The golden generation is dead – long live the golden generation.
That’s the feeling that is currently surrounding the England national team. Just as it seemed the ageing English players, who have tried and ultimately failed to put the Three Lions back on the international map over the past ten years, would be cast aside for a younger generation, there are now calls for them to lead the team into battle once again. Oh joy.
When the final whistle blew in England’s hugely embarrassing 4-1 defeat against Germany in the World Cup of 2010, it was thought that the likes of John Terry, Rio Ferdinand, Frank Lampard and Steven Gerrard would be cast aside for younger blood.
Two years on, it seems as though, baring no further fallout between Ferdinand and Terry due to the on-going race row, that all four are likely to head to Ukraine and Poland, and more than likely play a key role in new manager Roy Hodgson’s plans. This simply, has to be a tournament for England to blood the upcoming stars in order to ready them for the World Cup in 2014 – that’s where the FA’s priority should lie.
For once, due to the farcical managerial situation in the build-up, there is no expectation on the side to produce. No-one is expecting Hodgson to get England anywhere near the Final. This is why Daniel Sturridge, Danny Welbeck, Chris Smalling and Alex Oxlade Chamberlain should be thrown into the deep end and given game time.
All possess fantastic individual talent, as shown at various times this season, and seemingly have the mentality to deal with the spotlight of a major tournament.
They could sink but there is a big chance with the pressure off they are likely to swim. Anything’s better than another tournament wasted living in the past.