Jagieka: Barkley can add extra dimension

, 1 June, 0comments  |  Jump to most recent
Phil Jagielka believes that the self-belief and fearlessness of younger players like Ross Barkley can provide a spark for England this summer and he credits Roberto Martinez for bringing the 20 year-old through so impressively this past season.

Given the flat performance of England's more established and senior players in the World Cup in South Africa and the contrast provided by Germany's younger guns in the infamous meeting between the two countries four years ago, much has been made of Roy Hodgson's decision to include youth in his 23-man squad for Brazil.

Even so, the likes of Barkley, Raheem Sterling and Aex Oxlade-Chamberlain aren't expected to start but Jagielka is excited by the fact that they will be at Hodgson's disposal if needed.

"We've had some fantastic substitutes previously but in this squad it's always nice to have a couple of different options," the Blues captain is quoted in the Daily Mail. "At that age you can come on in leaps and bounds. It's nice to see that John Stones got on [against Peru] as well. A lot can happen in a year.

"You have to give a lot of credit to our manager and coaching staff for nursing that talent through the season and a lot of credit to Roy for taking the plunge of picking them and putting them in the squad. The team that finished the game was as young as I've seen it and that can only be good for English football."

"That's been the difference for us this year," he continued. "We've got quite a few players who probably don't give themselves a second guess and don't question their ability. They just go for it. It's up to the manager when things aren't going quite so well to not play them or bring them off, but without destroying confidence.

"I think that's what the manager at [Everton] did well this season. If Ross didn't play or if he did bring him off, it wasn't seen as a punishment. It was just to improve him in the long run."

Stones will travel with the England team to Miami for England's last two warm-up friendlies but won't be in the final squad for Brazil unless needed as an emergency because of injuries after Manchester United defender Phil Jones successfully proved his fitness following a shoulder injury.


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