Liverpool legend says Manchester United duo are not worthy of their World Cup spots

Phil Jones crop

Robbie Fowler thinks that Chris Smalling and Phil Jones don't deserve to be in the England squad to travel to Brazil

Liverpool legend Robbie Fowler has suggested that Chris Smalling and Phil Jones don’t deserve their places in the England World Cup squad.

Roy Hodgson selected his 23 man England squad, containing the Manchester United duo, on Monday, and the announcement received a largely agreeable reaction from the English public.

However, Fowler thinks that the inclusion of Smalling and Jones was un-merited.

He said, in an interview with TalkSPORT: “I think if you’re picking squads on form they don’t deserve to go.

“They are good plays and the potential is there. But are they good enough to play for England? On their current form they’re obviously not.

“I mean, they are very, very good players, but they’re not showing it yet.

“You look at the England team and Smalling has played the last few internationals so he might be one of the favourites to start at the World Cup.

“Would you be that confident? Probably not as confident as you would with others there.

“But he’s got a chance to go and try and prove people wrong. It’s a big season, a big World Cup and a big pre-season for them next year.”

Both defenders have featured fairly prominently in United’s poor campaign this season, which led to them finishing in seventh place, but are still held in high regard at Old Trafford.

Considered amongst the brightest prospects in their positions, both are likely to be competing for the starting right-back berth with Liverpool's Glen Johnson. They can also both provide cover for Phil Jagielka and Gary Cahill at centre-back, such is the versatility in their games.

Smalling has made 25 appearances for United this campaign, whilst Jones has played 26 times.

Jones does have some fitness doubts surrounding him ahead of the tournament's start date after picking up a shoulder injury in United’s penultimate Premier League match against Hull City.

Hodgson has suggested that Everton's Jon Stones would be called up as his replacement, after the former Barnsley man was placed on the standby list, if Jones is not capable of playing in Brazil.

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