IF I was in Gareth Southgate’s position, I would have definitely included Joe Hart in England’s World Cup squad.

I think Southgate was a good choice at the time but no-one really knew what sort of squad he would put out until Wednesday’s announcement.

There was an element of surprise when he named his 23, which has the emphasis on youth as opposed to experience.

Having said that we didn’t do that much at the last World Cup to include players who could say they’d been there and done it.

The selections that caught my eye were those of the three goalkeepers who, ironically, played for clubs not exactly at the top of the league.

Having been relegated with Stoke City, at least you can say that Jack Butland has had plenty of practice.

Jordan Pickford has impressed for Everton and the uncapped Nick Pope has done very well for Burnley.

But they only have nine caps between them, which is why I would have included Joe Hart.

England’s number one at the 2010 and 2014 World Cups has a vast amount of his experience from his 75-cap international career.

That could have been invaluable to our younger custodians in Russia. He should not have gone as first-choice because he has had a poor season.

Having been dropped by West Ham, after being loaned from Manchester City, he has not played much over the last 12 months.

But from my time as England’s assistant manager and Northern Ireland manager I know that when you’re away as a squad it helps the younger ones to have a chat with more senior players.

Joe would certainly fall into that category.

He probably wouldn’t be needed on the pitch but he would have been a valuable sounding board for the others.

Traditionally, Arsenal are well represented in England squads, but not this year.

With Jack Wilshere left out – apparently the midfielder’s fitness was the issue - the Gunners only have only one player in the squad in Danny Welbeck. And he has hardly played this season.

It reflects their poor final season under Arsene Wenger.

Fingers crossed, we perform well in the two friendlies against Nigeria and Costa Rica at the beginning of June before our opening game against Tunisia at the Volgograd Arena on the 18th.

From a Southampton point of view it was disappointing that Ryan Bertrand didn’t get in. I think he should have gone.

Our goalkeeper, Alex McCarthy, can also consider himself unfortunate after his heroics at the end of the season.

I suppose the only interest we have is Liverpool’s Adam Lallana who, after missing many games through injury, is only on standby.

But, who knows, if there are injuries in the two friendlies he may still get there.

Like today’s Royal wedding, occasions like the World Cup pull everyone together no matter which club you support.

We all want England to do well but are hampered by the fact only about 25 per cent of the players at the top level are English.

Where we are at now reminds me of the number of players Scotland had in our top flight in the seventies and eighties.

So we should not expect more than the Tartan Army did back then.

I think we all still expect us to get through the initial stages but who knows after that. Part of the magic of the World Cup is going into the unknown.

But we should have too much for Tunisia and Panama so should at least go through to the last 16, along with Belgium.