With the World Cup fast approaching rumours as to who could be on the plane to Brazil are on the up. However, instead of the likes of Luke Shaw, Jon Flanagan and Jonjo Shelvey being touted as potential England representatives, the talk of a recall for the old guard seems to be the main topic of conversation among the pundits. Surely head coach Roy Hodgson won’t go back on his word of building for the future, or will the temptation to return to something more familiar prove too much to resist?
England boss Hodgson has always spoken about the 2014 World Cup as being a learning curve for the nation’s young players; a chance for them to test themselves against the world’s best in the hope they will learn and come back stronger in four years time. If that is the case though, then why are so many players in the latter stages of their careers being linked with the national squad?
The speculation suggesting John Terry and Gareth Barry could be involved shows no signs of being quashed by Hodgson, which is a worry for those hoping the experienced coach would bring about a new age in English football. England are 25/1 with Paddy Power to win the World Cup, which shows that we are clearly in a transitional period.
While both Barry and Terry are having good seasons for Everton and Chelsea respectively you must question what more they can offer their country, particular in Terry’s case given his history. Surely there is another centre-half out there who has earned their chance to play for England ahead of 33-year-old Terry?
Hull City’s Curtis Davies and Cardiff’s Steven Caulker are both having excellent seasons for their club sides but as yet have not received the recognition their performances have deserved.
Perhaps you could understand Hodgson taking Terry or Barry, and even make a case for it, but the reports Blackburn goalkeeper Paul Robinson could be handed a recall must leave most England fans shaking their heads.
The 34-year-old retired from international football in 2010 after his howler at the last World Cup and has only just returned from a year on the sidelines through injury. In Joe Hart and Fraser Forster, England have two of Europe’s most highly rated goalkeepers and have no need of Robinson.
When it comes to selecting his squad Hodgson is never going to please everyone and as such is struck between the proverbial rock and a hard place. But for the good of English football Hodgson must not back track on his plans and take a chance on those players who maybe, just maybe, could lead England to glory in the future. One thing is for sure, though: the England squad betting over the coming months is going to be very interesting indeed!