Hodgson won't dump old guard

  • Last Updated: September 2 2012, 10:51 BST

England boss Roy Hodgson has no intention of suffering the same chastening experience as Andre Villas-Boas by ditching his old guard.

Roy Hodgson: 'I want to win football matches'

Old stagers John Terry, Frank Lampard and Steven Gerrard have all been named in Hodgson's squad for England's opening World Cup qualifiers against Moldova and Ukraine.

This despite the knowledge Lampard will be 36 when the tournament is under way in Brazil, and Terry and Gerrard will be 33 and 34 respectively.

Hodgson is not interested in numbers.

All he cares about are performances.

And having seen how Villas-Boas made such a mess with pre-conceived ideas during his ill-fated spell at Chelsea, he is not prepared to write anyone off.

"Terry and Lampard are bad examples because, when he took over at Chelsea, Andre Villas-Boas decided that was the way he would go, or was advised to by the owner," said Hodgson.

"Yet they were eventually the players who came back and won the Champions League.

"I want to win football matches and I won't be prepared to throw players of that quality away from the national team until I am sure there are much better players to take their place.

"That's not happening at their clubs at the moment.

"They are not only features but are very important members of their club teams and when they don't play their club teams miss them enormously."

Hodgson is determined to deal with issues as he sees them, rather than act on the advice of others.

Hence he would be prepared to pair Lampard and Gerrard together in central midfield even though Sven-Goran Eriksson, Steve McClaren and Fabio Capello all tried - and failed - to get the most out of both men in the same team.

"I don't see obstacles," he said.

"I'm not going to be affected by past judgments of them playing together.

"I'll make my own and then decide whether the past judgments are correct."

And, though Terry still has an FA charge hanging over him following his altercation with Anton Ferdinand at Loftus Road last October, it should have come as no surprise Hodgson instantly brought him back into the England fold despite a recent neck injury.

"Some people criticise him, some champion him," said Hodgson.

"I have no interest in that debate.

"I'm told I can pick the team I want to pick, he is available to be selected. The other aspect of things will take its course and has no influence at all in my thinking."

Neither, evidently, is Hodgson prepared to lay down guidelines for how many matches individual players must start before they can be considered for international selection.

After signing for Sunderland earlier this week Adam Johnson claimed retaining an England place was part of his thinking.

Andy Carroll's move to West Ham should also help.

However, Danny Welbeck and Daniel Sturridge are just two of the players who will struggle to gain a regular Premier League place at Manchester United and Chelsea respectively.

It is not an ideal situation for Hodgson, either in the long-term and the short-term, given Wayne Rooney is sidelined for the forthcoming fixtures.

"I intend to be pragmatic about this," said Hodgson.

"Of course I would prefer players to be regular members of their club teams.

"But if I'm picking these type of players who are 21 and competing with world stars, I might just have to accept they won't be playing every week because their coach prefers Fernando Torres, Sergio Aguero or Robin van Persie."

And what past international experience has also taught Hodgson is to stay out of other managers' business, no matter how tempting it might be to offer an opinion on Rooney's position at Old Trafford for instance.

"I have been a club coach," he said.

"What happens at clubs with their players happens at the clubs.

"The club deal with it and the players deal with it.

"I decide whether I want the player to come with me to the national team based upon my judgment of the player."