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Hodgson’s delight after moving on from reliance on Man Utd, Chelsea & Liverpool aces

07:30 16 November 2012

England manager Roy Hodgson. Photo: Nick Potts/PA Wire

England manager Roy Hodgson. Photo: Nick Potts/PA Wire

PA Wire

England manager Roy Hodgson is delighted that the young players have been so effective at taking on the mantle from their predecessors.

Ever since the ‘Golden Generation’ broke onto the scene more than a decade ago, England has appeared to be a closed shop.

In bringing in Leon Osman rather than Gareth Barry and placing his trust in 17-year-old Raheem Sterling, Hodgson was showing a creditable willingness to look beyond the old guard, even, to an extent, insulating himself against unforeseen mishaps to Steven Gerrard and Wayne Rooney, the key outfield players he would least like to be without.

“In the past we seem to have been very reliant on a group of players who had to play at all times without an awful lot of support,” Hodgson said.

“Now there’s more competition for places and certainly more help for the Gerrards and Rooneys.”

The expectation has appeared too much for Rooney at times. And an international career which, like Gerrard’s, seems destined for over 100 caps, has been a let down far too often.

“I agree with you,” Hodgson said. “But there are other options. If Danny Welbeck can give performances like that for Manchester United every Saturday, I am sure Sir Alex Ferguson will be absolutely delighted.”

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