England will face Italy in Switzerland on the 15th and Hodgson will use this game too look at some players before he faces Moldova and Ukraine in September as they kick off their campaign to qualify for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.
John Terry, Rio Ferdinand, Ashley Cole and Wayne Rooney have not been called up but Frank Lampard has. Steven Caulker and Jake Livermore from Tottenham and Chelsea’s Ryan Bertrand have been given call ups as well as Jack Butland, John Ruddy, Tom Cleverly and Jack Rodwell. Michael Carrick makes a return to an England squad since 2010.
After an impressive run out at the unsuccessful Olympics, Jack Butland will be looking to push Hart for a starting place against Italy, and I wouldn’t be surprised if doesn’t get some playing time against Italy. He looks to have a bright future ahead of him, so why not play him in a game where the result is not important and if he does impress why not try him in goal against Moldova?
With no Cole in the squad it would seem that Baines will be starting with Bertrand possibly getting a run at some point but with Kyle Walker being the only right back it’s pretty obvious he will start and finish the game. In the centre of defence I would assume that Hodgson will start with Cahill and Jagielka and then bring on Caulker at some point, with the plan being to replace him for Jagielka.
If Hodgson is looking to play a 4-4-2 then I could see Carrick and Lampard starting in midfield with Milner and Johnson on the flanks and up. I don’t think Hodgson would call up plays and not give them some playing time, so I think Livermore will get a run out, possibly the last 10mins and the same going for Oxlade-Chamberlain and Rodwell, but I would expect them to get more playing time.
If Hodgson decided to opt for a more attaching formation of 4-2-3-1 then I would still envision that he would start with Lampard and Carrick along with Milner and Johnson on the wingers with Young or Oxlade-Chamberlain behind the striker with Carroll upfront.
I am pleased to see Hodgson taking the chance on some youngsters and leaving out some of the older guard, but I hope that if they impress he will keep them in the squads to face Moldova and Ukraine and start to bring through the younger players for the future so when the 2014 World Cup is here England will have an experienced young side with a better chance of competing for the Cup rather than having the same old tired players that will struggle to get out of the groups stages.
For now, I’m liking what Hodgson is doing, so I don’t want to end on a negative note, but rather praise him for taking the chance on Livermore and Caulker and look forward to seeing what he has planned for the future.
Here is squad in full
Jack Butland (Birmingham City)
Joe Hart (Manchester City)
John Ruddy (Norwich City)
Leighton Baines (Everton)
Ryan Bertrand (Chelsea)
Gary Cahill (Chelsea)
Steven Caulker (Tottenham Hotspur)
Phil Jagielka (Everton)
Kyle Walker (Tottenham Hotspur)
Michael Carrick (Manchester United)
Tom Cleverley (Manchester United)
Frank Lampard (Chelsea)
Adam Johnson (Manchester City)
Jake Livermore (Tottenham Hotspur)
James Milner (Manchester City)
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (Arsenal)
Jack Rodwell (Everton)
Ashley Young (Manchester United)
Andy Carroll (Liverpool)
Jermain Defoe (Tottenham Hotspur)
Daniel Sturridge (Chelsea)
Theo Walcott (Arsenal)