No England Squad Surprises
The world cup is what, 5-weeks away now or so, meaning that a 23-man final squad must be named in the coming weeks.
First of all Roy Hodgson names a 30-man preliminary squad, although I think that he plans to name his 'outlined' final 23-man with the seven other players selected in the 30 already knowing that they are on standby.
In previous years it has been a 30-man squad announced with the unlucky ones axed just ahead of the tournament...
Whatever this squad will hold, and in a nutshell - injuries aside - I think that most of us would have a rough idea of what this will be, give or take, but what he has spelt out this week is that anyone looking for any late, or 'surprise' inclusions, is going to be disappointed.
Those that have been in and around the squad in the past few months, or at least in his thoughts, are the ones he will turn to when he names his squad a full month ahead of the tournament.
His squad thoughts, shared with the media this week, were: I''m not going to make decisions in the last week or two of the season, which is a notoriously bad time to judge talent.
'I don't judge players on their last-minute form. Nothing that happens in the last four games, in terms of form, is going to affect me.'
When a world cup squad is selected you often get a 'shock' or 'surprise' inclusion, or omission.
Clearly this is not going to be the case this time round but as much as form - at this stage - is not a surprise as such, I would think that one surprise name that might not have been going some 4 or 5-months ago that almost certainly will now is Raheem Sterling.
Should he not make the cut I would be surprised.
Thinking that Ashley Cole actually 'being included' would have been a surprise, this time last year if not earlier this season, would have been almost unthinkable but given his recent return to the Chelsea side and the form shown I think you could see the merits of having him in the squad now?
I always look forward to the squad announcements.
Like I say we will not see anyone included that makes you think 'really' as such I do not think, the only way we might end up thinking that is if some of the old guard that perhaps should be left behind are included with Frank Lampard probably one of those that, in my opinion, should not go.
Another name that would 'disappoint' people if included, I would guess, would be Tom Cleverley...
Vital England on:
Vital England on: