Roy Hogdson unveils England official WC squad, leaving out Cole
Frank Lampard and Luke Shaw are among the names included in Roy Hodgson’s 23-man England squad for the World Cup which features several young players and World Cup debutants, but Michael Carrick has had to settle for a place on the stand-by list.
Lampard joins captain Steven Gerrard and striker Wayne Rooney as remnants of England’s “Golden Generation,” but Hodgson has largely put his faith in youth, with the likes of Raheem Sterling and Ross Barkley making the cut.
Chelsea left-back Ashley Cole, 33, had already announced on Sunday night that he would not be on the plane to Brazil and would retire from international football and — as expected — Southampton youngster Shaw takes his place in support of Everton’s Leighton Baines.
“It was an unbelievably hard decision because Ashley is a player that I and the rest of my staff really appreciate,” Hodgson explained at a news conference. “He is a magnificent player and what he’s done for England is second to none.
“Luke Shaw has had a wonderful season. He is capturing all the headlines with his form and his ability. At the end of the day, it was a decision I had to take. I can only be unbelievably grateful for the gracious way [Cole] accepted the decision.”
He acknowledged that it may prove an error should Baines pick up an injury during the tournament given Shaw’s lack of experience, adding: “Circumstances will prove whether the decision to take the younger player was the right one or not.”
Lampard, 35, is included to add experience to a midfield selection that puts the emphasis predominantly on youth, with Carrick, 32, paying the price for a disappointing season with Manchester United.
Hodgson said he felt Chelsea star Lampard can still make a valuable contribution to his country.
“Frank I think is a very important part of our setup still and you shouldn’t think about players in terms of age, but of position,’” Hodgson added. “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 and we think his leadership qualities and his abilities will help us in the summer.”
Hodgson also selected youngsters like Sterling, Barkley and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain in midfield, along with 26-year-old Southampton captain Adam Lallana, who has yet to play a competitive game for England.
“You get experience by getting the opportunity,” Hodgson said. “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.
“I’m sure if I’d picked a squad after the final qualifier in October it would have looked quite different but a lot of water has passed under the bridge since then. You can’t ignore what people are doing on a week-to-week basis and your decision is based on who is the best man for the job. In October, I didn’t think Raheem Sterling was having the impact he has had since.”
Hodgson said Everton youngster John Stones had been named on the standby list with a view to potentially replacing Phil Jones, who is hoping to recover from a shoulder injury in time for the tourmanent.
The England boss explained: “We wouldn’t have selected anybody in this 23 if we seriously thought we would be on tenterhooks with regards to their fitness, and I have to rely on the doctors and physios at the various clubs where the players play, and of course our own doctors and physios.
“The only one who I would say still seriously poses a question is Phil Jones. He had his shoulder injury a week ago today. Everyone tells me, and my own research tells me, that it points to a three-week injury to be back fit and playing, but we can’t guarantee that and as a result I will be taking John Stones and Jon Flanagan with us on this trip as stand-by and John Stones will be Phil Jones’ replacement if, by the end of June, we are not confident Phil Jones will be fit, but everything tells me he will be.”
Finally, Southampton striker Rickie Lambert, 32, is included in attack ahead of Toronto FC’s Jermain Defoe and West Ham’s Andy Carroll, who both have to settle for a place on the standby list.
Goalkeepers: Joe Hart (Manchester City), Ben Foster (West Bromwich Albion), Fraser Forster (Celtic).
Defenders: Leighton Baines (Everton), Gary Cahill (Chelsea), Phil Jagielka (Everton), Glen Johnson (Liverpool), Phil Jones (Manchester United), Luke Shaw (Southampton), Chris Smalling (Manchester United).
Midfielders: Ross Barkley (Everton), Steven Gerrard (Liverpool), Jordan Henderson (Liverpool), Adam Lallana (Southampton), Frank Lampard (Chelsea), James Milner (Manchester City), Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (Arsenal), Raheem Sterling (Liverpool), Jack Wilshere (Arsenal).
Attackers: Rickie Lambert (Southampton), Wayne Rooney (Manchester United), Daniel Sturridge (Liverpool), Daniel Welbeck (Manchester United).
Standby: John Ruddy (Norwich City), Jon Flanagan (Liverpool), John Stones (Everton), Michael Carrick (Manchester United), Tom Cleverley (Manchester United), Andy Carroll (West Ham United), Jermain Defoe (Toronto FC).
Information from the Press Association was used in this report.
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