England manager Roy Hodgson is confident the younger members of his squad will benefit from their UEFA EURO 2012 experience if they reach the next FIFA World Cup™.
Hodgson is due to name his squad for the next Brazil 2014 qualfiers against San Marino and Poland next week. It will force him to address the issue of what to do without John Terry, who retired from England duty earlier this week. Sir Alex Ferguson has already stated his belief that Rio Ferdinand will not be summoned back into the fold, which would leave Joleon Lescott, Phil Jagielka and Gary Cahill as England's central defensive lynchpins.
As Lescott and Jagielka struggled against Ukraine earlier this month, it is not an ideal situation, for whilst San Marino will be disposed with at Wembley, England could do without dropping any more points against Poland in Warsaw if they are not to put their hopes of direct qualification in jeopardy. And that would be a waste. For Hodgson is adamant the youngsters within his squad gained so much from their experiences at Euro 2012.
"That tournament will stand the young players in good stead," Hodgson told FATV. "We had a lot of young players with us who had virtually no international experience and came off the back of seasons where they hardly played.
"Andy Carroll did not play many games for Liverpool until the very end. Danny Welbeck had not played many games for Manchester United and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain hardly played for Arsenal. The younger ones will gain enormously from that tournament experience."
Positives and negatives of EURO campaign
With Steven Gerrard, Ashley Cole and Wayne Rooney, Hodgson has retained a core of experienced players he hopes will allow England to progress even without Terry's influence.
"The loss of some key players did affect us [during EURO 2012]," he said. "Experience and ability is what it is all about at the level we were playing at, and I don't think we played anything like as well as I would like to think an England team can play.
"But on the other hand, I thought we showed a lot of other English qualities. The team spirit, the workrate, the determination, the desire to throw your body in the way of the ball to make certain the team got a result.
"Going into the EUROs my major concern was making sure the environment was right, that the players felt comfortable and were happy to be there. I can be very happy with what we achieved in that respect, but let's hope we can get to the next tournament and show we are an even better team than we were in the last one."