Taylor backs Shaw call-up

Luke Shaw made his one and only England appearance to date against Denmark in March

Michael Owen believes the 23-man England squad for Brazil is the squad for now'

First published in National Sport News © by

Former England interim manager Peter Taylor has backed the decision to take Southampton's promising young left-back Luke Shaw to the World Cup in Brazil ahead of the far more experienced Ashley Cole.

England boss Roy Hodgson announced his squad on Monday afternoon and included young players such as Shaw and Ross Barkley, along with experienced internationals like Frank Lampard - but there were no places in the 23-man squad for Michael Carrick or Cole.

The Chelsea defender announced his international retirement on Sunday evening having missed out on the squad, with Shaw's inclusion alongside Everton's Leighton Baines as the two England left-backs.

Taylor, who led England between the permanent reigns of Kevin Keegan and Sven-Goran Eriksson, believes Shaw will be included mainly to garner experience of a tournament before establishing himself as first-choice.

"I think it is a great decision," he told Sky Sports News.

"It is obvious that Roy is thinking of Baines being number one and he will take Shaw with him because he might not be needed but it will be a good experience and get him ready for the Euros.

"I know that is a little bit of a gamble but it is obvious Baines is number one so it is a good decision for a very good young player."

Former Arsenal defender Martin Keown, who collected 42 England caps during his career, reckons the inclusion of Gunners' pair Jack Wilshere and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain is a risk given their lack of fitness in recent months.

"Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain has been out injured for a good deal of time," Keown told BBC Radio 5 Live. "That's probably a gamble, Jack Wilshere as well. I was a little bit surprised Roy Hodgson didn't go with Ashley Cole for what is a major tournament."

Goalkeeper John Ruddy, who was relegated from the Barclays Premier League with Norwich on Sunday, has only made the stand-by list, with Joe Hart, Ben Foster and Fraser Forster preferred to the 27-year-old.

The former Everton man has one cap to date and he told Sky Sports News he was devastated to miss out.

"I got the phone call last night from Roy and I was obviously very disappointed not to be involved in the squad," Ruddy said.

"It is devastating. I had the same thing in the Euros (in 2012), I broke my finger two days into training and missed that one as well.

"I fought back that season and have been involved in every squad I have been available for in the last two years and then to fall at the last hurdle and be told I haven't made it is a bitter pill to swallow.

"That is all I can say. It is really gut-wrenching to be told, but I wish all the lads who are going the best and hope they can go as far as they can.

"This has been a bad week in my career, but it is something that will make you stronger. I thought I had done enough to make the squad, but it wasn't to be. I had one clean sheet less than Joe Hart, who won the title.

"Keeping myself fit is something I will be doing anyway and the FA will like to know my whereabouts as I'm on the stand-by list and I will wait to see if a call comes my way."

Rickie Lambert was named as one of the four strikers following another successful season at Southampton.

The 32-year-old was playing in a League Two play-off semi-final for Bristol Rovers seven years ago but, having scored 16 goals for Saints this campaign he is on the plane to Brazil looking to add to his two England goals.

"It has been a hell of a journey to be honest," he told Sky Sports News.

"My career on the whole has been so many ups and downs but the last five years, the way it has gone I could never have dreamt it.

"Each year it has been getting better and better and that has been topped off with getting called up for the World Cup.

"I have felt sick for the 24 hours, nervous and anxious but I finally got the call to say I was in the 23 and I was over the moon to say the least.

"I have seen World Cups before the atmosphere always looks unbelievable and it is something I have always dreamt of witnessing and now that I know I'm in the 23 I am going to be there. It is hard to take in really."

With team-mates Shaw and Adam Lallana also included, Lambert believes it is testament to the Southampton staff that a trio have made it into the squad.

"I think playing in a great team with great lads who I have been playing with for a few years has definitely helped me," he added.

"Playing with good players around you makes it a lot easier for me. It is credit to everyone involved at Southampton. The manager (Mauricio Pochettino) has pushed me on to a new level.

"I was very confident that Ads (Lallana) was going to get in and to hear that Luke Shaw is in as well I was delighted - it is great news."

Everton's 20-year-old midfielder Ross Barkley is arguably one of the names that would have proved something of a surprise.

But, following an impressive season under Roberto Martinez and a string of eye-catching performances, Barkley is now looking to keep his great year going in Brazil.

"Getting picked to go is a great achievement and it would be the best thing that's happened to me to play," he told evertontv.

"It would mean everything. Going over to the World Cup, everyone dreams about doing that.

"Last season, I wasn't starting games, so to come into this season and start loads of games, get the chance to get into the squad and then finally get into the squad - I'd never have dreamed of that.

"Things like this happen through hard work and I'm grateful for it.

"When I've been away with England, he (Hodgson) has just said I've got to focus on playing. That's the way a young lad gets better - playing on the pitch.

"He's said to keep doing what I've been doing for my club and hopefully I get the chance at the World Cup."

Alan Shearer says expectations are low regarding England's prospects in Brazil but insists Roy Hodgson's side has enough talent to improve on recent displays at major tournaments.

Shearer, who scored 30 goals in 63 international appearances, picked the team he believes should start against Italy and remains optimistic about England's chances.

He told BBC 5 Live "I think the starting XI nearly picks itself. I would start with Joe Hart, Glen Johnson, Gary Cahill, Phil Jagielka, Leighton Baines.

"I would have Steven Gerrard and then either Jordan Henderson or Jack Wilshere, depending on Wilshere's fitness, in front of the back four.

"With a three in front of them of Adam Lallana, Wayne Rooney and Raheem Sterling. And with Daniel Sturridge at the top of that.

"That's the way I would set up. It's exciting, it's got a bit of youth in it, a bit of experience in it and who knows?

"There's not a huge amount of expectation from everyone that England can go to Brazil and win it but there's expectation hopefully to go there and see some progression and improvement on what we've seen in the past few years."

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