Just a few days back, Italy legend Gennaro Gattuso slammed England for naming a young squad for the 2014 World Cup finals Brazil. The 2006 World Cup winner’s argument was that experienced players are crucial in a team being successful in major international competitions, claiming that experience is ‘not something you buy at Tesco’.
Like Gattuso, there have been others who have been harsh on Three Lions manager Roy Hodgson for including a number of players who will be featuring in their first World Cup. For some players, it will be their first major tournament in England colours.
However, Liverpool legend and former Germany international Dietmar Hamann believes that players over the age of 30 could struggle in the intense heat in Brazil, saying that “a young team” could be beneficial.
‘If you’re not the best team in keeping possession, I think you need a young team, I think that certainly helps’, Goal.com quotes him as saying. ‘I’d be very careful picking players over 30 if I don’t have to and I think that especially in midfield and forward positions it helps to have youth and have legs in your squad’.
Hamann was probably referring to Joachim Low’s Germany side, but his argument is applicable to England as well. Hodgson has included a number of young players, who will be brimming with confidence and optimism. England’s so-called ‘Golden Generation’ has tried and failed to do much in international football so it is now time to pass the baton to the upcoming new crop of players.
England have a hard group to contend with in Brazil. Italy, Uruguay and Costa Rica will be the Three Lions’ opponents in Group D, which is one of the toughest at the 2014 World Cup. Although there is not much expectation on England, with energetic, fresh legs and no fear in their hearts, the young players could just make some heads turn in South America.