The England squad has been announced and as usual there is a mix of shock inclusions, big name absentees and poorly kept secrets with much of the squad being known at least a day in advance. There has been plenty of speculation about who would be included and we now know who can help justify the England Euro 2012 odds and who can’t.
Potentially the biggest decision for Roy Hodgson was who to leave out from Rio Ferdinand and John Terry with the pair apparently unable to play together and Roy Hodgson has selected Terry (despite rumours last week he’d be left out) with Ferdinand’s injury record seemingly counting against him. Another huge decision for Hodgson was whether or not to take Arsenal’s Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and it seems Hodgson has been brave here deciding to take the youngster who will be the youngest member of England’s squad.
John Ruddy was perhaps the biggest surprise to be included in the squad but it isn’t a significant decision as Joe Hart is the clear first choice and Rob Green looks set to be second choice in goal. Micah Richards was left out of the squad despite Kyle Walker missing out through injury, that means Glen Johnson looks the first choice right back with Phil Jones the only other squad member to be able to play there. In other squad news Steven Gerrard has been confirmed as the new England captain by his manager Roy Hodgson.
England not only have some relatively new squad members but they also of course have a new manager. He has performed well as manager of both Fulham and West Brom in recent years but even guiding Fulham to the Europa League final doesn’t seem to match his biggest achievement of getting Switzerland to third in the FIFA rankings after just 18 months in charge. It would be a great achievement if he could do the same with England, even though this team has many more stars than the Switzerland team from the early nineties.
The bookies are usually shortening England at every opportunity just before a major tournament but expectations are as low as they have ever been in many people’s memories. The England odds are even lower than there were before the squad announcement with a couple of bookies having pushed England out a point following the release of the squad list. England are now only just ahead of France and Italy in the Euro 2012 odds, still behind the likes of Spain, Germany and Holland. Those odds still suggest that England should reach the semi finals as England are the fourth favourites and that would certainly represent a pretty successful summer for England as it would be their best performance since Euro ’96.
The full squad is Joe Hart (Man City), Robert Green (West Ham), John Ruddy (Norwich), Glen Johnson (Liverpool), Phil Jones (Man United), John Terry (Chelsea), Joleon Lescott (Man City), Gary Cahill (Chelsea), Ashley Cole (Chelsea), Leighton Baines (Everton), Theo Walcott (Arsenal), Stewart Downing (Liverpool), Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (Arsenal), Steven Gerrard (Liverpool), Gareth Barry (Man City), Frank Lampard (Chelsea), Scott Parker (Tottenham), Ashley Young (Man United), James Milner (Man City), Wayne Rooney (Man United), Danny Welbeck (Man United), Andy Carroll (Liverpool), Jermain Defoe (Tottenham).
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