Roy Hodgson has named his 23-man squad for the Euro 2012 tournament and there are a number of surprise choices.
There was no shock with the selection ofEngland’s number one, Joe Hart. Rob Green, who had a shocker against the Yanks in the 2010 World Cup, has made the cut, as has Norwich’s John Ruddy. The Canaries’ shot-stopper is a surprise choice but has had an impressive season between the sticks.
At the back it appears that being stripped of the captaincy twice and sleeping with team-mates’ wives makes you a shoe-in for the squad. Yes, John Terry is in. Rio Ferdinand will not be on the plane though, whether due to issues playing with JT or the fact that he can’t hack the quick turnaround of games.
Chelsea team-mates Ashley Cole and Gary Cahill have made the squad as has Manchester City’s Joleon Lecott. Leighton Baines has again had a solid season at Everton and will be the back-up left-back. Manchester United’s Phil Jones has been selected as he could play in defence or midfield.
One talking point will be at right back with the inclusion of Glen Johnson and not Premier League winner Micah Richards. The City player may feel slightly aggrieved after being overlooked by Uncle Roy.
In midfield the usual suspects of Steven Gerrard, Frank Lampard, Gareth Barry, Theo Walcott and Ashley Young are in the mix. Scott Parker is expected to recover from his achilles problem in time for the opening game so has made the squad.
Surprisingly Stewart Downing is off to Poland despite having a very mediocre season but Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain is in the 23 which is an exciting inclusion. The Ox was the biggest outsider to be selected having been 15/8 to make the list. With no goals and no assists this year Downing is 4/1 to start against France, with Young and Walcott the favourites to start out wide.
The other midfield slot is taken up by James Milner who is a handy utility player.
Up top United duo Wayne Rooney and Danny Welbeck feature alongside Jermain Defoe and the big man himself, Andy Carroll. Unfortunately that means no place for the other leading strikers Peter Crouch, Grant Holt, Bobby Zamora or, eh, Michael Owen.
With the squad announced England are still 10/1 with Paddy Power to go on to Euro 2012 glory.
England Full Squad
Goalkeepers: Joe Hart, Scott Carson, John Ruddy
Defenders: John Terry,Gary Cahill, Ashley Cole, Glen Johnson, Leighton Baines, Joleon Lescott, Phil Jones
Midfielders: Steven Gerrard, Frank Lampard, Ashley Young, Theo Walcott, Scott Parker, James Milner, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Gareth Barry, Stewart Downing
Strikers: Wayne Rooney, Danny Welbeck, Jermain Defoe, Andy Carroll