Following much speculation and media coverage, England's World Cup squad has today been released. Many of the names on the team sheet are as expected, yet, the most surprising news surrounding the squad is the inclusion of 18-year old Southampton left back, Luke Shaw.
Shaw's call up to the England squad has resulted in the shock replacement, and subsequent retirement from international football, of Ashley Cole.
Shaw has had a fantastic season with the Saints this year, and with blistering pace and a brilliant end product, he will be a fantastic 'second choice' left-back, behind Leighton Baines.
Many people, however, are arguing that with England's track record in major tournaments in recent years experience is vital, and Cole's 107 England caps surely suggest that he would be one of the first names on the sheet.
Cole's season with Chelsea has been quiet, with Cesar Azpilicueta having a phenomenal campaign, yet the quality the veteran still possesses is unquestionable, playing to a high standard at England's top level for the past 14 years.
Another eye-catching name included within Roy's final 23 is that of Everton's Ross Barkley. Barkley has received many plaudits this year, and rightly so. The 20-year-old has been pivotal in the Toffee's battle for fourth place, and despite narrowly missing out to Arsenal, the youngster has been the stand out player in the Everton line-up.
Arsenal's Oxlade-Chamberlain and Liverpool's Raheem Sterling also make the list, injecting the wings with pace and making the focal point of the release of this England team surrounding youth. The attacking choices that are available in Roy's 23-man squad is definitely encouraging to an English football fan, even down to the fact that the wing-backs are those who have been flying down the wings in the Premier League this season, and aren't afraid to attack in the final third.
With 31 days to go, before the first game of the World Cup in Brazil, this England squad have the chance to gel with the pre-tournament friendlies, before the opening game against Italy on June 14th.
GOALKEEPERS: Forster, Foster, Hart
DEFENDERS: Baines, Cahill, Jagielka, Johnson, Jones, Shaw, Smalling
MIDFIELDERS: Barkley, Gerrard, Henderson, Lallana, Lampard, Milner, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Sterling, Wilshire
STRIKERS: Lambert, Rooney, Sturridge, Welbeck
STANDBY: Ruddy, Flanagan, Stones, Carrick, Cleverley, Carroll, Defoe
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