Brazil will be a thrilling adventure for Lallana, Barkley,Sterling & Shaw

I would have taken all three.

Ashley Cole, Leighton Baines and Luke Shaw.

I would have taken Ashley rather than Frank Lampard.

Just in case we play Portugal.

But I can see that if we are beating Italy 1-0 with half an hour to go, Lampard would be a good player to bring on. He can’t win a game for you but he can help to keep a game won.

Roy Hodgson said leaving Ashley out was one of the hardest decisions he’s ever had to make.

I’m sure that’s true. I’m equally sure it’s a mistake.

Roy’s England squad

Goalkeepers

Joe Hart (Man City), Ben Foster (West Brom), Fraser Forster (Celtic)

Defenders

Glen Johnson (Liverpool), Phil Jagielka (Everton), Gary Cahill (Chelsea), Chris Smalling (Man Utd), Phil Jones (Man Utd), Leighton Baines (Everton), Luke Shaw (Southampton)

Midfielders

Steven Gerrard (Liverpool), Frank Lampard (Chelsea), Jordan Henderson (Liverpool), James Milner (Man City), Jack Wilshere (Arsenal), Ross Barkley (Everton), Adam Lallana (Southampton), Raheem Sterling (Liverpool), Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (Arsenal).

Forwards

Wayne Rooney (Man Utd), Daniel Sturridge (Liverpool), Danny Welbeck (Man Utd), Rickie Lambert (Southampton).

As expected, he’s gone with the three exciting young power players, Ross Barkley (20), Raheem Sterling (19) and Luke Shaw (18).

Naturally, we would all like to see what those three, and Adam Lallana (25), can do together at this level.

Today the England manager explained why he’d done that.

Hodgson said, “They’ve imposed themselves upon me. They’ve played so well, done so well, been so effective for their club teams and had such success, they’ve imposed their ability on my thinking.

“You can’t ignore what people are doing on a week-to-week, day-to-day basis for their club sides. You don’t pick football teams with anything other than what’s happening at any particular time. They deserve credit for making sure I couldn’t ignore them.”

Our games in Group D:

Saturday June 14 : England v Italy

Thursday June 19 : England v Uruguay

Tuesday  June 24 : England v Costa Rica

Then, if we come home, I can concentrate on enjoying Argentina, Brazil, Germany and anybody else who has proved capable of passing the ball and scoring a couple of goals.

12th May 2014