Steven Taylor's call up to the England squad is well overdue

The Newcastle United defender has been added to the squad after Gary Cahill was ruled out of the San Marino game, but given his form for the Magpies he should have been in Roy Hodgson's plans already.

Steven Taylor might have always dreamed of playing for his country, but he could hardly have expected that he would receive his first call up in the manner that he has.

Replacing the injured Gary Cahill is not a particularly strange situation, but the circus of Rio Ferdinand's selection then withdrawal from the squad, and the injury to Michael Dawson has made the central defensive position a real worry for Roy Hodgson.

This could have been avoided if Taylor had simply been selected in the first place, and he had certainly displayed the form in recent months that would have made his inclusion far from unexpected.

Being left out of the squad was one thing, but to see Steven Caulker and Joleon Lescott, two players who are far from guaranteed starts for their club sides, called up ahead of him when Rio Ferdinand and Michael Dawson were withdrawn must have been galling to Taylor.

The selection process has made Hodgson look weak, and worst it has added plenty of fuel to the claims that players from big teams are selected even when not playing as well as their counterparts in sides further down the Premier League table. The suggestion that form would be the most important factor in squad selection has rightly become a subject of ridicule, and this can only be a bad thing for the team in future.

However, at least Taylor is now in the squad, and will likely get a chance to impress, even if the opposition he will face are San Marino. If he does well, Taylor has to also play in the significantly harder match against Montenegro even if Cahill is fit for that game.

Looking around the Premiership there are plenty of in form English players at sides like Newcastle and Southampton, and Hodgson is running the risk of alienating them if he only turns to them as a back-up for players who sometimes barely feature for bigger clubs.

images:  © mickyb59

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