Ipswich Town legend Kevin Beattie backs England boss Roy Hodgson’s selection for World Cup
Ipswich Town legend Kevin Beattie says Roy Hodgson has one eye on Euro 2016 after he named a youthful squad for this summer’s World Cup yesterday.
Teenagers Ross Barkley, Luke Shaw and Raheem Sterling were among the 23-man squad named for Brazil and are three of nine players to have won five or less caps for the Three Lions.
At the other end of the age spectrum, 32-year-old Michael Carrick is on stand-by and 33-year-old Ashley Cole has missed out altogether.
Hodgson’s men face Italy, Uruguay and Costa Rica in their Group D games and while former England star Beattie isn’t confident of success in South America, he has backed Hodgson’s vision for the future.
“I don’t really fancy us at this World Cup and I will be happy if we win a couple of games,” said Beattie, who won nine caps for England, between 1975 and 1977.
“It’s clear that Roy (Hodgson) is building towards qualifying for Euro 2016 by picking these youngsters and he is quite right too, as they’re playing out of their skins.
“We have some tremendous young talent in the likes of (Raheem) Sterling, (Adam) Lallana and (Luke) Shaw and whether they have one cap or 100, it doesn’t matter, they have deserved their place.”
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Beattie said Hodgson was right to leave out Cole, who revealed the news on Twitter and subsequently announced his international retirement on Sunday.
However, he does believe former Spurs striker Jermain Defoe, named in the back-up squad, should have been in Hodgson’s plans.
“I think Ashley is coming to the end to be quite honest,” Beattie said.
“He has got a couple more years in him but at international level, you have got to give the youngsters a go.”
He added: “I would have liked to have seen Jermain Defoe in the squad though.
“He is now playing in Toronto but he’s a proven goalscorer and if he gets to go, I will be over the moon.
“People have labelled him greedy in the past but he wants to score goals and if you don’t shoot you don’t score.”