With the deadline for submitting a provisional squad fast approaching (May 13th), Roy Hodgson, like many other managers, are in the midst of deciding who will be taken to training camp prior to the World Cup and who will be left behind. After indicating that he will give chance to youth in his squad last week, this week Roy has come up and said that he basically already knows who will be in his squad:
"I've had a very clear idea of what I want to do with this squad for a long, long time. Certainly, over the last couple of weeks I'm pretty much sure of what I want to do when it comes to the team."
Obviously with Roy in charge over the qualifying stage, he has the luxury of being able to asses a group of players for a prolonged period of time (something that he didn't have in the build up to Euro 2012). So its not a surprised to see him with a clear idea of his squad already. He also added that his judgment won't be based on end-of-season performances:
"Nothing that happens in the last four games, in terms of form, is going to affect me. I don't judge players on their last-minute form over two or three games. I'm judging them over two years."
"I wanted to make my decision around the November-to-early-March time because that's where things are really done."
Again Roy's reasoning here is sound, that players should be judged based on the base of their performance and consistency throughout the season. However, it must be taken into account that in the case of players like Luke Shaw or Ross Barkley, this is only their first season where they have made the breakthrough to the first team. While it can be quite a gamble to take these youngsters, it may pay off handsomely in the future. Another thing to consider is also injuries, with Jay Rodriguez the latest example of suffering an injury at the worst possible time. While his provisional squad will enable him to name some extra names, it can't hurt to have a few backups just in case. Last but not least, a player may struggle with his form throughout the season, but all of a sudden found an extra gear near the end of the season. The question should he be taken over someone who've shown a consistent performance? (but may struggle with a full-season workload and fatigue).
Thankfully with just about two weeks until the provisional squad is announced, we should have a clearer picture of his possible 23-man squad and those questions above should be answered. Be sure to check regularly with us, as we'll be all over the build-up to the World Cup.