Fabio Capello has told Rio Ferdinand, John Terry and Frank Lampard they may not walk back into his England team.
The head coach has had his eyes opened to the shortcomings of the so-called Golden Generation at the World Cup in South Africa.
And with the emergence of players like Adam Johnson, Phil Jagielka and Theo Walcott during the Euro 2012 qualifiers, Capello admits there are 'no guarantees' for three of the key men of the Three Lions set-up.
England opened their qualifying campaign with maximum points thanks to wins against Bulgaria and Switzerland and the trio all made significant contributions to Capello's new-look side.
The Italian said: "People like Lampard, Terry and Ferdinand are important players, but I have to decide the team for our next match against Montenegro in October.
"I will pick players who I think are right at that moment.
"We selected players against Switzerland because of injuries and, as you could see, they were together as a team.
"The competition for places is good and it's important not to be sure that you will play.
"The level of some of the young players is the same as the older players and this means more competition for places. The gap has closed.
"I can see the balance of the squad changing because we have some good young players."
Capello also believes that England are now developing a club atmosphere in the dressing room, which is helping the feel-good factor.
He said: "Like a club manager, I have to decide that some players will play and some will not.
"If you want to stay with is, you have to accept my decisions."