London: Roy Hodgson has given himself the option to give England a youthful, fresh edge at the World Cup after including Ross Barkley, Raheem Sterling, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Luke Shaw and Adam Lallana in his provisional squad on Monday.
There were no real surprises in the squad as the irresistible late-season form of Everton’s attacking midfielder Barkley and Liverpool wide man Sterling made their inclusion an easy choice for Hodgson despite having only five caps between them.
Oxlade-Chamberlain and Arsenal teammate Jack Wilshere got the nod despite ending the season with injuries, while Shaw was chosen ahead of 107-cap Ashley Cole as left-back back-up for Leighton Baines. Southampton provide three players in Shaw, midfielder Lallana and striker Rickie Lambert – who share only eight caps.
Hodgson, not known as a risk taker, can also draw on the immense experience of Wayne Rooney, Steven Gerrard, Frank Lampard, James Milner and goalkeeper Joe Hart for a tough assignment in Brazil where England face Italy, Uruguay and Costa Rica.
Meanwhile, Cole announced his international retirement after being left out of the squad.
Cole, 33, who won 107 caps, was told by Roy Hodgson he will not be included in his provisional 23-man squad or among the standby players.
“Got the call from Roy and agree England team should be about the young players,” Cole tweeted on Sunday. “I think it best I retire from England team now.
“We have a great manager and team and I wish them only success. I will be supporting them like a true fan. Thanks to everyone for everything.”