World Cup squad selection a long-term process

Monday 05 May 2014
Hodgson names his World Cup squad on 12 May

Roy Hodgson says he will pick his World Cup squad based on long-term assessments, and will not be swayed by recent peaks and troughs in form.

The England manager names his 30-man squad on 12 May, and insists that the process has been ongoing throughout the course of the season - and while he will continue to attend games – barring injury, his mind is all but made up on the group.

“I’ve known for a while,” he said.  “To come away from that somewhat, in my opinion, frivolous idea that a coach watches matches week after week - works with players over two years and 25 games and then in the last couple of games of the season goes to watch a match and suddenly finds a player that had not played any point."

As the Premier League season draws to a close the number of young English players impressing week in week out for the club sides has certainly been a positive for Hodgson and his coaching staff.

Key dates

  • 12 May: Hodgson names his 30-man squad
  • 19-23 May: Travel to Portugal for training camp
  • 27 May: Squad meet up in preparation for World Cup
  • 30 May: vs Peru at Wembley
  • 4 June: vs Ecquador in Miami
  • 7 June: vs Honduras in Miami
  • 14 June: England begin their World Cup campaign against Italy

But the Three Lions boss also went on to say that while it is natural for future tournaments to play a part in his thinking, those selected for Brazil will be there on merit and because they are the best men for the job at the time of travel.

“It [Euro 2016] is in the back of my mind but not in the forefront,” he added. “If there are young players in the squad it will be because they can do a job now.  

“It will then be a bonus in 2016 as they will be experienced and hopefully that will serve us in good stead, but I don't intend to put them in the squad because of 2016.”

The World Cup will be Hodgson’s second major tournament with England. The 66-year-old took over from Fabio Capello in May 2012 and – with only a month to prepare - guided the Three Lions to the quarter-final of Euro 2012.

With the benefit of a full qualification campaign behind him, this time round Hodgson admits he will be under more scrutiny to succeed, but admitted there will also be pressure when leading England to an international tournament.

Raheem Sterling

Liverpool's Raheem Sterling has been one of a number of young English players that have impressed this season

“I felt quite a lot of pressure last time if I'm honest,” added Hodgson. 

“If you take on the job of England manager you feel the responsibility. But I think the most important thing is that we feel comfortable, that we feel capable, that we feel that there is a lot of good will towards the team from the general public. 

"I think we have seen the emergence of a new generation of players who are on the cusp maybe of becoming something, so I think there are a lot of things to be positive about and I am very anxious that I don't do anything to put the brakes if you like on that feeling of optimism that this is a young team. 

“Certainly there are more young players in this squad than there were in 2012. 

“They can do great things, let's see if they can.”

By Jamie Reid Senior Writer