i

Gerrard discovers new tension in Mersey rivalry

Sir Alex Ferguson, United manager: 'It's a fantastic collection of players. I hope I pick the right combinations'

Alex Ferguson: Robin van Persie addition makes Manchester United attack every bit as good as 1999 vintage

Sir Alex Ferguson spoke of his delight yesterday at the capture of the Arsenal forward Robin van Persie after a long pursuit. Manchester United beat off competition from Juventus and Manchester City to land last season's double player of the year in a deal that could eventually rise to as much as £24m.

Roy Hodgson issues orders to Andy Carroll before extra time last night

Rio Ferdinand critical of Roy Hodgson's management of England at Euro 2012

Rio Ferdinand has criticised Roy Hodgson's management at Euro 2012, claiming the England boss underused his younger players and was too defensive in his tactics.

Roy Hodgson issues orders to Andy Carroll before extra time last night

England manager Roy Hodgson takes positives from Euro 2012

Roy Hodgson is using Germany's example as proof England fans should not feel too negative about the future of the national side.

Dizzee Rascal records updated England song for Euro 2012

With expectations of England’s footballers suddenly on the rise, the nation needs a new anthem to unite behind.

England manager Roy Hodgson with (from left) Andy Carroll, Wayne Rooney and Steve Gerrard

Hodgson to start with Walcott but Carroll is left out

Roy Hodgson was last night considering unleashing Theo Walcott upon Ukraine in England's final Euro 2012 group game, after the Arsenal winger was passed fit.

Roy Hodgson and Steven Gerrard face the press

Roy Hodgson set to start with Theo Walcott but Andy Carroll left out

Winger's sparkling display against Swedes wins call-up as Rooney returns for Ukraine

<b>Ashley Cole: </b>Great ball to Young to provide him with shooting chance in first half. Did come inside often and left space for Ibrahimovic to exploit behind him. 6

Roy Hodgson pays tribute to Ashley Cole ahead of landmark match

England boss Roy Hodgson will never take Ashley Cole for granted.

Carroll Zinger: Andy Carroll celebrates his goal against the Swedes

England will play to win against Ukraine insists Andy Carroll

Andy Carroll insists England will not settle for the draw against Ukraine which would book their place in the quarter-finals of Euro 2012.

England hit by injury to game-changer Theo Walcott ahead of Ukraine match

Recurrence of hamstring problem makes flying winger a doubt for Ukraine game

Andy Carroll rises high above the Swedish defence to head England in front in Kiev

James Lawton: Hodgson's calls vindicated on night of high English drama

It was a goal that could have come from a museum - but what a relic

Welbeck: 'I've been put in a position now to lead the line for England and it's not something I'm scared of'

England striker Danny Welbeck wants to be the new Michael Owen (1998 version)

England striker is desperate to emulate his first hero – yes, he really is that young

Roy Hodgson in jovial mood during yesterday’s press conference

Hodgson tells his players to seize the moment

The England manager Roy Hodgson declared last night that his side could not have been more prepared for tonight's opening European Championship match with France, despite his mere 40 days in charge, and said his own belief in the players has surprised him.

Rooney signs autographs at Krakow Airport yesterday

Rafael Benitez: England would be best off playing a 4-2-3-1 formation

England's moment is here and I am sensing a lot of pessimism in the country about their chances. Everybody is talking, saying England are not good enough. But I don't understand this. Are Sweden or Ukraine, the other two nations in the group, better than Roy Hodgson's side? No, they are not. And I think tonight's game against France in Donetsk is one that both teams can win. Yes, if England lose, everybody will be saying this and that about them but I do think England have a number of options tactically. The style and ideas they have adopted are not a problem and they are capable of winning their difficult opening game. The talk has been about whether Rio Ferdinand should be with the squad. He is a very good player and with good players around you, you will always be better. He has experience and in tournaments like this experience becomes an even more important quality than ever. It is a short competition, too. It's not as if he would have been there for nine months. But England have Gary Neville to assist Roy Hodgson, which is a very positive thing, and he will have been able to offer his own knowledge on the situation. That decision has been made now, though, and England can only look ahead. The absent player who matters much more than Ferdinand is Wayne Rooney because it is not easy to find a second striker like him, who is so mobile, making runs and doing so many unexpected things. If Andy Carroll is the target man then my idea is that Steven Gerrard would be the better second striker for now. This is partly because he knows Carroll from their work together at Liverpool but it is also because Gerrard will win the second balls around the box. Of all the players Hodgson might choose to play behind the striker, Gerrard has the greater strength to win those second balls.

Is Bastian Schweinsteiger that much better than Steven Gerrard?

Kevin Garside: Only narrow thinking keeps England so dull

The Way I See It: The full-backs rip forward in support of inflexible wingers in a grim reprise of Seventies football dystopia

ROY HODGSON: Will unleash Danny Welbeck’s pace against a ponderous France defence

Roy Hodgson tells England's players to seize the moment at Euro 2012

Manager believes team are ready to take on France tonight despite limited preparation time

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