Connect in the back of the net

Taken from Bleacher Report

Roy Hodgson is an experienced manager at club and also at international level so he can be expected to perform his England duties with due diligence and enthusiasm for the task ahead. 

Given the short space of time from his appointment to the actual required announcement of the squad that he will be taking to Poland and Ukraine, you might excuse his selection policy as being the “safety first” option , taking mostly players with proven international credentials  and tournament experience. 

But there is surely a feeling that he has missed a golden opportunity to give some of the younger players and future England stars, a chance to learn their trade at the highest level by playing at Euro 2012.

There is not the normal level of optimism and expectation surrounding England’s chances this summer and with Hodgson coming in at such short notice, he was presented with a perfect opportunity to stamp his mark on the squad with some bold squad selections, knowing that if they were to shine in the competition he would be declared a genius, but if the experience was too much for them, he could hardly be blamed having had so little time in the job to prepare them.

Germany were in a similar situation before the last World Cup Finals, where the team was in a transitional phase and a number of players were reaching the end of their international careers, so the coach Joachim Löw took the decision to take a youthful squad knowing that the tournament might come too soon for a number of them, but the experience would leave them better prepared for Euro 2012.

Roy Hodgson has effectively denied a number of promising youngsters the chance to gain some valuable experience, preferring to rely on players such as John Terry and Frank Lampard, who although vastly experienced, do not exactly have positive memories of major tournament football.

To be fair, the new manager has not been afraid to make some decisions that can be seen as forward thinking, with the selection of the Arsenal youngster Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain being a lot easier to explain than when Sven-Goran Eriksson picked Theo Walcott for the 2006 World Cup despite having not played a single game for the Gunners.

The young Chamberlain selected, while the experienced Ferdinand left out (Taken from Eurosport)

The selection of Manchester United striker Danny Welbeck is a positive move but taking Jermaine Defoe in preference to Daniel Sturridge might prove to be a mistake. It would have also been encouraging to see Jordan Henderson make the final squad rather than being chosen as a standby pick. 

Injuries of course play their part and a pair of Jacks,Wilshere and Rodwell, will no doubt be dealt a chance to feature in the World Cup Qualifiers, so their chance will come.

England fans will hope for a better performance from their team than they got in the World Cup Finals and maybe after this tournament has passed, Roy Hodgson might decide that the old guard have had their final moment in the sun and a younger more radical squad selection will be trusted to achieve qualification. 

For now, we won’t have to wait long to find out how good a team the manager has picked to challenge for the Euro 2012 title.

Guest post written by Sam Harvey on behalf of Wonga.

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