The World Cup in Brazil is just three months away and players from around the world will be starting to feel the pressure. Here in England, this is no different but for once, there seems to be no pressure from the fans and the media on the team. An ageing team with some young faces means that England, for once, does not expect.
Coupled with a tough draw with 2006 champions Italy, Uruguay and Costa Rica, England's usual trip to the last 16 is not even assured this time. There are strong calls for youth to be given a chance at this World Cup and to give the younger players the opportunity to get the experience needed when not much is expected.
So who is on the plane and who is waiting nervously in the departure lounge?
On the Plane - Joe Hart is pretty much in Rio already, established as England's number 1 after a shaky few months, there is no doubt that Hart is still England's number 1. Fraser Forster looks to be Hodgson's number 2 at the moment and looks almost certainly on the plane.
Departure Lounge - As we only usually take three goalkeepers, the third spot is up for grabs. It is probably between Norwich's John Ruddy and West Brom's Ben Foster. After coming out of international retirement, Foster has performed quite well for West Brom whilst Ruddy is starting to find some form in a resurgent Norwich team. So who will Roy take? My money is on John Ruddy.
On the plane - There aren't many who are definitely going but you'd be a brave man to bet against Gary Cahill, Leighton Baines, Phil Jones, Glen Johnson, Phil Jagielka and Chris Smalling not boarding the plane. Cahill in particularly has had a very good season and is a dead cert (barring injuries) for Brazil. Jones and Smalling provide England with options as both can play three or four different positions, something that usually means you get a place in the squad.
Departure Lounge - I imagine there are still two places up for grabs in defence. One must go to a left back which means one of Luke Shaw, Ashley Cole and Kieran Gibbs will board the plane. With Cole getting so little football and Chelsea, that should rule him out. With Shaw showing such promise and ability, I'd like Hodgson to take the young Saints left back.
On the plane - As captain, Steven Gerrard is clearly going. Jack Wilshere (if he keeps fit) will also definitely go. Apart from those two, I don't think anyone would bet their houses on who fills the other six places.
Departure Lounge - With so many options available, Roy Hodgson has some decisions to make. Jordan Henderson has played well for Liverpool, Michael Carrick is the type of player you'll need in hot conditions whilst Alex Oxlaide-Chamberlain has looked good for Arsenal and must be confident of going.
Adam Lallana has been one of the most consistent players in the league this year and will be unknown to many of the teams. James Milner is a Hodgson favourite but will his style match the conditions? Ross Barkley has been one of the shining stars in the Everton team and will give us the power of the unknown in Brazil.
On the plane - There are four places left and three are absolutely guaranteed. Wayne Rooney is probably one of the first names on the teamsheet and will definitely go. Daniel Sturridge has had his best ever season in football and will be a threat to defenders, whilst Danny Welbeck provides England with some much needed strength and will work until the final whistle.
Departure Lounge - So who gets the 23rd and final place? There are plenty of contenders. Southampton duo Ricky Lambert and Jay Rodriguez are in contention. Andy Carroll is making a late push to be the "big man up front" and gives England are plan B should we be chasing the game. Raheem Sterling is having a great end to the season and could operate as a wide midfielder in a 4-4-2 formation or as one of the front men in a 4-3-3.
When Roy Hodgson names his 23 man squad for the World Cup in Brazil, he will have made more decisions than any recent England manager. To throw my two pennies worth, here is my 23 man squad that I'd take;
Hart, Forster, Ruddy; Cahill, Jagielka, Baines, Johnson, Shaw, Smalling, Jones; Gerrard (c), Wilshere, Oxlaide-Chamberlain, Carrick, Henderson, Lallana, Barkley, Sterling; Rooney, Welbeck, Sturridge, Carroll, Rodriguez
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