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Ryan Bertrand called up for England - Italy friendly

Roy Hodgson has finally seen sense. But, for me, it's too late.

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<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p>So can anyone explain why <a href="">@ryanbertrand3</a> isn&#39;t being considered for the England squad? <a href="">#SaintsFC</a> <a href="">#ENG</a></p>&mdash; St. Mary&#39;s Musings (@StMarysMusings) <a href="">March 25, 2015</a></blockquote>

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After hearing of Danny Rose pulling out of England duty with injury on Wednesday, I tweeted the above. England manager Roy Hodgson initially said he would not be calling up any replacements.

However, Hodgson has since seen sense and has called up Saints left-back Ryan Bertrand for the England vs Italy friendly on Tuesday. But, this only comes after Hodgson implied he will let Raheem Sterling and James Milner return to their clubs after England's Euro qualifier with Lithuania on Friday.<!-- ######## START FLOATED VIDEO SNIPPET ######## -->

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This indicates there is a possibility Hodgson could well cave to the "big" clubs and allow his other left-backs Kieran Gibbs and Leighton Baines return to Arsenal and Everton respectively.

It wouldn't surprise me. But, why was Hodgson so reluctant to call Bertrand up for England in the first place?

He may have since made up for his error in excluding Bertrand, but Hodgson, for me, has really shown his ineptitude and it will take me a lot of convincing to make me think he is anything but an international manager with big club bias.

Hodgson appeared to be willing to give any good players a chance in his England side before the World Cup. He was a mainstay at St. Mary's last season, watching Adam Lallana, Luke Shaw and Rickie Lambert do their thing. He was so impressed, he called them all up to be included in his World Cup squad. (Though it's still a mystery as to how he didn't think Nathaniel Clyne deserved a call up.)

In hindsight, I wish those players never received that international attention as it certainly played a part in tempting them to move away from the South Coast.

But, despite experiencing how the grass isn't always greener on the other side by having indifferent/rubbish seasons at their new clubs, Lallana and Shaw were initially called up to this England squad before dropping out through injury.

I can understand Lallana's inclusion, but what has Shaw done to merit an England place in an unsuccessful, injury-hit season, other than playing for a big club?

So, in essence, Hodgson thinks there are four better English left-backs than Bertrand: Shaw, Rose, Gibbs and Baines. That's despite Bertrand's key involvement in the Premier League's best defence.

He has featured in 12 of Southampton's clean sheets this season. Shaw, Rose and Gibbs have only enjoyed 11 clean sheets combined at their so-called bigger and better clubs.

If that doesn't prove how incompetent Roy Hodgson is, I don't know what to say.

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