JAMIE Gleeson has implored England boss Roy Hodgson to give close friend Adam Lallana a real chance to shine on the global stage today.
Magpies’ midfielder Gleeson, who has known Lallana for close to a decade, feels the 26-year-old Southampton ace hasn’t had enough game time at the World Cup in Brazil.
England, already out of the tournament after two games, will be playing for pride this evening when they face Costa Rica, the surprise package of Group D, in Belo Horizonte.
And Gleeson reckons it is the ideal opportunity for Hodgson to let Lallana, whose World Cup so far has amounted to two substitute appearances, show what he can do.
A frustrated Gleeson said: “I really hope Adam gets to play a lot more of the Costa Rica game to show people what he can do.
“And I hope Hodgson plays a team for the future as opposed to one just to do a job.
“He needs to let them go out and play because we’ve got nothing to lose.”
He continued: “Adam was starting the games leading up to the World Cup but I think because Raheem Sterling had done so well the manager went with him.
“However, I still think there was room for Adam in the side, so it was disappointing not to see him playing from the start.
“I’m sure he was looking forward to it when he went there thinking he was starting – it has all been a bit of an anti-climax.”
Lallana was a 71st-minute replacement for Daniel Sturridge in England’s opening defeat by Italy before a 10-minute cameo in last Thursday’s loss to Uruguay.
But at least he has tasted World Cup football – Saints team-mate Luke Shaw, set to start this evening, is still waiting to make his tournament bow.
And even though Gleeson is disappointed for his friend, simply seeing him represent his country in Brazil gives him a lot of satisfaction.
“I’ve loved watching him play at the World Cup, it’s brilliant, and I think it’s superb that he is there,” added Gleeson, who originally met Lallana when the latter joined him at Southampton as a teenager.
“It’s amazing to see him come on in the games and I think he’s good enough to warrant a place in the side against Costa Rica.”