England boss Roy Hodgson has named a relatively inexperienced starting line-up for Wednesday night’s friendly game with Norway.
The Three Lions boss experimented with youngsters during the World Cup, but will be hoping that his team can recover from their disastrous campaign in Brazil.
This game is the first is in a long time that an England boss will not be able to call upon veteran midfield pair Frank Lampard and Steven Gerrard, who have both retired from international duty.
The pair never really transferred their club form to the international scene and was part of England’s so called golden generation, which flattered to deceive at major tournaments.
Lampard had not been a regular at international level for a while, but Gerrard was almost ever present in the centre of the Three Lions in recent years. His performance during the World Cup was criticised, but no doubt he will be missed.
Roy Hodgson is now left with a shortage of options in midfield. He will field a youthful midfield on Wednesday night which contains Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Jack Wilshere, Jordan Henderson and Raheem Sterling.
Henderson and Sterling both played in England’s three World Cup group games. Wilshere was in the squad and made cameos in Brazil, while Oxlade-Chamberlain was in the squad but was struggling with an injury picked-up in the Three Lions warm-up games.
All four of the England midfield are players that are regarded as players with potential. They have had varying starts to the domestic campaign so far. Sterling has looked very dangerous for Liverpool, scoring twice in the Reds three Premier League games this season.
Henderson has also enjoyed a solid start to the season for the Reds, as Brendan Rodgers side have won two of their three games so far this season.
This season is a big one for Wilshere. With competition for places high in the Arsenal midfield he will have to maintain a decent level of performance to stay in the starting eleven. He has long been heralded as the future of the centre of England’s midfield.
Oxlade-Chamberlain is in the same position at the Emirates and will have to work hard to gain a regular start at club level. The youngster was so unlucky to miss out on the World Cup and will have a point to prove in tonight’s match.
Everton’s John Stones will start tonight’s game at right-back. The youngster is rated as one of the most promising young defenders in the England set-up. The 20-year-old can play at full-back and centre-back.
Last season he looked far more comfortable at centre-back for the Toffees, as he played a part in Roberto Martinez’s team gaining the third best defensive record in the Premier League.
The youngster was left out of the starting line-up in Everton’s last game against Chelsea, as Jose Mourinho’s side scored six goals at Goodison. That poor display by the centre-back pair of Sylvain Distin and Phil Jagielka is likely to lead to Stones being re-instatement into the team.
England’s other promising young defender Calum Chambers can also play at centre-back and right-back. The youngster has impressed for Arsenal this season and has looked very composed. However Chambers is in a similar situation to Stones, as he is not first choice for his club. Chambers could play a part at some point this evening.
The pair could be the future of the England defence, because the Three Lions backline at the World Cup was far from convincing. Both have made promising starts to their top-flight careers and have potential to become even better players.
After the debacle that was the World Cup England boss Roy Hodgson has some experimentation to do ahead of the Euro 2016 qualifiers. Hopefully Hodgson can find a winning formula from the available group of players.
The former-West Brom does not have an easy job on his hands. England may have some promising young players, but turning them into a winning unit may be the harder task.
England are favourites to defeat Norway tonight at odds of 4/9. Hopefully tonight’s game will give England boss Hodgson some idea of which players he can depend upon at international level.
Is England’s youngster’s good enough quality for international football?
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