Rio Ferdinand has been left out of Roy Hodgson's England squad for Euro 2012, the first of a number of major decisions made by the new manager yesterday. As well as cutting the 33-year-old Manchester United defender, Hodgson has selected the Liverpool striker Andy Carroll for the squad; Kyle Walker, the Tottenham right-back, is out with injury; Micah Richards, the Manchester City right-back, has not been included.
On top of that, Hodgson has cancelled England's training camp in Malaga next week at very short notice. The plan was for the squad – minus Wayne Rooney and the Chelsea contingent expected to play in Saturday's Champions League final – to fly to Spain on Monday. They would then go on to Oslo for Saturday week's friendly against Norway.
Hodgson has ripped up the plans drawn up by his predecessor Fabio Capello because he wants the players to spend less time away from their families before the tournament. The Football Association is now making contingency plans to base the squad at a hotel in Manchester and train at United's Carrington headquarters.
Although the picture was not entirely clear last night, it appeared that John Terry had been selected by Hodgson. He has long believed that he could not select both Ferdinand and Terry, who faces a court case on 9 July for allegedly racially abusing Ferdinand's younger brother Anton.
Hodgson has also placed a number of players on standby. They have been asked to train with the squad next week and then travel to the first warm-up game, against Norway. The Everton defender Phil Jagielka is among those in the standby group.
Hodgson met Ferdinand last week and also took soundings from Sir Alex Ferguson, his United manager, who has publicly expressed his doubts as to whether he is fit enough to play tournament football. Ferdinand was told yesterday by Hodgson, who finalised his squad in the afternoon in a meeting with the FA and his staff.
Hodgson was at Chelsea's Cobham training ground early yesterday to see Terry, Frank Lampard, Ashley Cole, Gary Cahill and Daniel Sturridge.
Walker has been left out because of an ankle injury picked up in Spurs' final game of the season against Fulham. The FA's doctor Ian Beasley decided the player would not be fit enough. In that light it is unexpected that Richards has also been omitted.
The inclusion of Carroll is a brave step given that the Liverpool striker has only really hit form very late in the season. He has just three caps and has started only one game for his country. Peter Crouch, left out by Hodgson, has scored 22 goals in 42 caps.
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