The extracts on this page are taken from selected national newspapers. The views expressed here do not necessarily reflect the views of Manchester United.

26/06/2012 10:10

Papers: Pair Jones & Smalling

Rob Beasley writes in The Sun...

If you want a revolution Roy, ditch the old guard
...Let us use the upcoming World Cup qualifiers as carefree opportunities to blood and breed a vibrant, young England side... Roy Hodgson has the nucleus of a new team already, starting with goalkeeper Joe Hart. How about Manchester United’s Phil Jones and Chris Smalling at centre-back? Or Gary Cahill. We could go for Tottenham’s Kyle Walker at right-back, with Chelsea’s Ryan Bertrand on the left. A middle three of Arsenal team-mates Jack Wilshere, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Theo Walcott. And a front three from Old Trafford — Danny Welbeck, Wayne Rooney and Ashley Young. I would back that team against San Marino, wouldn’t you? I would back those lads to come out on top in the group, wouldn’t you? Especially if they went into those games shorn of the shackles of expectation. If Hodgson and his FA bosses made it clear from the start that this was about winning in France [2016], not triumphing in Brazil [2014], it could finally free the players to perform with verve, with flair, with confidence. To reproduce their club form for their country at last.

Rooney, meanwhile, seems to be the main scapegoat as the national papers conduct their post-mortem into England's performance at Euro 2012. The press quote Roy Hodgson as saying: "When he missed the first two games we were all believing that what we needed to do was get to the third game and Wayne Rooney will win us the championships. That maybe was too much to ask of him. He certainly tried very hard, but he didn't have his best game [against Italy]. I think he would admit that."

Further fall-out from England's defeat on penalties includes the FA slamming social media 'attacks' on Ashley Young and Ashley Cole as "appalling and unacceptable." The Daily Mail says, "Police have started an investigation into offensive abuse aimed at Young and Cole shortly after they failed to score from the spot against Italy."

More - Rooney: Heads held high | Ashley's agony as England exit Euro 2012

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