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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

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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."

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Readers' Comments

S

terling needs to be told though that upon entering the Arsenal squad he will re-enact the final scene from Highlander where he will be thrown around a warehouse by cartoon dragons and then be a mere mortal that will only ever spend three to four weeks a season playing football and the rest on the physio's bed. There can be only one.....player available at The Emirates.

rodger's gusset
Arsenal interest in Sterling

T

he game changed in our favour when Carrick came on. We were able to play further up the pitch due to having a player who can give and go with the ball and keep possession. Yet barkley made some runs and Townsend scored a good goal but carrick's inclusion and chiellini's withdrawal made the biggest difference to the flow of the game

ricky villa
Hodgson: Barkley was brilliant

N

o, you've not silenced anyone Andros, i'm afraid. We know you can score a great goal, and it's really handy to have your direct running and willingness to shoot on the bench. But until you can do the other things expected of a winger (beat the man, put a decent cross in, stay wide etc) then you can't expect more than a regular cameo. Wonderful goal though, what a hit! No wonder Buffon wanted the shirt.

badwolf
Townsend: I've silenced critics

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