Raheem Sterling, his England call-up, and the benefits of not being a Southampton player 3

The first order of business for The FA on Monday morning is to stop providing Roy Hodgson with complementary seats to Premier League games - he clearly doesn’t actually watch any of the games he attends, so there’s little point in him attending.

Give him a £90 a month Sky subscription, and that’s enough - if he’s not willing to pick players on form, then he doesn’t actually need to watch them in the flesh.

Late last night, Hodgson announced that Raheem Sterling had been called-up to provide cover to the squad ahead of the game with Poland - the same Raheem Sterling who has started only one game for Liverpool this season, and whose only notable performance came against an extremely poor Crystal Palace side.

I’m not going to labour the point, but spare a thought for someone like Adam Lallana: playing more regularly, playing better, but ignored because he’s contracted to an unfashionable club. Lallana has been excellent in all of his last three games, so what would be the harm in including someone whose confidence is obviously high above someone who has not played a lot of football in the last six months and whose development has clearly stalled.

Or consider the irony of omitting Jordan Henderson, who is actually keeping Sterling out of the Liverpool side - doesn’t that say it all? Sterling has been ear-marked for greatness, Henderson hasn’t - therefore, seemingly, their respective form patterns are an irrelevance.

Hodgson did this with Ashley Young at the beginning of September; he picked the Manchester United winger despite Young not having completed a cumulative 90 minutes, and despite him looking well below his best during the time he did spend on the pitch.

Why? What’s the justification for that?

If Hodgson hasn’t got the balls to pick a proper side and not pander to the ‘name’ players, then maybe he’s not the right person for this job.

Pick eleven England players who are playing well, how hard is that? I know this is a tired topic, but it’s not a coincidence that the national team has been picked on reputation for as long as we can all remember and has also under-performed during that same period.

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