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Meet the England man Hodgson wants for Euros qualification

| 23.02.2014

There aren’t too many members of England’s golden generation around anymore, and for those that are, their international careers are slowly getting pushed towards the back of the jewellery box.

That doesn’t seem applicable to Steven Gerrard though, whose newfound deep lying midfield role at Liverpool has won him plaudits for performance and suggestions of an extended career.

It’s clear that Roy Hodgson hopes the latter is the case. The England boss professed his desires for his captain to postpone any ideas of retiring after this summer’s World Cup, where England are 33/1 to win, to lead the side during the 2016 European Championship qualifying campaign.

Speaking ahead of the qualification draw, which saw England land a group with Switzerland, Slovenia, Estonia, Lithuania and San Marino, Hodgson said: “He will be 34 in May so he will be getting on for 36 [at the time of the finals in France], so I think a lot will depend on him and how he feels, and depend on how he is playing.

“At the moment there has been no slowing down in his play. Who knows what the future will bring? Time will tell.”

Gerrard is a 1/33 certainty to make the plane to Brazil and lead England in what will be his sixth major tournament this summer, although that was thought to be his last involvement with the national side along with other senior players like Frank Lampard and Ashley Cole.

This admission from Hodgson may well cause the Liverpool captain to think twice about his future, especially with his club performances showing no signs of deterioration and the hunt for international honours (England are 12/1 to win Euro 2016) still burning bright.

The midfielder was the most used outfield player as England went through their World Cup qualification process unbeaten, but will surely be used more sparingly to not only preserve his legs but to allow younger prospects like Ross Barkley to cut their teeth at that level.

There’s no doubt that having an experienced operator around for another qualification stint would be off great benefit though.

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Matt Wiggins

No idyllic sound comes close to leather on willow for Matt, whose previous experience includes stints with Spin Magazine and Surrey County Cricket Club. It's not just cricket that interests him though, with football, golf, tennis and any American sport not played on ice all high on his list of favourites.