The Ox and Walcott called up for England friendly against Italy

The new England manager has sent out a message of intent by calling up a very young new England squad for the friendly against Italy on August the 15th. He has named two Arsenal players in Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Theo Walcott for the game which is unfortunately just three days before the opening League games. (Why do they do that!)

Hodgson has included a few veterans, notably Chelsea’s Frank Lampard and Gary Cahill, but there are a few surprises like Ryan Bertrand of Chelsea, Steven Caulker and Jake Livermore from Spurs and Everton’s Jack Rodwell.

Full England squad

Goalkeepers: Jack Butland (Birmingham City), Joe Hart (Manchester City), John Ruddy (Norwich City).

Defenders: Leighton Baines (Everton), Ryan Bertrand (Chelsea), Gary Cahill (Chelsea), Steven Caulker (Tottenham Hotspur), Phil Jagielka (Everton), Kyle Walker (Tottenham Hotspur).

Midfielders: Michael Carrick (Manchester United), Tom Cleverley (Manchester United), Frank Lampard (Chelsea), Adam Johnson (Manchester City), Jake Livermore (Tottenham Hotspur), James Milner (Manchester City), Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (Arsenal), Jack Rodwell (Everton), Ashley Young (Manchester United).

Forwards: Andy Carroll (Liverpool), Jermain Defoe (Tottenham Hotspur), Daniel Sturridge (Chelsea), Theo Walcott (Arsenal).

I don’t know if this means that Hodgson is trying to build a new young team for the Brazil 2014 World Cup or he is just trying to be nice to the Premiership managers who are (quite rightly) annoyed by this meaningless friendly played every season at a crucial time in the preparations for the new season…….

Also, in a strange twist of events, FIFA have promoted England to being the THIRD best team in the world behind Spain and Germany, despite being knocked out of the Euros in the quarter-finals (as usual) by Italy, who are rated three places below them. This list obviously has little to do with reality as any England supporter would agree and is compounded by the fact that Brazil are rated THIRTEENTH in the list!

Fifa world rankings

1) Spain

2) Germany

3) England

4) Uruguay

5) Portugal

6) Italy

7) Argentina

8) Netherlands

9) Croatia

10) Denmark