Euro 2012

Reaction to Hodgson England squad

In today’s game, being a football manager is never an easy time and being manager of the England national side even more so.

Roy Hodgson announced his 25-man squad to travel to Poland and Ukraine for Euro 2012 today and there was always going to be controversial decisions.

Perhaps the greatest controversy among the 25 players is the selection of former captain John Terry over Rio Ferdinand.

Terry has a very recent history with the Ferdinands after becoming involved in a racism row with Rio’s brother and QPR defender, Anton.

It was always up for debate whether or not Ferdinand (Rio) and Terry could play together but when it emerged that the pair were unlikely to be picked together, the betting began regarding which veteran would make the cut.

In the end, it will be John Terry who makes the trip and will partner either Joleon Lescott or Gary Cahill in central defence.

That being said, Phil Jones is another player who may line up alongside Terry, although the Manchester United youngster is presumably named as a replacement right-back rather than his more natural centre-back.

This has led to another topic of debate regarding why Micah Richards hasn’t made even the standby list.

Richards has fallen behind Pablo Zabaleta in the rankings of the Premier League-winning Manchester City line-up but one wouldn’t have been slated for thinking that the 23 year-old may have done enough to earn his spot back in the England team.

Another shock inclusion by Roy Hodgson is Andy Carroll, who after enduring a disappointing debut season at Liverpool, wasn’t expected to feature at the Euros.

The selection of Carroll’s fellow Reds teammate, Stewart Downing, is also a surprise at the expense of Aaron Lennon and Adam Johnson, the latter of whom could only make it onto the standby roster.

Downing has made just two assists in the Premier League this season and is regarded by many not to have lived up to the £18m price-tag for which he moved to Anfield last summer.

The former Middlesborough winger is presumably in the side due to a lack of natural left-footers otherwise.

The other widemen named: Theo Walcott, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Ashley Young (and James Milner to an extent) are all right-footed by nature.

However, is it really a good enough reason to bring a player along to such a high-stakes tournament simply sown to the good grace that makes a player use their left foot more than their right? Only time will tell.

A similar theme runs true with Jordan Henderson, who has made just one appearance for the senior England team but finds himself on the standby list for Euro 2012.

The midfielder moved to Anfield at the same time as Downing and has fallen just as short, if not shorter, of expectations than his teammate so far.

With Daniel Sturridge also named, one can see that Hodgson is looking to include a degree of youth within his team but whereas Sturridge has shown signs of a future England footballer at times this season and is set to play in a Champions League final, Henderson has played his role in a miserable Liverpool side and a minor one at that.

Steven Gerrard has also been picked to captain the Three Lions, leading some to criticise the seemingly pro-Liverpool vibe amongst the squad.

Whether that be fact or just pure coincidence, Hodgson’s position at the helm of England remains as much under scrutiny as it was ever going to.

As ever though, the former Fulham, Liverpool and West Brom manager will have the final say in the matter and, allowing for a slew of injuries, this will be the roster of players travelling to face the rest of the European elite next month.

We wish them the best of luck.

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