Hodgson will not throw out old guard until younger players are ready to step up

 

The England manager, Roy Hodgson, is adamant that he will not bow to popular pressure and throw out the old guard as World Cup qualification begins on Friday in Moldova. In John Terry, Ashley Cole, Frank Lampard and Steven Gerrard, he has named four players in his squad with more than 75 caps each, and Wayne Rooney would have been another had he not been injured.

The transition to a younger group was started for him by his predecessor, Fabio Capello, with half of the much-maligned 2010 World Cup squad no longer included, but Hodgson is keen to avoid the mistake Chelsea made last season in dispensing with players prematurely.

"André Villas-Boas when he came into Chelsea decided that's the way he would go and maybe was advised to by the owner, and yet eventually they're the players who come back and win them the Champions' League," Hodgson said.

"I think they're still good enough. I want to win football matches and I won't be prepared to throw away players of the quality of Lampard and Terry and Gerrard until I'm sure there are much better players who can take their place. That's not happening in their club teams at the moment because they're very, very important members of them and when they don't play, their club teams miss them enormously.

He added: "When they let me down, maybe I'll say people were right, but they haven't done that as yet – quite the reverse. Terry and Gerrard were two of the most important people in the Euros."

A decision on Terry may be taken out of Hodgson's hands if he is found guilty on a Football Association charge relating to the Queens Park Rangers defender Anton Ferdinand, but his personal hearing has been delayed until after the games against Moldova and at home to Ukraine (for which many tickets remain unsold). In the meantime, Hodgson prefers a policy of gradual integration of young players such as Ryan Bertrand, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Tom Cleverley and Daniel Sturridge.

He has quickly resigned himself to losing players through injury as well as having others, like that younger generation, who are not first choices for their clubs. "That's not something I can say I'm happy about," he said. "I have to accept that, unfortunately. There is a situation today where the talent in the country, especially the younger talent, is going to get attracted to the bigger clubs to some extent who have quite strong squads and it's not always going to be easy for them to break into the team. So it's up to these lads to make sure they do get in."

At least previous fringe players such as Andy Carroll at West Ham and Adam Johnson at Sunderland, should now do so. As for the old guard, Hodgson will take his turn as the latest England manager to try to get Lampard and Gerrard working together. "They're both very good players," he said. "It's maybe just that when the game has taken place people haven't enjoyed what they saw.

"It's simple. They haven't been together in my time as England manager and I don't see any obstacles as to why they can't play together. I'm not going to be affected by past judgements of them playing together. I'll make my own judgements."

Rooney should be available for the October games against San Marino and Poland. "He's a player who can make our England team better and, when he's fit, it's up to him to prove that," said Hodgson. "There's no doubt he wants to play and he's eager to do a good job for England and I want to give him that chance. After that it will be up to him to seize that chance, to play well and put some of those past criticisms to bed."

News
Susan Sarandon described David Bowie as
peopleSusan Sarandon reveals more on her David Bowie romance
Sport
sportDidier Drogba returns to Chelsea on one-year deal
News
people
Arts and Entertainment
Christian Grey cradles Ana in the Fifty Shades of Grey film
filmFifty Shades of Grey trailer provokes moral outrage in US
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Sport
Louis van Gaal would have been impressed with Darren Fletcher’s performance against LA Galaxy during Manchester United’s 7-0 victory
football
Voices
The new dawn heralded by George Osborne has yet to rise
voicesJames Moore: As the Tories rub their hands together, the average voter will be asking why they're not getting a piece of the action
Sport
Dejan Lovren celebrates scoring for Southampton although the goal was later credited to Adam Lallana
sport
News
newsComedy club forced to apologise as maggots eating a dead pigeon fall out of air-conditioning
Arts and Entertainment
Jo Brand says she's mellowed a lot
tvJo Brand says shows encourage people to laugh at the vulnerable
Life and Style
People may feel that they're procrastinating by watching TV in the evening
life
Sport
Rhys Williams
commonwealth games
News
Isis fighters travel in a vehicle as they take part in a military parade along the streets of Syria's northern Raqqa province
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Southern charm: Nicolas Cage and Tye Sheridan in ‘Joe’
filmReview: Actor delivers astonishing performance in low budget drama
Life and Style
fashionLatex dresses hit the catwalk to raise awareness for HIV and Aids
Travel
travel
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Backhanders, bribery and abuses of power have soared in China as economy surges

Bribery and abuses of power soar in China

The bribery is fuelled by the surge in China's economy but the rules of corruption are subtle and unspoken, finds Evan Osnos, as he learns the dark arts from a master
Commonwealth Games 2014: Highland terriers stole the show at the opening ceremony

Highland terriers steal the show at opening ceremony

Gillian Orr explores why a dog loved by film stars and presidents is finally having its day
German art world rocked as artists use renowned fat sculpture to distil schnapps

Brewing the fat from artwork angers widow of sculptor

Part of Joseph Beuys' 1982 sculpture 'Fettecke' used to distil schnapps
BBC's The Secret History of Our Streets reveals a fascinating window into Britain's past

BBC takes viewers back down memory lane

The Secret History of Our Streets, which returns with three films looking at Scottish streets, is the inverse of Benefits Street - delivering warmth instead of cynicism
Joe, film review: Nicolas Cage delivers an astonishing performance in low budget drama

Nicolas Cage shines in low-budget drama Joe

Cage plays an ex-con in David Gordon Green's independent drama, which has been adapted from a novel by Larry Brown
How to make your own gourmet ice lollies, granitas, slushy cocktails and frozen yoghurt

Make your own ice lollies and frozen yoghurt

Think outside the cool box for this summer's tempting frozen treats
Ford Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time, with sales topping 4.1 million since 1976

Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time

Sales have topped 4.1 million since 1976. To celebrate this milestone, four Independent writers recall their Fiestas with pride
10 best reed diffusers

Heaven scent: 10 best reed diffusers

Keep your rooms smelling summery and fresh with one of these subtle but distinctive home fragrances that’ll last you months
Commonwealth Games 2014: Female boxers set to compete for first time

Female boxers set to compete at Commonwealth Games for first time

There’s no favourites and with no headguards anything could happen
Five things we’ve learned so far about Manchester United under Louis van Gaal

Five things we’ve learned so far about United under Van Gaal

It’s impossible to avoid the impression that the Dutch manager is playing to the gallery a little
Screwing your way to the top? Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth

Screwing your way to the top?

Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth, says Grace Dent
Will the young Britons fighting in Syria be allowed to return home and resume their lives?

Will Britons fighting in Syria be able to resume their lives?

Tony Blair's Terrorism Act 2006 has made it an offence to take part in military action abroad with a "political, ideological, religious or racial motive"
Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter, the wartime poster girl who became a feminist pin-up

Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter

The wartime poster girl became the ultimate American symbol of female empowerment
The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones: Are custom, 3D printed earbuds the solution?

The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones

Earphones don't fit properly, offer mediocre audio quality and can even be painful. So the quest to design the perfect pair is music to Seth Stevenson's ears
US Army's shooting star: Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform

Meet the US Army's shooting star

Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform