Scholesy: 'Ross Barkley must start against Italy'

Youngster’s recent performances reminded Scholes of Wayne Rooney in Euro 2004.

Image: David Davies/PA Wire/Press Association Images

IN HIS LATEST online column for Paddy Power, Paul Scholes has urged England boss Roy Hodgson to hand Everton’s Ross Barkley a starting role in the side’s opening World Cup Group D clash with Italy on Saturday.

The former Manchester United midfielder believes the youthful exuberance of players like Barkley and Raheem Sterling should be embraced and that England should attempt to replicate Germany’s approach from 2010.

The strength of the England squad is this new breed of players who are enthusiastic, athletic and attack-minded. There is no point taking people like Raheem Sterling or Barkley (above) to Brazil ‘for the experience’. Play them. Some might say it’s risky. But these players have the fitness and ability to get the ball back if they lose it (hopefully not in dangerous positions). You want them to attack and give the opposition problems. Look at what Joachim Loew’s young and gifted German side achieved in South Africa four years ago. They destroyed England 4-1 – the average age of that German team was just 25.”

Soccer - FIFA World Cup 2014 - Miami Training Camp - England v Honduras - Sun Life Stadium Source: Mike Egerton/PA Wire/Press Association Images

Scholes reserved special praise for Barkley who sparkled in England’s warm-up games. The midfielder has been tipped to impress in Brazil with Scholes believing his performance against Ecuador in particular was reminiscent of Wayne Rooney’s displays at the European Championship ten years ago.

I was watching the England vs Ecuador friendly in an airport lounge, a bit back from the screen. In the first-half Barkley went on a run and I thought, ‘Bloody hell, is that Rooney?’ Barkley made me think of Wayne at Euro 2004. I had to take a second look because I thought it was Wayne. Barkley has no fear.”

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Eoin O'Callaghan

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