Roy Hodgson says the pool of English talent is increasing

Wednesday 12 Feb 2014
Roy Hodgson makes a return to Brazil at the weekend on a visit to Manaus

Roy Hodgson says he's delighted by the recent form of a number of English players and believes the pool of talent is getting bigger.

The England Manager admits he is also feeling optimistic as he prepares for the start of an important World Cup year.

The Three Lions kick off 2014 on Wednesday 5 March when Denmark arrive at Wembley Stadium and Hodgson has been impressed with what he's seen at club level over the winter.


“More teams are injecting young English players into their teams and trusting them.”

Roy Hodgson England Manager



"It’s looking very good at the moment I must say," said Hodgson. "I see a lot of games and I’ve been more than delighted with the form that a lot of the players who have played for us are showing.

"It would be nice if we could bottle it up now and release it again in May, but at the moment I’m very satisfied and optimistic."

He continued: "The pool of players has increased this season and more teams are injecting young English players into their teams and trusting them.

"Raheem Sterling has been playing regularly for Liverpool, as has either [Jon] Flanagan or [Martin] Kelly.

Raheem Sterling celebrates against Arsenal

Raheem Sterling scored a brace against Arsenal


"Southampton are regularly using people like [Luke] Shaw, [James] Ward-Prowse, [Calum] Chambers, Jack Cork, [Jay] Rodriguez.

"So more and more teams are turning to their academies and young players they are bringing through, which is of course a positive thing.

"But to some extent we are still limited because some of the players we’d like to choose, and have chosen in the qualifying games, aren’t always regulars in their team’s starting line-up. But that’s improving as well."

Hodgson revealed that he expects to name a big squad for the March meeting with the Danes to get the World Cup very much in the players' minds.

While he can only take 23 with him in June, he will initially submit a 30-man squad to FIFA before whittling down to the final group. 

"Going into this March friendly we are likely to choose more than 23 players because we want to start focusing people’s minds on the World Cup and the major task we have ahead.

"To do that with just 23 players might mean as many as ten players that could possibly be considered when we come to selecting the final squad weren’t with us in March, and I don’t really want that to happen."

England begin their World Cup at Arena Amazonia in Manaus

England open their World Cup campaign in Manaus


Before he takes his squad to South America this summer, Hodgson travels to Brazil on Sunday for a FIFA World Cup Team Workshop in Florianopolis.

He will also visit Manaus, host city of the Three Lions opening game against Italy on 14 June.

"I’m looking forward to it," he said. "Everyone who I know who has been there speaks very, very highly of the city and the people, so it will be interesting from that point of view.

"But most importantly it will be interesting to see how the stadium is progressing and what the training field and hotel look like.

"That is what is going to be of importance to us come 14 June."

By Jamie Bradbury FA Editor