Delighted for Southampton’s Adam Lallana and Jay Rodriguez 1

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Well done Roy Hodgson, you’ve restored my faith in the England selection process. Adam Lallana and Jay Rodriguez have been having excellent seasons down on the south-coast under Mauricio Pochettino, and today both received call-ups to the England squad.

Some short notes on each:

- When Southampton signed Rodriguez, I remember saying that one day he could potentially play for England and as such I’m delighted to see that happen - but not just because of some personal vindication. I love the way he runs with the ball, he’s so elegant, and so un-English. That’s why I like him, he doesn’t have any fear with the ball at his feet, and he’s intelligent and instinctive in the attacking areas. We don’t have enough of that ‘sort’, and so if he can establish himself in the senior squad, he could offer a multi-positional and diverse attacking-threat.

- Lallana is someone who, honestly, I never thought would be good enough to progress beyond club level, and I still don’t really believe that he’ll gain much traction in Hodgson’s squad - but that’s not the point. His selection represents something good: the recognition of a player’s form, and an award for good performance irrespective of past perceptions of that player’s ability. That, unquestionably, is a positive development and a slight departure from the ‘big club’ bias and reputation-based picking we’ve seen previously.

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