Leeds United: I wouldn’t expect any shocks in Roy’s Hodgson’s squad – Ritchie

Luke Shaw.
Luke Shaw.
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Former Leeds United ace Andy Ritchie answers all your Whites questions.

HI Andy, do you think there will be any surprises in England’s provisional World Cup squad next week and who would you take?

To be honest, I don’t think there will be that many surprises.

I do think Luke Shaw will go, although that means you might have to leave one of the senior ones out as Roy Hodgson won’t take three left-backs.

I actually was listening to someone on the radio saying that he would take Luke anyway, even if he didn’t get picked. Just to give him the experience.

I have seen Luke a couple of times in the flesh and on TV and he’s really impressed me.

He’s young, very quick and not a bad defender either. There is a penchant at the moment for attacking full-backs who are not great at defending. Luke can defend.

A big outsider for the squad might be the lad on the other side to him at Southampton in Nathaniel Clyne as he has been good as well.

A lot has been made of Ross Barkley, who obviously spent a short spell at Leeds last season. I would definitely take him and make room for him.

He’s been absolutely awesome for Everton and if you’re in a hole, he’s the sort of player you can chuck on and I think he is playing without fear at the moment. When you play without fear, you are dangerous.

I have been very, very impressed with him.

As for the rest of the squad, I don’t expect too many shocks.

It could be a case of taking Barkley instead of an Oxlade-Chamberlain, who has been a little bit up and down with his form. That might be one move Roy does.

Looking at Roy, he’s a steady sort of bloke who is interested in tried and tested people in the team. Although it will be the last chance to play in a World Cup for a few people and the young ones are the future.

Obviously, a bit has been made of Adam Lallana at Southampton also and he’s a very good player. Jay Rodriguez has been very unfortunate as he might have been pushing if it wasn’t for his injury as well.

Looking at this weekend’s final round of Premier League fixtures, there might be a few muted performances as players are keen not to get injured.

Although the best way to get injured sometimes is when you don’t go in full throttle.

In terms of the competition, there’s no way we will win it. But I still feel we could make the quarter-finals, although it’s a tough group we have got to get out of with Italy, Uruguay and Costa Rica.

Everyone will say: ‘We should beat Costa Rica’. But out in that heat, which they are used to, it will not be easy.

As for the winners, history suggests you have got to look at Brazil or Argentina.


HI Andy, who is the best player you have seen in the Championship this season – and are there any others who have stood out?

The one for me who has stood out is Danny Ings at Burnley.

For what he has had to take on his shoulders there, with Charlie Austin going, he has really stepped up to the plate.

To be fair, his partner Sam Vokes, plus Kieran Trippier have also done well and come to the fore.

Before he got injured, I also thought Andy Reid stood out at Forest. He’s an old-stager, but was fantastic in the early part of the season. Losing him cost Forest.

Looking at Leeds, along with Ross McCormack, you have got to mention Matty Smith as well.

From where he has come from, he is arguably a player of the season. Ross will get all the plaudits, but with Matty, you have to look at the bigger picture.

He has really impressed me how he has come on and just needs to keep learning and keep on that upward spiral.

He’s coming on, but now the pressure is on to keep that going next season.

Leeds United owner Andrea Radrizzani.' (Picture: Jonathan Gawthorpe)

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