Football: Hodgson’s choice but we can all pick our England squad

England manager Roy Hodgson
England manager Roy Hodgson
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Now that the celebrations have died down after beating the fourth best team in Group H and a minor race storm surrounding manager Roy Hodgson has blown over it’s time to get down to some serious World Cup planning.

England have done their job in qualifying for Brazil next summer and that is really all that can be asked of them.

No, it wasn’t a terribly strong group but Hodgson’s men came through undefeated and with a real sense of optimism - maybe misplaced - after their 2-0 win over Poland.

The Football Association will have been planning for Brazil for some time so travel, accommodation, transport, local fixers and the like will all be in place.

Nike have already announced there will be several new kits unveiled in time for a new mortgage to be arranged for you to buy them before England’s first group match and tentative plans between friends about where the games will be watched are beginning to take shape. But who will we be watching?

At the bottom of the page is my 23 for the World Cup if I had to pick it today.

Between now and when Hodgson names his final squad an awful lot will happen during the domestic season. There will be injuries, loss of form, personal scandals, transfer speculation and the usual number of damaged metatarsals to keep us talking and tweeting.

I actually found it quite easy naming my squad. There weren’t many positions or players that I had to pick and choose over. The interesting part will be seeing who comes forward to challenge for a place.

Will Ravel Morrison build on his recent purple patch by being a consistent performer?

What if Andy Carroll returns for West Ham and scores 15 goals between now and May?

Who will be the surprise pick that leaves everyone scratching their heads?

And which big name will feel snubbed?

So many questions to be answered before the select few get their passports stamped. Bring it on!

* Richard’s England squad: Hart, Forster, Ruddy; Walker, Johnson, A Cole, Baines, Jagielka, Cahill, Jones, Smalling, Carrick, Gerrard, Lampard, Wilshere, Milner, Townsend, Sturridge, Welbeck, Walcott, Rooney, Lambert, Defoe.

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