Bolting door on Terry recall a sign Hodgson wants World Cup youth
Roy Hodgson has moved swiftly to end the John Terry coming back into the England national team debate. Defender Terry was a 9/2 chance to be included in the World Cup squad for Brazil this summer, but he will now be watching it at home with the rest of the nation.
Hodgson is happy to keep faith with first-choice centre back pairing of Gary Cahill and Phil Jagielka that helped the Three Lions qualify. Both are heavily odds-on at 1/20 and 1/6 respectively to be on the plane. Those two apart, England look set to include younger names to cover this position.
Cahill’s regular partner at Chelsea under Jose Mourinho is Terry. The Blues club captain has been rejuvenated at Stamford Bridge this term, helping to keep 10 Premier League clean sheets, but Hodgson is ignoring the clamour from pundits and commentators to recall him.
“The door isn’t open [to Terry] because he has retired from international football,” Hodgson said. “When players retire, we move on.”
“We moved on after our first qualification game, when John Terry limped off, and since that time we have chosen the players who are available, who have represented us well in my opinion, so we will continue with that.
“John has retired and as far as I am concerned that is the situation. We have got along without him for the whole of the qualification and a few friendlies as well so we will have to get along without him in the future.”
It is highly likely Hodgson will take four central defenders to Brazil. Manchester United’s versatile Phil Jones, soon to turn 22, is a lock for inclusion at 4/11 – provided he is fit. That leaves a single spot up for grabs at the back and Red Devils teammate Chris Smalling, who played under Hodgson for Fulham, is the most likely at 8/13.
There are more mature options available to England as back-up to Cahill and Jagielka, but Joleon Lescott is out of favour at Manchester City and Spurs skipper Michael Dawson last wore a Three Lions shirt way back in 2011.
Coral offer odds of 5/2 on Lescott and 8/1 on Dawson, although neither look likely to make the cut for the final 23-man roster if everyone is fit. Cardiff City team captain Steven Caulker, also 8/1, is someone Hodgson may call on if injuries are an issue.
That would require him to overlook the fact that Caulker, 22, is part of the second worst Premier League defence this season. Whoever Hodgson chooses then behind Cahill and Jagielka, they are set to be more youthful than experienced.