It’s finally been announced and we now know all of the 23 players journeying to Brazil this summer..
Roy Hodgson’s World Cup squad was delivered at 14.00 on Monday, with there being very few surprises. Below is the 23 man squad who will travel to Rio:
Joe Hart, Ben Foster, Fraser Forster
Leighton Baines, Gary Cahill, Phil Jagielka, Glen Johnson, Phil Jones, Chris Smalling, Luke Shaw
Steven Gerrard, Adam Lallana, Ross Barkley, Raheem Sterling, Jack Wilshere, Alex Oxalade-Chamberlain, Jordan Henderson, James Milner, Frank Lampard
Daniel Sturridge, Wayne Rooney, Danny Welbeck, Ricky Lambert
STAND BY (will not go to training camp though):
Andy Carroll, Tom Cleverley, Jermain Defoe, John Stones, Michael Carrick, Jon Flanagan, John Ruddy
Ashley Cole’s exclusion has caused the most controversy, but despite being one of the best if not the best left backs England has fielded, he has had very little playing time this season and it gives the richly talented Luke Shaw his opportunity to shine and gain tournament experience. Via twitter Cole went on to say he was ‘proud’ and ‘honoured’ to have represented his country. He praised Hodgson and expressed to his critics how ‘hurt’ he was to have to retire.
Despite there not being a massive talent pool to choose from, the inclusion of Baines, Jagielka, Johnson, Gerrard, Barkley, Henderson, Sterling and Sturridge highlights the good work done on Merseyside this campaign, not to mention with two managers in Rodgers and Martinez who have significantly developed a more continental style of play which has benefited the Englishmen going to Rio.
Among many difficult decisions I’ve had to make for my squad, not selecting Ashley was one of the hardest. The most important factor was speaking to Ashley prior to the announcement on Monday, he deserved to hear it directly from me and he took the news with huge graceRoy HodgsonManager
I got the call from Roy and agree the England team should be about the young players. I think it best I retire from the England team now (tweet)Ashley ColeEx-England left back
Disappointed to be left out of the squad, World Cups are special and to miss out hurts. Want to wish the boys the very best of luck (tweet)Michael CarrickManchester United midfielder
Rooney will embark on this World Cup in the knowledge it could be his last, and must surely provide the travelling fans with more to cheer about than he has done in previous competitions. The inclusion of Danny Welbeck may raise a few eyebrows, a talented player but someone who has had an underwhelming season at Manchester United and struggles to make a position his own at this level. This is not to disregard versatility though, James Milner being a fantastic example of someone who can give a solid performance in defensive areas and is perhaps underrated for his attacking quality too. He has shone at Manchester City when in the starting eleven, appearing to relish playing alongside his team’s foreign stars.
The trio of goalkeepers are hard to argue with, however on a personal level I would have preferred to see Stoke City’s Jack Butland in the place of Ben Foster, seeing that he is a gifted up and coming keeper who has performed well on loan in the Championship this season, for Barnsley up until Christmas and Leeds United during the second half.
Midfield appears full of pace and creativity, with Raheem Sterling, Adam Lallana, Oxalade-Chamberlain, Ross Barkley and Jordan Henderson coming to the fore this campaign. It must be noted that Sterling, Lallana and Barkley do lack tournament experience and have really only shone through this year, but Germany in 2010 demonstrated how progressive their football was by showcasing younger talents.
Jack Wilshere is an astute technician of a player who, when fit, could mould into a variety of systems deployed by more or less any top team on the planet. However his injuries are becoming a big problem now and they seem to be eating away at his natural confidence and the swagger he portrayed a few seasons ago. The inclusions of the previously brilliant box to box engine that is Frank Lampard and the captain Steven Gerrard, provide the team with a wealth of experience and figures to look up to (especially Lampard), but this should be their last World Cup and perhaps final international tournament.
Let’s hope our performance is a little more rousing than our official song, which you can listen to below: