Scholes picks England XI vs Italy - no Wilshere, new Rooney must start!

Ross Barkley

There's no Arsenal representative in Manchester United legend's pick to start the World Cup match on Sat. Everton, Liverpool and Manchester City featured.

"None of the big teams fear England in this World Cup [so] let’s give them something to worry about. Ross Barkley must start," writes Paul Scholes in his Paddy Power blog, imploring Three Lions gaffer Roy Hodgson to select Everton wonderkid Barkley in his starting XI for the Italy game in Manaus on Saturday, June 14.

Scholes, himself a former England international capped 66 times by his country, believes that the immediate integration of youngsters like Barkley and Liverpool's exciting forward Raheem Sterling would usher in a new attack-happy England era whilst allowing the players of the future great tournament experience - akin to the Germany team who had an average age of 25 four years ago.

"The strength of the England squad is this new breed of players who are enthusiastic, athletic and attack-minded. There is no point taking people like Raheem Sterling or Barkley to Brazil ‘for the experience’. Play them. Some might say it’s risky. But these players have the fitness and ability to get the ball back if they lose it (hopefully not in dangerous positions). You want them to attack and give the opposition problems.

"Barkley [against Ecuador] made me think of Wayne [Rooney] at Euro 2004. I had to take a second look because I thought it was Wayne… he has no fear. Now is a great chance for Roy Hodgson to give English football the identity we’ve lacked," he said.

If Scholes was Three Lions boss, he would start both, with Steven Gerrard occupying a position at the base of midfield, with Danny Welbeck, Daniel Sturridge and Wayne Rooney completing the attack.  

Joey Barton recently waded in on the Jordan Henderson - Jack Wilshere debate; who exactly should start next to Gerrard, but in Scholes' line-up, neither would be included.

Joe Hart

Glen Johnson - Gary Cahill - Phil Jagielka - Leighton Baines

Steven Gerrard

Ross Barkley - Danny Welbeck 

Daniel Sturridge           -           Raheem Sterling

Wayne Rooney

"Look at what Joachim Loew’s young and gifted German side achieved in South Africa four years ago. They destroyed England 4-1 – the average age of that German team was just 25. Hodgson has little to lose by going for the jugular in Rio. Will we be satisfied if England scrape through to the quarter-finals playing negative football? Let’s not do that and instead take responsibility for what happens if we go for it.

"Let these England players off the leash."

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