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WORLD CUP: Ex-England and Ipswich Town skipper backs Roy Hodgson’s squad selection but worries about defensive inexperience

10:35 20 May 2014

Mick Mills celebrates Dave Watson's goal for England against Northern Ireland

Mick Mills celebrates Dave Watson's goal for England against Northern Ireland

Former England World Cup skipper Mick Mills believes inexperience in the Three Lions’ rearguard could be their downfall in Brazil.

Roy Hodgson’s men travel to South America for Group D games against 2006 winners Italy, Luis Suarez’s Uruguay and outsiders Costa Rica.

England’s first-choice back four is likely to include Everton’s Phil Jagielka and Leighton Baines and Chelsea’s Gary Cahill who have yet to play a competitive game at a major tournament, along with seasoned tournament performer Glen Johnson.

Mills, who won 42 caps for England and captained his country at the 1982 World Cup, as well as skippering Ipswich Town to FA Cup and UEFA Cup success said: “I like Roy Hodgson’s squad, although I am not sure I would have left Ashley Cole at home.

“It’s nicely balanced, with a few new faces, but the area that concerns me is the back four. We had such a good group of players that kept their positions in the England defence for a long, long time, the likes of John Terry, Rio Ferdinand, Gary Neville and Cole.

“They won a huge amount of caps and made the positions their own.

“What we have now in Cahill, Baines and Jagielka are players at the perfect age but without any tournament experience.

“It looks very inexperienced as far as the World Cup is concerned, particularly in South America, which I think will be tougher than playing in Europe.”

Progression through the group stages would see England face Colombia, Greece, Ivory Coast or Japan in the last 16, with the hosts, Holland and Spain likely opponents in the last eight.

“We have not got an easy group, and I think all the games could go either way,” Mills added.

“If we were to emerge through the groups and reach the quarter-finals, that would be amazing.”

3 comments

  • I think Brazil will win the World Cup???

    Report this comment

    Stat-Matt

    Tuesday, May 20, 2014

  • I being a betting man won't be going anywhere near England. The heat, inexperience and as Mick said reading between the lines , not good enough defensively. Danny Welbeck's a decent player, but not a Gary Lineker or a Ruud Van Nistelroy. He misses too many simple conversions. Rooney has not produced the goods in the past, why should he now? Some of the young guns look decent enough. But how often in the past have we had players that look brilliant for a couple of season's only to fade away. I really don't know who I would put money on. I suppose Brazil or Argentina maybe ?

    Report this comment

    whymarkmariner

    Tuesday, May 20, 2014

  • lack of experience is rarely a problem. Lack of talent usually is. And in world cups, lack of composure when taking penalties. Doubt anything much will change in this one, with England doing well to get out of the group

    Report this comment

    Ray Bidwolf

    Tuesday, May 20, 2014

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

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