Richard Keys has questioned why Roy Hodgson took Luke Shaw to the World Cup ahead of Ashley Cole after the Three Lions boss today revealed that he knew all about the young left-back’s fitness issues.
Shaw’s fitness levels have come into question after his club manager at Manchester United, Louis van Gaal, publicly stated that they were not good enough and put him on a specialist training programme to enhance them this summer.
It came as a shock to most observers – who had seen Shaw’s relentless running catch the eye at Southampton last season – but Hodgson said that it was something that he had spoken to the youngster about at the World Cup.
The 19-year-old’s inclusion in the England squad was a controversial selection as it forced Cole out of contention, and well-known sports presenter Keys has asked why he was included in the first place if Hodgson knew of his weakness.
He posted the following on Twitter: “Just 1 question re Luke Shaw's fitness. If everybody knew why did he go to the WC instead of the best left back we've got - Ashley Cole?”
Cole’s exclusion from the squad was widely criticised by the press after the tournament, where England were particularly disappointing. Hodgson’s side failed to win in Brazil and went out at the group stage.
Shaw was generally used as back-up in the competition, but Leighton Baines didn’t do much to impress at left-back and many believe that Cole would have been a better pick.
Instead, the Roma defender announced his retirement from international football with Shaw expected to be his long-term replacement.
The £30 million United recruit has not played so far this season after picking up a hamstring injury, but he is facing more scrutiny than ever following his big-money move and the recent comments over his fitness.
The task for Shaw now is to show that he can deal with the pressure and United will be hoping he can do just that, as they look to solve their problems at left-wing-back with his return.
Should Cole have gone to Brazil ahead of Shaw?