England Manager says re-called players deserve call-ups, but Wilshere loss is a blow
Roy Hodgson welcomes back a number of faces to his England squad for next week’s meet-up at St. George’s Park.
The England Manager has picked a 26-man squad for the World Cup qualifiers with San Marino and Montenegro.
And he has included Scott Parker in the squad for the first time since last summer’s Euros, along with call-ups for Rio Ferdinand, Michael Dawson and Ben Foster for the first time under his charge.
He said: “All of them are there on merit.
“Scott Parker is back in the squad after not playing since the Euros and I’m pleased to have these players back with me.
“Rio Ferdinand, Michael Dawson and Ben Foster are three players who are playing very well and deserve their place in the team, so I’m looking forward to working with them.”
However, the loss of midfielder Jack Wilshere comes as a blow with two important games coming up.
The Arsenal star is absent through injury and Hodgson admits that comes as a setback following the 21-year-old’s performance in last month’s win over Brazil.
He added: “I’m disappointed to lose Jack Wilshere, of course.
“We understand the situation, but it’s unfortunate after he played so well in the last game against Brazil.
“I was excited at the prospect of being able to use him again in these two games, but unfortunately injury has prevented that.
“It’s disappointing for Jack too, he’s enjoyed a good spell of playing regularly after such a long time out.
“He did so well for us in a cameo appearance against Sweden last November but was man-of-the-match against Brazil.
“So to suddenly find that we can’t use him again is a major blow.
“But these things happen. Injuries occur and you’ve got to be ready for that.
“We’ve still got a very strong squad list of players.”
Hodgson is also happy to have a good mixture of experienced and younger players in his group.
That is an aspect which he has been keen to promote since taking over ahead of the Euros last May.
And it’s something that he believes is a vital part of any successful squad.
He explained: “Experience is always very important and in the ideal squad you have a mixture of youth and experience.
“If you can blend them together, you only have to look at all the good teams, there are a few who have a lot of games behind them and a few who are still making their way in the game.
“I’d like to think that the England team at the moment does strike a balance between experience and youth.
“But I would certainly never decry the importance of experience because it’s something you can’t buy.”