Armchair Pundit

England squad: Winners and losers

Alex Chick

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Roy Hodgson's Euro 2012 squad created a host of talking points, with enough contentious selections to get #HodgsonOut trending on Twitter.

But did the new England boss make the right decisions? Here is a look at the key inclusions and omissions.


John Terry

Teflon Terry strikes again. On recent form, he is a borderline selection at best. When you add his off-field issues, plus injury problems that are no less severe than Rio Ferdinand's, it seems clear that he is no longer worth the hassle. Yes, he has experience. But it is experience of discord and failure. How on earth does he do it?

Good decision? - NO

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain

In the 'Walcott 2006' slot. Uncapped, yet a popular choice after an electrifying start to his Arsenal career. Very right-footed, yet capable of playing on either flank or through the middle. Unlikely to start, but he could be the perfect impact substitute, given his fearlessness running at defenders.

Good decision? - YES

John Ruddy

Honestly, there are only two England goalkeepers: Joe Hart, and Not Joe Hart. So in a sense, this was an easy position to give the nod to a man in form, and recognise a player from outside the elite clubs. But let's hope he doesn't get a game, eh?

Good decision? - YES

Stewart Downing

For: He's one of a handful of left-footers in the squad. He's got some pace, and can deliver a decent ball into the box. Against: 36 Premier League games; 0 goals; 0 assists. This selection basically amounts to a declaration that Hodgson will not be swayed by the media's perception of players. Steve McClaren tried that - it didn't work out so well. But if Downing flops at Euro 2012, Roy will get slaughtered.

Good decision? - NO

Andy Carroll

Did enough in a couple of rousing end-of-season performances to secure a berth ahead of the unlucky Peter Crouch. Were they the sign of a maturing talent, or just a flash of quality from a rough diamond. His physical style is hardly tailor-made for the international game, and Crouch's excellent scoring record for England could come in handy with Wayne Rooney missing the first two games. But Carroll will certainly scare opponents.

Good decision? - YES


Jordan Henderson

Incredibly, Henderson is on the standby list ahead of Michael Carrick despite a woeful campaign with Liverpool. With Scott Parker still battling an Achilles complaint and Steven Gerrard sporting a miserable injury record, there is actually every chance that Henderson will end up going to Ukraine. Pray nobody gets injured in the friendlies.



Rio Ferdinand

The big omission, and you cannot help but wonder exactly why he was left at home.
He is, by any measure, one of England's four top centre-backs and probably still the best. There is talk that he will only accept Hodgson's decision if the manager clarifies that he made it because he wanted to give young players a chance. But getting picked for England is not a process of negotiation. The manager is not obliged to explain himself to players - still less provide an 'acceptable' reason. And if Ferdinand does not accept Hodgson's argument, what is he going to do? Stow away inside Phil Jones's kitbag?

Good decision? - NO

Micah Richards

When it emerged that Kyle Walker's broken toe would keep him out, Richards seemed the obvious replacement. Yet Hodgson has gone for Glen Johnson - who slated Roy's 'boring tactics' at Liverpool - and the makeshift right-back Phil Jones. Richards has apparently paid the price for his occasional lapses of tactical awareness, which cost him his place in the Manchester City team.

Good decision? - YES

Peter Crouch

Poor Crouchy. With 22 in 42, his goals to games ration is comfortably the best of any England striker this side of David Nugent. Clearly not fancied by Fabio Capello, it was thought Hodgson might look on Crouch more favourably, having tried to sign him last summer. Yet the Stoke man, with his hilarious bendy limbs and dressing room 'banter', is not even on the standby list.

Good decision? - NO

Michael Carrick

Was never a realistic contender. Of course not, he can pass a football. He completed 65.8 passes per game in the Premier League this season, the most of any English player. Instead, Hodgson has plumped for the committed yet unrefined Scott Parker and the decidedly vertical Steven Gerrard. The midfield quartet that was destroyed by Germany in South Africa (Milner, Barry, Lampard, Gerrard) all make the cut. Not England's best passer.

Good decision? - NO

Daniel Sturridge

A favourite under Andre Villas-Boas, Sturridge has been one of the losers from Roberto Di Matteo's Chelsea tenure. Sturridge can play either on the right or up front, but his versaitility and directness are undermined by a lack of awareness and a tendency to ignore better-placed team-mates.

Good decision? - YES

Darren Bent

Emerged as a reliable (though unspectacular) international striker under Capello in qualifying. But injury has kept him out since February, and he was never likely to return in time.

Good decision? - YES


Injured: Chris Smalling, Kyle Walker, Jack Wilshere, Jack Rodwell

Retired from international football: Ben Foster, Paul Scholes

Not picked: Phil Jagielka, Joe Cole, Tom Cleverley, Bobby Zamora

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Alex Chick - @alexchick81

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