England team still the Rooney, Gerrard, Lampard show

Hodgson picked a young World Cup squad, but why retain remnants of the Golden Generation?

Steven Gerrard, Wayne Rooney and Frank Lampard
(Image credit: Paul Gilham/Getty Images)

NO ONE gives England a chance in Brazil. What a relief. In the early years of the World Cup England didn't bother to send a team. Well, what was the point? There was nothing those Johnny Foreigners could teach the English – the inventers of the game – about football. When the FA did finally deign to send a squad, in 1950, we were humiliated by little 'ol America, losing 1-0, the goal scored by Joe Gaetjens, a Haitian dish-washer who years later was murdered on the orders of his country's dictator Francois "Papa Doc" Duvalier.

Though the Three Lions triumphed 16 years later, when we hosted the tournament for the one and only time, our World Cup record since has been a tale of sorry failure. But that never stopped the more pie-eyed sections of the press pumping up the public's hopes in the weeks leading up to World Cups. Remember 1998 and 2002? How about the 'Golden Generation' of 2006? Or what about four years ago, when Wayne Rooney was going to strike gold in South Africa but ended up telling a camera what he thought of the fans?

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