To youth or not to youth? That is Hodgson’s question

In a week where Roy Hodgson picked his first England squad post Gerrard and Lampard, the emphasis seems to be on youth. The nations injury list is a hefty read and, therefore, with friendlies on the agenda Hodgson has a chance to look at some of the nations up and coming talent.

When studying the squad the first thought is one of concern, with Lampard and Gerrard officially goes the Golden Generation. An era where across the team we had World class players, coveted across the globe and respected by the footballing world. For all their faults John Terry and Rio Ferdinand were two of the best centre backs of their generation, and along with the likes of Ashley Cole gave England identity. Enter the next group and the concern begins. We have a wealth of talented young players coming through the ranks, with the likes of Stones, Chambers, Barkley and Shaw showing potential to rival the players previously mentioned. It is, however, the immediate future that is a worry, as many of this weeks inclusions show that we don’t have a great strength in depth of players in their mid 20’s. The players drafted in are certainly not yet at the level of those they are replacing, which leads us to a debate.

Aside from the likes of Sturridge, Wilshere, Walcott and those few already making an impression, should we skip this generation and get these talented teenagers playing together as early as possible?

My point of writing this is based on watching Harry Kane’s performance against AEL Limassol last night. With Danny Rose not starting, The nation could focus on Spurs’ all English attack which included Andros Townsend, back in the squad after injury. Touching on him briefly, in a game where the North London club dominated, his involvement was limited, lacking in spark and overshadowed by team mate Aaron Lennon. Hopefully, with more game time this will change.

Finally, on to Kane, a big striker with a nice first touch. His movement caused problems, he showed a natural awareness in the box and despite missing an early penalty, the ability to keep his head and score goals. This Lad is far from the finished article and a probable lack of game time could see him not ready for many years, however, with Lambert the wrong side of 30 and Andy Carroll yet to impress ,if Hodgson is looking for a young number 9, maybe this lad is worth looking at.

Only time will tell what angle England go down and whether it will succeed or not. Perhaps I will be proven wrong and the current crop of mid 20’s will make us feared again, but It looks like it’s the generation after that gives us hope of glory.

August 30, 2014 | By: Kristian Wheadon | General