Villa Park

Next Game

A Villa v Everton

Saturday, 02 May 2015, 15:00

Barclays Prem

Goodison Park

Last Game

Everton 3 - 0 Man Utd

Sunday, 26 April 2015, 13:30

Barclays Prem

Hodgson welcomes new boys

England manager Roy Hodgson says Leon Osman and Raheem Sterling are fully deserving of their places in the squad for next week's friendly against Sweden in Stockholm.

Last Updated: 08/11/12 at 17:34 Post Comment

Leon Osman: Has impressed Roy Hodgson

Leon Osman: Has impressed Roy Hodgson

More of the games that matter

Upgrade in minutes or watch with a NOW TV Day Pass.

Everton midfielder Osman has been selected for the first time at the age of 31 while young Liverpool forward Sterling is in the squad again, having been called up as a replacement earlier this season.

Hodgson said: "Leon is a player who I've admired since I came back to Fulham five years ago. He's always done extremely well whenever I've played Everton or watched Everton.

"Of course, he's faced great competition in the position that he plays but, on this occasion, we've got the opportunity and the space to bring Leon into the team."

It has been rumoured that Jamaica may try and claim Sterling but Hodgson says that was not a factor in his selection.

"He's in the squad on merit and because I think he's done extremely well for Liverpool," said the manager. "He burst onto the scene at the start of the season and has been ever-present in the Liverpool team in recent games, playing a very exciting part.

"It has nothing to do with him being courted by anybody else. My views on that subject are clear, as far as I'm concerned a player should have the right to choose who he wants to play for.

"But, it would seem to me, having played at every level for England so far, it must be Raheem's hope that he's going to represent his country at national team level and he's on the threshold of doing that at the moment.

"And he's doing it because he's there on merit, as one of the better players that we have in England at this time."

Nicely balanced squad

Hodgson will also be able to welcome some more familiar faces back into the squad and he added: "It's an interesting and nicely balanced squad I think.

"There are some young players and one or two new players that we would like to look at, such as Leon and Raheem.

"It's good to have Ashley Young back after he has been missing for a long time and Jack Wilshere is back, who has been missing even longer.

"There are a good group of senior players in there, not least Steven Gerrard, who is going to play his 100th game and captain the team."

More of the games that matter

Upgrade in minutes or watch with a NOW TV Day Pass.

Related News

Most Commented

Readers' Comments

N

o credit to Brendan for playing an innovative 'False No.1' for the first half of the season?

balls-to-monty
Football365's Top Ten PL Goalkeepers

I

ve been really impressed by Adrian when I've seen West Ham matches. Really good keeper and has earnt the 'Ammers many a point this season. Wouldn't swap Lloris for anyone either, he's currently far too good for us.

dryice
Football365's Top Ten PL Goalkeepers

H

ow is Mignolet, most PL clean sheets this season, not a part of this list? Ridiculous!

mahzaib aziz
Football365's Top Ten PL Goalkeepers

Footer 365

Champions League: Real Madrid's Bale and Benzema fit for Juventus clash

Gareth Bale and Karim Benzema should be fit for Real Madrid's Champions League semi-final first-leg clash at Juventus.

Manchester United confirm tour of US in 2015

Manchester United have confirmed they will face Barcelona, PSG, Club America and San Jose Earthquakes on a US tour this summer.

Nigel Pearson warns Leicester winning run is worth nothing yet

Leicester boss Nigel Pearson is delighted to be out of the Premier League's bottom three but has warned his players they have achieved nothing yet.

Mail Box

Is Mrs Mediawatch A Brighton Fan?

The Mailbox stands firmly in Bournemouth's corner, Jose Mourinho is defended in force and Manchester City would want him if he was sacked at Chelsea...

Mourinho A 'Motivator Of Idiots'

The Mailbox asks whether Jose Mourinho is really that special or is he just 'a motivator of idiots?' And strikers don't come through at top clubs...apparently.

© 2015 Sky Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media company