Share “England taking youthful squad to World Cup”

England taking youthful squad to World Cup

Published on NewsOK Modified: May 12, 2014 at 7:15 pm •  Published: May 12, 2014
Advertisement

LUTON, England (AP) — Only six England players in Brazil will have previous World Cup experience after Roy Hodgson turned to younger players who have impressed him with their spirited Premier League performances.

The oldest squad member is midfielder Frank Lampard, who turns 36 next month, while the youngest is 18-year-old defender Luke Shaw, who only made his international debut in March. Eleven members of the 23-man squad have made 10 appearances or fewer for England, which opens its campaign in Brazil against Italy on June 14.

"Circumstances will prove whether the decision to take the younger player was right or not," Hodgson said at the squad announcement at a car factory in Luton, north of London.

"You get experience by getting the opportunity. It's wrong to focus totally on the fact there are those who are inexperienced because everyone is inexperienced until they get the chance to do the job. I think they've played so well and been so effective in their club teams that they've really imposed their ability on my thinking."

Shaw, who is being pursued by Manchester United in the summer transfer window, displaced 33-year-old Ashley Cole from the squad to be understudy at left back to Leighton Baines. But, with Cole announcing his international retirement after being dropped, the decision could backfire if Baines is injured in the first warm-up match.

"If Baines suffered an injury ... it would make the selection of Shaw a very bad selection," Hodgson said.

In a squad captained by 33-year-old Steven Gerrard, fellow midfielder Lampard made the cut whereas Michael Carrick, who went to the 2006 and 2010 World Cups, is only on the standby list following a lackluster season with Manchester United.

"Frank is a very important part of our setup and you shouldn't think about players in terms of age, but of position," Hodgson said. "When you're in midfield you have many more positions to choose from.

"Frank has been captain on many occasions and has been vice captain to Steven Gerrard. He still plays an important role for his club (Chelsea) and we think his leadership qualities and his abilities will help us in the summer."

In the search for dynamism, Hodgson is taking 19-year-old Liverpool winger Raheem Sterling and Ross Barkley, a 20-year-old Everton midfielder, despite having only five appearances between them.

Continue reading this story on the...