Roy Hodgson has hit back at Jamie Carragher’s claim that England caps have become cheapened by the ease with which players are earning them.
Carragher, who Hodgson managed during his ill-fated spell as Liverpool manager, made the claim after the number of players to be used in the Euro 2016 qualifying campaign swelled to 30, with Jack Butland and Dele Alli set to add to that list in Tuesday’s clash with Lithuania.
However Hodgson insisted: “It’s not like that at all.
“You have to be careful with that argument because it’s not a situation where, the moment you kick the ball correctly from A to B you’ll get in the England team.
“If you do make an impact as a young player, and then there are a lot of injuries in the first team, you will get a chance.”
Despite being one of the most consistent defenders in the Premier League, Carragher struggled to break into the England team regularly, winning 38 caps across 11 years.
Tottenham midfielder Alli made his international bow as a substitute in the 2-0 victory over Estonia having only made three starts in the top flight, although Hodgson defended the 19-year-old’s selection.
“I said to Dele Alli that he’s here on merit and he can handle the pressures. But I did say to him there’s a good chance he’ll be with the under-21s next time.
“I told him, ‘Don’t think you’re a senior player. You’re an England player, but whether you’re in the seniors or in the under-21s remains to be seen.’
“If he turns out to be one of the best players in the Premier League this season you’ll all want him in for the finals.”
Victory in Lithuania will see the 68-year-old become the first England manager to guide the side to a perfect qualification record with 10 wins out of 10.