You Cannot Win
At times Roy Hodgson must feel that he 'cannot win' as England manager, as no matter what he does he will get criticised from some side.
Then again he has been in the game for long enough now to have thick enough skin to brush this off and will do what he wants, whatever these 'experts' tell him - funny how many of these do it from the sidelines and are not actually managers or coaches themselves...
Sol Campbell has become the latest to be critical of his selected world cup squad.
The former England man feels that it is good to have 'a few youngsters' in the squad but, as he told Reuters, he feels that there are 'too many' youngster and not enough experienced, or 'middle market' players in the squad.
Once the first game gets out of the way he feels that the 'enormity' of the world cup will kick in and the youngster will not have the experience to deal with this: 'personally I think there are too many players who are a bit too young.
'There are not enough of that middle group. It is a squad almost of young (players) and then a few 28-plus, 30, whatever... there is not that middle market which needs to be filled in.
'You get that first game and everyone is excited but then you get that second and that third game and the pressure really comes in, where the enormity of what you are trying to do kicks in.
'You have to be a really special kid to be able to handle that - and you need the experience around you to absorb that, and allow you to continue to be free and not to be inhibited by it.'
I get where Campbell is coming from, and perhaps he could be right, but I do disagree to be honest...
What would we really have benefited from selecting the 'same old same old', the apparently 'tried and tested' old guard?
An old guard that, lets face it, had not really done much anyway in recent tournaments!
You have to move on, perhaps you can argue doing this going into the world cup is the wrong time and place to be doing this but why persevere with the same group of players once again if you have some young, hungry and exciting talent coming through?
A good number of these young players are genuine 'game changers' too, which other 'experienced players' would not be - that, for me, makes them well worth selecting and what better way to gain experience than going to the world cup.
I am glad to see Hodgson take the 'if they are good enough they're old enough' approach.
Another benefit I think we will see from England this summer is the fact that so many are youthful, in such heat you need those young and fresh legs but best of all I do not think that the occasion, which it often had the senior players previously, will get to them.
So many of these youngsters play with 'no fear' and I like this - Gazza showed no fear in Italia 90, Ross Barkley is the most technically gifted player I think I have seen since him and if he could use that ability and lack of fear this summer anything could be possible.
What is more Barkley is not alone in having great talent, and potential ability, or no fear.
That surely has to be a benefit to us?
Vital England on:
Vital England on: