Sport World Cup

Friday 27 April 2018

Paul Scholes: Ross Barkley and Raheem Sterling must start for England

England's Ross Barkley
England's Ross Barkley

Legendary Manchester United midfielder Paul Scholes believes that Everton star Ross Barkley and Liverpool flyer Raheem Sterling must start for Roy Hodgson's England.

In his latest Paddy Power blog, Scholes believes that England's true strength is in their youthful exuberance and it should be utilised.

"None of the big teams fear England in this World Cup. Let’s give them something to worry about. Ross Barkley must start," he wrote.

"This could be just me, but how do England play football? I don’t know. It seems there’s speculation before every game about how we are going to approach the match tactically.

"Two up front? One up front? Wide players? Holding midfielders?

"The strength of the England squad is this new breed of players who are enthusiastic, athletic and attack-minded. There is no point taking people like Raheem Sterling or Barkley (above) to Brazil ‘for the experience’. Play them.

"Some might say it’s risky. But these players have the fitness and ability to get the ball back if they lose it (hopefully not in dangerous positions). You want them to attack and give the opposition problems.

"Now is a great chance for Roy Hodgson to give English football the identity we’ve lacked.

"Do we want to go to a major tournament, get a couple of nil-all draws, a one-nil and then we might scrape through the group before we go out on penalties in the last 16 or quarter finals? There’s no future for England in this approach."

"Look at what Joachim Loew’s young and gifted German side achieved in South Africa four years ago. They destroyed England 4-1 – the average age of that German team was just 25.

"Hodgson has little to lose by going for the jugular in Rio. Will we be satisfied if England scrape through to the quarter-finals playing negative football?

"Let’s not do that and instead take responsibility for what happens if we go for it.

"Let these England players off the leash."

Despite recently saying that Wayne Rooney may already have peaked, Scholes names the United forward in the starting XI he would play against Italy. Here is the team in full:



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