our captain in Brazil, which is 100% warranted. A fantastic player and a fantastic leader. For me he will sit deeper alongside Jack Wilshere who can support the attacks. It is well documented that Wilshere is awfully injury prone, but he is definitely worth the gamble. Henderson provides great cover, he has been terrific alongside Gerrard for the Scousers this season and he has to travel over Michael Carrick who has been poor for Man United. Lallana has been sensational and deserves his place as much as anyone. Sterling and the 'Ox' are excellent on the wings and Milner is a workhorse who wont stop running. Now to Barkley, who has been nothing short of brilliant for Everton. There is no denying it what so ever, he has to go this summer. He can come off the bench and give us the spark that no other player can, maybe something special which could fire us into the next stage. Who knows?
Wayne Rooney, Daniel Sturridge, Rickie Lambert, Danny Welbeck
Rooney has to start for us and I can see him playing just in behind Sturridge. Lambert over Carroll was a tough choice, but Lambert deserves it on merit. His performances have been excellent for the Saints, whilst Carroll simply hasn't played enough. Welbeck can offer his services out wide as well as up top and he is decent back up for us, just ahead of Jay Rodriguez for a place in the 23.
My starting eleven for the Italy game would be this:
4-2-3-1: Hart, Walker, Cahill, Jagielka, Baines, Gerrard, Wilshere, The Ox, Rooney, Lallana, Sturridge
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