Former England goalkeeper Peter Shilton has defended Roy Hodgson’s decision to select Manchester United midfielder Tom Cleverley for tonight’s international friendly with Denmark at Wembley.
Hodgson has come under fire from bemused England fans who feel he is only selecting the midfielder on the basis that he plays for United and not because his performances deserve a call up.
But Shilton believes Cleverley has done enough to be called up by Hodgson and that he must stay loyal to his previous selections.
He exclusively told Football FanCast: “You’ve got to show a bit of loyalty as a manager, and Hodgson has already played Cleverley in the past.
“Obviously United are struggling at the moment but, I think it’s ridiculous what I’ve read in the papers about what fans have been doing.
“At the end of the day, he deserves to be there. He has played for England and, yeah he’s not in the United side at the moment, but things can change.”
But Shilton also admitted that the young players who have been called up by Hodgson, such as Luke Shaw and Adam Lallana, could prove an interesting addition to Hodgson’s World Cup squad.
“I think Roy Hodgson thinks a lot of Lallana because he can play on that wide position on the left and come inside as well, which has been a bit of a problem position for England recently, in terms of balance,” he added.
“Luke Shaw is lacking in experience having not been in the England team before, and it’s going to be a big ask for him, but he has played with Lallana and that’s an advantage.
“Hodgson has hinted that a big name could be left out and, as Ashley Cole isn’t playing regularly for Chelsea at the moment, and obviously Baines will go, Ashley could make way for Shaw.”
With 125 appearances, Peter Shilton is England’s most capped football player. Celebrating the launch of the Wasgij Original 21 Football Fever jigsaw puzzle, Jumbo Games is running a promotion offering the chance to watch England take on Uruguay alongside Shilton on 19 June 2014.