Roy Hodgson has named his 30-man squad for England’s friendly with Denmark, and has advised those not selected not to give up on their World Cup dreams.
The clash against the Danes represents Hodgson’s last chance to witness his men play in competitive action together, as he has to name his final 23 – and seven standby players – on 13 May. It is little wonder, then, that there would have been many Premier League stars on tenterhooks this week, wondering if their mobile phones would ring.
And there was a first senior call-up for young left fullback Luke Shaw, who joins his Southampton pals Adam Lallana, Rickie Lambert and Jay Rodriguez in the party for the Wembley date. Cardiff City defender Steven Caulker, who scored in his only appearance for his country in November 2012, has also been recalled, whilst Jermain Defoe remains firmly in contention despite leaving English football for Toronto FC this week.
There was disappointment, though, for West Ham United’s Andy Carroll, who has recently returned from injury but has not been selected. Another notable absentee is Manchester City midfielder Gareth Barry, who has impressed whilst on loan at Everton. However, Hodgson insists both of these players still have time to force themselves into the squad for Brazil, as does anyone else who has been overlooked this time.
“It’s not over, no,” he said. “This is not a definitive squad and there are no guarantees for the players who I have included. Andy Carroll has hardly played for West Ham United, but we will keep an eye on him. Gareth Barry has not been with us for two years, but he is playing well for Everton and I would not be against calling him up.”
The full 30-man squad is as follows:
Goalkeepers: Fraser Forster (Celtic), Ben Foster (West Bromwich Albion), Joe Hart (Manchester City), John Ruddy (Norwich City).
Defenders: Leighton Baines (Everton), Gary Cahill (Chelsea), Steven Caulker (Cardiff City), Ashley Cole (Chelsea), Glen Johnson (Liverpool), Luke Shaw (Southampton), Chris Smalling (Manchester United), Kyle Walker (Tottenham Hotspur).
Midfielders: Ross Barkley (Everton), Michael Carrick (Manchester United), Tom Cleverley (Manchester United), Steven Gerrard (Liverpool), Jordan Henderson (Liverpool), Adam Lallana (Southampton), Frank Lampard (Chelsea), James Milner (Manchester City), Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (Arsenal), Raheem Sterling (Liverpool), Andros Townsend (Tottenham Hotspur), Jack Wilshere (Arsenal).
Forwards: Jermain Defoe (Toronto FC), Rickie Lambert (Southampton), Jay Rodriguez (Southampton), Wayne Rooney (Manchester United), Daniel Sturridge (Liverpool), Daniel Welbeck (Manchester United).