Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Andy Carroll included in England Euro 2012 squad

 

England manager Roy Hodgson has announced his 23-man squad for Euro 2012, with Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain the surprise inclusion of the squad.

Among those whose places seemed uncertain, John Terry, Stewart Downing, Jermain Defoe and Andy Carroll have all been included in the squad.

Addressing the media this afternoon, Hodgson announced that Liverpool's Steven Gerrard will be captain at Euro 2012. The England manager appears to have drawn on his time at Liverpool to make the decision.

"I know him as a player and a person and how committed he is to the England cause," said Hodgson.

"He will help me build the team unity and environment we need to thrive in a tournament."

Arsenal winger Oxlade-Chamberlain has started just six Premier League games for Arsenal, and caretaker England manager Stuart Pearce opted against bringing him into the squad for the friendly against the Netherlands in February. Including the 18-year-old in the Euro 2012 squad appears Hodgson's biggest risk and will draw comparisons with the time Sven Goran-Eriksson selected the uncapped Theo Walcott for the 2006 World Cup.

Hodgson said of the decision: "He is a very, very exciting player. He's given one or two performances that have made quite an impression on me."

The only other uncapped player joining the Arsenal winger on the plane to Poland and Ukraine is Norwich goalkeeper John Ruddy.

Among the most notable players who miss out are Rio Ferdinand, Aaron Lennon, Peter Crouch, Micah Richards and Daniel Sturridge.

Talking about his selections today, former Fulham and West Brom manager Hodgson said: "It's not been an easy squad to put together but I'm pleased with the squad I've put together and I think it's a well balanced squad."

It had emerged last night that Manchester United defender Ferdinand would miss out, and his exclusion is likely to raise the most eyebrows. His club manager, Alex Ferguson, recently publicly questioned the 33-year-old's ability to handle the rigours of tournament football. It means Ferdinand, despite making 81 caps, will never have represented England at a European Championships.

Ferdinand's exclusion cleared the way for Chelsea captain Terry to take his place among the squad - a decision that Hodgson admitted upon his appointment was one of his toughest calls. The exclusion of Ferdinand on fitness grounds has made it somewhat easier, and Hodgson today insisted it was on football grounds alone that Ferdinand was not in the squad.

"It's a football decision. He's only played for England once in the last year. It was a hard phone call to make, but it's based on football - nothing else," he said.

The United defender's exclusion dominated questions at this afternoon's press conference - something which appeared to irritate the England manager, who said: "There's 23 names in the squad and we're preparing for a tournament and we seem to be talking about one player until the cows go home."

Hodgson said Ferdinand's ability to play a game every four days was not his top concern, but it was taken for other footballing reasons.

It would seem Carroll's late surge of form for Liverpool, which saw him come inches away from clawing Liverpool back onto equal terms in the FA Cup final with Chelsea, have paid dividends. The £35m former Newcastle striker has one goal at senior level, having made three appearances. Included is his Liverpool team-mate Stewart Downing, who gets the nod ahead of Tottenham winger Lennon. Since moving to Anfield in a £20m deal last summer, Downing has failed to score a goal or provide an assist in the Premier League.

Tottenham striker Defoe has been brought back into the fold, at the expense of Sturridge, who is among those on standby.

Wayne Rooney is included even though he is suspended for the first two games of the tournament, which begins on June 8. This came as no surprise after Hodgson revealed in his first press conference he would be looking to take the Manchester United striker.

Hodgson said today of Rooney: "He [Rooney] got suspended and I'm not suggesting the suspension is wrong. But it's not very nice going into the first two games without a player who is world class."

His Manchester United team-mate Paul Scholes is not in the squad, despite rumours he could come out of international retirement. Fellow United midfielder Michael Carrick also misses out.

With Tottenham right-back Kyle Walker ruled out through injury, it seemed there might be a place for Manchester City's Micah Richards. Yet it appears he will stay in exile for now, with Liverpool's Glen Johnson getting the nod instead. Johnson is the only orthodox right-back in the squad, although Phil Jones and Joleon Lescott are capable of filling the role.

The squad has been drawn equally from England's top club sides, with four players from each of Manchester City, Manchester United, Chelsea and Liverpool. There are two from Tottenham and Arsenal and one from Everton, West Ham and Norwich.

The squad will meet up next Wednesday ahead of a friendly with Norway in Oslo. England will then face Belgium at Wembley on June 2 before their first match of Euro 2012 against France on June 11.

There had been plans for a training camp in Spain, but Hodgson has scrapped that and they will instead meet up at Manchester United's Carrington training ground.

Click here to see Roy Hodgson's England squad in full-detail.

Goalkeepers: Joe Hart (Man City), Rob Green (West Ham), John Ruddy (Norwich)

Defenders: Glen Johnson (Liverpool), Phil Jones (Man United), John Terry (Chelsea), Joleon Lescott (Man City), Gary Cahill (Chelsea), Ashley Cole (Chelsea), Leighton Baines (Everton)

Midfielders: 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)

Forwards: Wayne Rooney (Man United), Danny Welbeck (Man United), Andy Carroll (Liverpool), Jermain Defoe (Tottenham)

Standby players: Jack Butland (Birmingham), Adam Johnson (Man City), Daniel Sturridge (Chelsea), Phil Jagielka (Everton), Jordan Henderson (Liverpool).

Twitter: @simonrice

Sport
The sun rises over St Andrews golf course, but will it be a new dawn for the Royal and Ancient Golf Club?
sportAnd it's Yes to women (at the R&A)
Arts and Entertainment
Friends is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year
tvSeries celebrates 20th anniversary
Sport
Yaya Touré (left) and Bayern Munich’s Spanish defender Juan Bernat
footballToure's lack of defensive work is big problem for City
Voices
voicesApple continually kill off smaller app developers, and that's no good for anyone
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Liam Neeson said he wouldn't
tv

Liam Neeson's Downton dreams

Sport
Wembley Stadium
footballNews follows deal with Germany
Arts and Entertainment
A spell in the sun: Emma Stone and Colin Firth star in ‘Magic in the Moonlight’
filmReview: Magic In The Moonlight
Sport
A 'Sir Alex Feguson' tattoo
football

Arts and Entertainment
Ben Whishaw is replacing Colin Firth as the voice of Paddington Bear
tv

Thriller is set in the secret world of British espionage

Life and Style
life

News
ScienceGallery: Otherwise known as 'the best damn photos of space you'll see till 2015'
Life and Style
fashion

Bomber jacket worn by Mary Berry sells out within an hour

Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

The Imitation Game, film review
England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week