Joe Cole claims that no member of the England squad is certain of their starting place under coach Fabio Capello.
The Chelsea midfielder remains unsure over his own chances of starting Wednesday's World Cup qualifier against Croatia despite scoring both goals as a second-half substitute in Saturday's 2-0 win over Andorra.
Cole has not started an England game since the friendly defeat to France in March, but the 26-year-old believes Capello's hard line approach to team selection is a welcome change to the international fold.
Previous England managers have been accused of weakness with certain members of past squads thought to be guaranteed places in the starting line-up.
"It is a sign of a great manager," said Cole. "Basically no-one is safe and that can only breed competition.
"It gives the young lads hope because sometimes I came away with England, especially as a youngster, and you trained really well and had been in good form for your club, but you knew you were not going to get a chance.
"Some of the young boys maybe don't cope with that too well. They go two or three years just turning up and not even thinking they will play.
"For too long we've had established players who maybe know they are going to play."