Ben Foster rejects Roy Hodgson's England plea for Euro 2012

Albion goalkeeper turns down the chance of international return to concentrate on family

Sam Wallace
Monday 14 May 2012 11:09
Ben Foster
Ben Foster

Ben Foster announced yesterday that he had no plans to end his self-imposed England sabbatical despite Roy Hodgson's best attempts to change his mind, during his last few days as West Bromwich Albion manager.

Foster, on loan from Birmingham City this season, was injured for yesterday's 3-2 defeat to Arsenal but said later that he had turned down Hodgson's attempts to persuade him to join the Euro 2012 squad. Foster said: "I'm still exactly the same. I've had a very good chat with the boss this week and he has told me of his plans and stuff.

"I've said all along my best form has been since I retired from England and I feel my body gets a good rest, and I feel it needs that rest as well. Not only that, the fact I've got a young family now, and the family is very big with me. I've got a three- and a four-year-old and they do take up a lot of my time.

"I make no secret, I miss them when I'm away with England. For me, I prefer to spend that time with the family than being away from them. Roy tried hard to persuade me to change my mind. I get on with him so well and he is a fantastic manager. You learn so much off him. I know he will do a fantastic job for England.

"But he totally understood my reasons why and was very respectful of that and understood my decision and my way of thinking."

Paul Scholes is among those under consideration by Hodgson for Wednesday's England 2012 squad announcement with the Manchester United midfielder still not having ruled out a return to the international team.

The midfielder, 37, is thought to be amenable to being asked. He was approached by Fabio Capello's general manager Franco Baldini in the build-up to the World Cup finals squad announcement two years ago but declined. He had hoped to be asked directly by Capello himself.

It would be a big decision by Hodgson and he is by no means set on the course but Scholes is an option. He has not said whether he will stay on with United for another year having come out of retirement in January. He last played for England at Euro 2004.

It looks as if Hodgson could be without PFA young player of the year right-back Kyle Walker who left White Hart Lane in crutches last night. It leaves Hodgson with the option of Micah Richards and Glen Johnson, with whom he had a difficult relationship while at Liverpool.

Scott Parker will today have an injection on an Achilles problem that Harry Redknapp, his manager at Tottenham, believes will determine if he can play for England at Euro 2012. Redknapp said: "I am hoping that it will clear up in six or seven days. If the injection doesn't clear it up and he has to have an op, he won't be fit for England."

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

View comments