Football

World Cup: Youth dominates England squad

England starlet Ross Barkley in action for Everton (©GettyImages)
England starlet Ross Barkley in action for Everton (©GettyImages).

Roy Hodgson has given youth the chance it deserves in this year's World Cup squad, selecting Luke Shaw, Raheem Sterling and of course, the biggest surprise of the season, Ross Barkley in his team.

Speculation has been rife about the England selection in recent weeks but, today Hodgson revealed a young squad which will propel England into future tournaments as players gain valuable experience this summer.

Shaw, Sterling and Barkley have all set the Premier League alight with their ability this season, deserving their places above more experienced players such as Ashley Cole who does not feature.

It is a huge step forward for youth in England which has been highly criticised in recent years. As clubs look for instant success youth teams have been, sadly, placed on the back seat for many. However, with top players coming through the system once more, we are beginning to see the bright future that England may have.

Luke Shaw becomes the third youngest player to be selected for a major tournament. Aged only 18 he is second only to Theo Walcott (who failed to play a game during the 2006 tournament) and Michael Owen.

Plus, lets be honest, players such as Welbeck, Jones, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Wilshere and Smalling may have experience in major tournaments at club level but, many are also novices to international football at its highest level. It is a time for opportunity for the youth - this summer they have the chance to shine and cement themselves in English football history.

Utilising youth is vital, it adds pace to a game which can be sometimes lacking in an older team. Its about the right mixture of experience and potential - Hodgson seems to have understood this.

However, not all of the youngsters who've impressed this year have found themselves with a ticket to Brazil. For the likes of Jon Flanagan and John Stones it is a waiting game. Both find themselves in the standby list secretly hoping for a call up to the national squad.

Some would say that it is worrying going into a tournament with a such a young squad - for others, its exciting as they look forward to what the future may hold for their country.

England squad:

Goalkeepers: Joe Hart, Ben Foster, Fraser Forster.

Defenders: Leighton Baines, Gary Cahill, Phil Jagielka, Glen Johnson, Phil Jones, Luke Shaw, Chris Smalling.

Midfielders: Ross Barkley, Steven Gerrard, Jordan Henderson, Adam Lallana, Frank Lampard, James Milner, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Raheem Sterling, Jack Wilshere.

Attackers: Rickie Lambert, Wayne Rooney, Daniel Sturridge, Danny Welbeck.

Standby: John Ruddy, Jon Flanagan, John Stones, Michael Carrick, Tom Cleverley, Andy Carroll, Jermain Defoe.


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Topics:
World Cup
Luke Shaw
England Football
Football
Internationals

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