ENGLAND manager Roy Hodgson has claimed Jack Rodwell might struggle to get a regular place at Manchester City this season.
Rodwell completed a £15million transfer from Everton on Sunday, then headed off to join up with the Three Lions ahead of tonight’s encounter with Italy in Berne.
Blues boss Roberto Mancini has already warned Rodwell he may face a wait to establish himself at the Etihad Stadium.
It is hardly ideal for Hodgson, who is set to name Andy Carroll in attack at the Stade de Suisse, even though he is in exactly the same position at Liverpool.
“I’ll be honest: I think this year there’ll be quite a few times I have to select players who won’t be in their team,” said Hodgson.
“I don’t know how many starts Jack Rodwell will get at Manchester City.
“That’s a risk, but it’s the nature of the Premier League.
“There are so few English players in the league, and many of them playing for the same club.”
It is a frustration because potentially top-quality players are not getting enough time on the pitch.
At least the talent is there.
In the goalkeeping department Hodgson has even greater concerns.
Norwich’s John Ruddy is expected to make his debut, with 19-year-old Jack Butland also in line for his first cap even though his only senior experience has come in League Two with Cheltenham.
“The bottom line is we don’t have that many goalkeepers to choose from anymore,” said Hodgson.
“Go through the Premier League and see who’s playing in goal. It’s mostly foreigners.
“There’s Robert Green and John Ruddy. And there’s young Jack Butland, who has done very well but has only played for Cheltenham.
“Let’s hope someone like Jack pops up and puts Joe Hart under pressure.”
England took just 19 players to Switzerland as, with a maximum of six substitutes, Hodgson had enough players already and wants a chance to watch as many as he can.
Of particular interest will be Michael Carrick, who has made himself available again after declining the opportunity to appear at Euro 2012.
“He had reasons, perhaps, maybe personal reasons, I don’t know,” said the England boss.
“I prefer to leave the past where it is.
“I know Michael Carrick is a good player. I know he can be useful in an England set-up. That’s enough for me.
“I’ll take it at face value.”