With the World Cup just one month away, the race to be included in Roy Hodgson’s 23-man England squad is hotting up.
The old guard such as Frank Lampard, Steven Gerrard and Gary Cahill are all-but certain to be on the plane, but what about England’s young prospects?
In times gone by, the Three Lions have often been slow, pedestrian and at times static during the national team’s major tournaments, and it has left a number of fans feeling disappointed.
Ahead of Brazil, there have been cries for youth, pace and directness to be given a chance, and the Premier League has seen a big move in the right direction on those accounts.
Celebrity Arsenal fan Piers Morgan has been a staunch critic of the Gunners' lack of pace this season, and he opted to explain what England need via Twitter.
England should start with Oxlade-Chamberlain, Sterling & Barkley at the World Cup. Go for youth, speed & power.— Piers Morgan (@piersmorgan) Mayo 3, 2014
My England WC starting XI > Hart, Johnson, Cahill, Jagielka, Shaw, Ox-Chamberlain, Gerrard, Barkley, Sterling, Sturridge, Rooney.— Piers Morgan (@piersmorgan) Mayo 3, 2014
Arsenal’s Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain will be on the plane to Brazil, assuming he is injury free.
The young international has been in the squad since Euro 2012, and he netted in the official opening of Brazil’s Maracana stadium during the entertaining 2-2 draw with the hosts.
For Arsenal, he has had an injury-stricken season, starting just six Premier League games to date. However, his ability is evident, and England will need his pace this season.
Morgan has also backed Merseyside duo Raheem Sterling and Ross Barkley for a place this summer.
While both young and inexperienced at international level, individually, they deserve it for the fanatastic season they have had.
Liverpool winger Sterling was a Young Player of the Year nominee, and in most other seasons, he probably would have won it.
He has helped the Reds maintain a massive goal threat throughout the season, scoring nine goals and assisting a further four in just 22 Premier League starts. Has there been a better winger than the Liverpool star this season? Probably not.
Another Merseyside-based Englishman who caught Morgan’s eye is 20-year-old Everton star Barkley.
During Everton’s 3-2 loss over Manchester City at Goodison Park on Saturday, pundits and fans alike were drooling over his superb goal which set the tone for a magical display.
Bursting through the middle, the Toffees youngster made a total of nine successful dribbles, the same amount as the whole of the Manchester City starting XI combined.
Barkley was simply brilliant, and along with Sterling and Oxlade-Chamberlian, they have the pace and ability to frighten the world’s best teams this summer.