Were England right to select Luke Shaw for the World Cup?
"Four years ago I was Sat at home watching it (The World Cup) on my Sofa. It is going to be so weird "
It truly feels weird to see an 18 year old kid play the FIFA World Cup for a country like England. But on the contrary, one also feels happy for a teenaged Luke Shaw, in such a case.
His performances have been electric and have even succeeded in gaining well deserved and envied attention from the big clubs in England. In short, it seems he's too good for his age or for someone of his age.
Shaw was one of the best players for Southampton this season, and a close rival to Leighton Baines for the left back of the year. With Hodgson having gambled on his selection, it remains to be seen whether he does get a chance to play in Brazil, but the whole experience itself should be one that serves him very well for the future.
If reports are to believed, Manchester United have already won the three horsed race to sign the full back and is on the verge of being named as Louis van Gaal's first signing at United .
The young man has developed a reputation for surging swiftly past opposition wingers and full backs and despite of this,he manages his defensive duties quite well. Experts say he is already in a process of replicating Gareth Bale or Theo Walcott,as both grew up as products of the Southampton youth academy.He’s a joy to watch and one ability which stands out is his short passing on his flank. His pace, control, dribbling ability and free kick taking abilities are top notch and are just an indication of his impressive attributes.
But, is Roy Hodgson spot on in picking him as a second choice left back for his team which will travel to Brazil later this month?
The Southampton ace would savor an opportunity to showcase his repertoire at the grandest stage but it would not be easy. The World Cup always seems to demand something extra out of your armory and it's about time when the pressure gets to you.
And imagine an 18 year old playing under a burden similar to this? Yes, he is second in the pecking order to Everton full back Leighton Baines but it would be extremely amazing if he continues from where he left off at St.Mary 's.
The rumoured Manchester United bound sensation will probably be used by Hodgson in England's last Group stage game against Costa Rica, only if the Three Lions have already ensure a safe passage to the next round or if they are eliminated as a result of the first 2 games. And a mess up against Italy and Uruguay in consecutive games may land them in a knotty situation against Bryan Ruiz's men.
But, if we consider that England have been assured of a spot in the next round and they will play a dead rubber against Costa Rica, then the 18 year old may succeed in doing what he does best.
And at this point, if Hodgson considers starting him for the knockout game, believe me, its going to be a huge risk. That will be the point where the perils of being young will gradually creep in. The extra ordinary amount of pressure I talked about earlier, is something Luke Shaw is not used to shrugging off his shoulders.
With all due respect to Shaw's credentials, I hate to say this but he's sure to falter and cost England at such a crucial stage. Moreover, he may end up damaging himself by faltering under the colossal amount of pressure a teenager like him or Adnan Januzaj is being forced to deal with.
His mere age itself concludes that even a minute mistake committed by him may prove to be fatal in people writing him off in the future.