England Can't Win the World Cup in Brazil, but They Can Move Forward with Youth

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England Can't Win the World Cup in Brazil, but They Can Move Forward with Youth

Once Roy Hodgson's England qualify for the World Cup in Brazil, and I'm certain they will, big changes are called for.

I'm a firm advocate of looking beyond the 2014 World Cup to the next European Championships in two years' time, and using the tournament in Brazil to blood youngsters like Ross Barkley so they are tournament-hardened by the time we get to the 2016 Euros.

For example, I'd like to see Southampton's Luke Shaw, who Spurs would love to sign and develop as the next Gareth Bale, given a chance. Ashley Cole and Leighton Baines are the senior England left-backs, but Shaw needs to be given an early breakthrough. 

This is something I did when I was England manager and it worked very well. I brought a few promising youngsters in just to train with the senior squad to get used to it. In fact, I did that kind of thing with Rio Ferdinand and Michael Owen.

Charlie Crowhurst/Getty Images
Luke Shaw in action for England youth.

I brought Rio into the senior squad when he was 17, so he could get a feel for what it's like with the senior England squad.

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There is no point going to Brazil believing you are going to win out there—it just isn't possible, for many reasons.

It used to be said that the South Americans didn’t do well in Europe, and the Europeans had little chance in South America. Now the best South Americans are all playing in Europe, so they know the score over here, but the Europeans still have little to no chance in South America.

Take our best European side, Spain. What chance would they have? 10 percent, 20 at best, is my take. So what chance does England have? Very little. Therefore, it is vital the FA and the England manager let the public and the media know that they are looking ahead to the Euros and giving youth a chance.

It is not something that normally happens, so I don’t expect it will happen this time either.

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