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Roy Hodgson feared for Aston Villa starlet in Ireland

Roy Hodgson resisted the temptation to call up Jack Grealish to the England squad because he did not want the Aston Villa midfielder to receive a hostile reception if he made his debut in Dublin.

Hodgson did not want to thrown Grealish into an uncomfortable situation. Credit: PA

Despite being born in Solihull to English parents, the 19-year-old has represented the Republic of Ireland at youth level as he qualifies for the country through his grandfather.

Last week Republic manager Martin O'Neill said Grealish had turned down a call-up to the senior squad and that the player was considering switching allegiance to England.

Given that next month will be the first time that England have played in Dublin since the Lansdowne Road riot of 1995, the match is likely to be charged with emotion and Hodgson did not want to put the teenager in that situation by selection him.

He said:

I would not have picked him on this occasion because it would have been inflammatory at the last minute if he chose us and played against the Republic of Ireland.

– England manager Roy Hodgson

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New FA chief targets 2022 World Cup glory

New Football Association chief executive Martin Glenn has claimed England winning the World Cup in 2022 is not a "pie-in-the-sky" hope.

Martin Glenn believes England can win the 2022 World Cup. Credit: theFA.com

Glenn started in his new job on Monday and said he supported FA chairman Greg Dyke's target of England winning the men's World Cup in 2022 - which is being held in Qatar - and the women's tournament a year later.

He told www.thefa.com:

Winning the World Cup in 2022 is not a pie-in-the-sky hope. It is the kind of ambition that should catalyse all ambitions to do things a bit differently.

Because let's face it - doing the same thing, after 49 years of not winning anything - might suggest the definition of madness.

– FA chief executive Martin Glenn

Southgate inspires under-21 team with Isco and Verratti

Gareth Southgate has shown the England Under-21s squad clips of players such as Marco Verratti and Isco to whet their appetite ahead of this summer's European Championship.

Southgate is expecting big things from his young England stars. Credit: PA

The Young Lions head to the Czech Republic in June looking to continue the fine form which saw them progress to the finals unbeaten.

Friendly wins against the hosts and Germany last month only bolstered confidence which Southgate attempted to harness by showing them a montage of stars from the previous edition.

David de Gea, Alvaro Morata, Isco and Thiago Alcantara were part of the triumphant Spanish side in Israel two years ago, when Verratti, Fabio Borini and Lewis Holtby were amongst the stars.

We put a montage on for the players from the last tournament for the players.

You've got people like Verratti and Isco, who really came to prominence in Israel even though they were already well known before the tournament.

So that's the level we're playing at and I don't think any of our guys are bigger than those two in terms of where they are at this moment in time.

– England under-21 manager Gareth Southgate

England fans sing anti-IRA songs in Italy

England fans sang anti-IRA songs during Tuesday's friendly in Italy despite efforts from the Football Association to stamp the chants out in the wake of last year's match in Scotland.

A view of the England fans in Turin on Tuesday night.

England fans caused controversy last November when they chanted "F*** the IRA" during the 3-1 victory at Celtic Park.

Even though the FA liaised with fan groups after the Scotland game to try to prevent such chants happening again, they were heard during England's 1-1 draw at the Juventus Stadium in Turin on Tuesday.

Any repeat during England's next match against the Republic of Ireland in Dublin on June 7 would lead to yet more criticism.

After the win in Scotland, the FA made it clear it was unhappy about the chants.

We apologise for any offence caused by a section of the England support at the match with Scotland. The FA does not condone inappropriate and offensive chanting and intends to meet with supporters' groups to discuss the wider issues.

We have consistently urged supporters to show respect and not to chant songs that could be regarded as insulting to others - particularly from a religious or political perspective.

– FA spokesman after the match in Glasgow

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