England boss Roy Hodgson has a new 'golden generation' at his finger tips

18 October 2013 01:03

Ravel Morrison sparkled like a diamond for the England Under 21s in the week and, together with Wilfried Zaha, Tom Ince and Saido Berahino ran a startled Lithuanian defence a merry dance.

Gareth Southgate’s ‘Fab Four’ pulled out more tricks than Dynamo and if ever there was a football equivalent of the Harlem Globetrotters, this was it.

All could be knocking on the door of Roy Hodgson’s 2014 World Cup squad, so making a mockery of the claim by some that there is a shortage of young English talent coming through.

Add the likes of Ross Barkley, Jack Wilshere and Andros Townsend to the mix and you can understand why former West Ham and England striker Tony Cottee says: “It is an absolute fallacy that there is a lack of young talent in this country.

“The talent is there alright, they just need to be given the chance to shine both by their clubs and those people who are running the game and supposedly making the rules.

“So many young players are sent out on loan by their parent clubs to get first team experience elsewhere, which is fine in a way.

“But managers should give homegrown youngsters a chance at their own club. Isn’t that what the academy system is all about? You only have to look at Townsend’s performances for Spurs – and Morrison’s for West Ham – to see the talent clubs have at their disposal.

How about this for a team of exciting young English talent which would frighten the life out of any opponents? Here’s a potential line-up for the future based on an attacking 3-5-2 formation, and with an average age currently of just under 21.


Jack Butland (20)

Kyle Walker (23)

Chris Smalling (23)

Phil Jones (21)

Wilfried Zaha (20)

Ravel Morrison (20)

Ross Barkley (19)

Jack Wilshere (21)

Andros Townsend (22)

Saido Berahino (20)

Tom Ince (21)

What do you think of our England team for the future – have you got any better ideas?

Source: DSG

World Cup Group G

Belgium 1 0 0 3 3
England 1 0 0 1 3
Tunisa 0 0 1 -1 0
Panama 0 0 1 -3 0
Last updated : 08:44