Roy Hodgson announced England’s World Cup selection today and already, most of the focus is on his relatively youthful selection and proclamations that England can win the tournament.
While critics may be snickering, it is the duty of almost all coaches to speak the truth on behalf of their respective FAs. What is the point of the squad roughing it out in Manaus if they aren’t planning to win it, or make it to the semi-finals, at least?
Traditionally, the English press tend to drum up support for the national team to a relatively ridiculous level before the actual tournament, but Hodgson’s honest persona almost allows him to get away with being completely honest about actually winning the trophy.
“I’m sure Scolari is saying Brazil can win it. If we’re going to win it, we’ll have to prepare and play very well, and this talented group of players have to show their talent. Otherwise all the words in the world count for nothing. We’re right to have some degree of optimism and to work on the basis there is a mood of optimism in the country. We’ll feed off that, get our energy from that, and we’ll make sure we do nothing to make sure we don’t let our country down.” – Roy Hodgson
Despite being picked, Frank Lampard would be better fit to schedule a tour into the Amazon rainforest instead of playing at the World Cup, given his age. Although he would be useful in his own sense – to cultivate team spirit, perhaps- there are many other exciting players who have done better than he has all season for Chelsea. Meanwhile, Barkley’s inclusion is particularly thrilling for England, given his impressive performances for Everton.
Raheem Sterling, Oxlade-Chamberlain and Southampton’s Luke Shaw all deserved their call-ups to the national selection. For Live betting on FIFA World Cup, click here.
Hodgson believes Southampton – who have three players in his England squad – are a great representation of talented youths who deserve a fair chance.
He said : “Southampton may have proved that wrong this year. I’m not sure that old adage about young players is as true as it once was. This is a 23-man squad. We’re not talking about 11 here. The youngsters are there because they deserve to be there. They can all play. I’m not taking anyone just for the experience, unless you can count Jon Flanagan.”