Today, England manager Roy Hodgson announced the squad he plans to bring to Brazil for the upcoming 2014 World Cup. His squad has a surprising amount of youth with eight of the 23 players below the age of 24. Some big names were left out of the squad such as Chelsea’s Ashley Cole, who in turn today retired from international football, and Manchester United’s Michael Carrick.
The roster is as follows:
Goalkeepers: Manchester City’s Joe Hart, West Brom’s Ben Foster, and Celtic’s Fraser Forster.
Defenders: Liverpool’s Glen Johnson, Southampton’s Luke Shaw, Everton’s Phil Jagielka and Leighton Baines, Chelsea’s Gary Cahill, and Manchester United’s Chris Smalling and Phil Jones.
Midfielders: Arsenal’s Jack Wilshere and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Liverpool’s Steven Gerrard, Raheem Sterling and Jordan Henderson, Manchester City’s James Milner, Southampton’s Adam Lallana, Everton’s Ross Barkley, and Chelsea’s Frank Lampard.
Forwards: Manchester United’s Wayne Rooney and Danny Welbeck, Liverpool’s Daniel Sturridge, and Southampton’s Rickie Lambert.
Some of the players included in the standby list who will be there to replace any injured players are West Ham’s Andy Carroll, Tottenham’s Jermaine Defoe, and Manchester United duo Michael Carrick and Tom Cleverly. Carrick is a big name to be left out, as he is a very consistent player who knows his role in the squad.
After their very impressive season, Liverpool has the most players of any club in the England squad. Veteran Steven Gerrard will likely be a stalwart of the three lions squad and Glen Johnson will probably be the starting right back, but it will be interesting to see where the other three younger players fit in. Sterling and Sturridge have both shown their great ability in attack over the 2013-2014 campaign. That may not be enough for them to take the field over heavily capped players like Rooney and Lampard.
The often-injured Arsenal duo of Wilshere and Oxlade-Chamberlain were a surprise to make Hodgson’s England squad. They were a surprise, not because of a lack of talent or experience, but because both of their season’s were plagued by injuries. Ox was held out of most of the early part of the season because of knee issues, and Wilshere just returned to the field after being injured early in the season on international duty.
The one young player without a lot of experience in the England squad who should get a good amount of playing time based on his play this season is Everton midfielder Ross Barkley. He was fantastic for Everton this campaign as they placed fifth in the EPL and he has six goals from the midfield. Being only 20 years old, Barkley has many years to come to star for England.
Manager Roy Hodgson will have a lot of tinkering to do with his England roster before the World Cup. Hodgson has not had a very consistent lineup he has used in qualifying and in the matches leading up to the World Cup. Part of that is due to injuries, but part is also due to the fact that this England squad does not have an obvious starting lineup like some other squads in the competition. Hodgson will have to figure that out very quickly as England are in a very tough group with Costa Rica, Uruguay, and European rival Italy.
With his England Squad now finalized, manager Roy Hodgson will have his work cut out for him to find the starting eleven that can hopefully get his team into the knockout rounds.
Commentary By Max Petkevicius