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Who should go to the Euros for England?

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Alistair Magowan - BBC Sport | 15:08 UK time, Thursday, 10 May 2012

New England boss Roy Hodgson has been successfully parachuted into his role but the real work starts now.

Without a single international to see his players in action under his stewardship, the current West Brom manager must choose who to take to Euro 2012 and will announce his choices next Wednesday.

In goal, the selection of Joe Hart would appear obvious but across the whole team there are several decisions to be made, not least who will start in the absence of Wayne Rooney for the games against France and Sweden.

Here former England internationals including Gary Lineker, Chris Waddle and Danny Mills give their thoughts on who will make the trip to Poland and Ukraine.


In the build-up to the 2010 World Cup, there was a worry over who England's number one was. This time, it is more a question of whether there is a capable deputy. Joe Hart has been a model of consistency for Manchester City, keeping the most clean sheets in the Premier League and has firmly established himself between the posts for his country.

But beyond the 25-year-old, there is a dearth of keepers performing well in the Premier League. West Brom's Ben Foster, who ended his international career prematurely, could be tempted out of retirement by his former boss Hodgson.

Elsewhere there is West Ham's Robert Green, who could be back in the top flight next season, and former West Brom stopper Scott Carson, who finished mid-table with Turkish club Bursaspor.

Former Scotland centre-back and Match of the Day pundit Alan Hansen says: "Along with Wayne Rooney, Joe Hart is probably the only other player in the squad at his peak." The question remains who the two deputies will be, but Foster could provide welcome competition.


The big question in the heart of England's defence is whether John Terry and Rio Ferdinand can play together given Terry's pending court case concerning alleged racial abuse of Ferdinand's brother, Anton.

Aside from that, is either of the pair actually the best option for England? Gary Cahill has impressed for Chelsea, although has a hamstring problem, while Manchester City's Joleon Lescott has the highest percentage of tackles won in the Premier League among those four candidates. Lescott also impressed when he played alongside Phil Jagielka when England beat Spain 1-0 at Wembley last November.

"You've got issues in the defence," says former England right-back Danny Mills. "John Terry has been great at times. He's obviously got a lot on his plate at the moment but has come back and has shown a bit of form. Take the Barcelona sending off out of the equation and he has been playing pretty well.

"Ferdinand has been in and out through injury but, for me, Joleon Lescott is not an international defender. I don't know whether he's been playing that well."

In comparison, England's left-back options are relatively trouble free with Leighton Baines the obvious deputy for Ashley Cole.

But at right-back there is an interesting three-way tussle between Liverpool's Glen Johnson, Tottenham's Kyle Walker and Manchester City's Micah Richards.

Mills adds: "At right-back, there are some good candidates but who has been playing well enough to say 'that's my spot'? Glen Johnson has his faults, Micah Richards has not been playing enough football, and while Kyle Walker is fantastic going forward, I'm not sure he's ready to defend in those sort of pressure situations in a tournament."

Manchester United pair Phil Jones and Chris Smalling may be useful as utility players.


What combination Hodgson chooses in midfield will be intriguing, but it is fairly safe to say that as far as central positions go, Steven Gerrard, Frank Lampard, Scott Parker and Gareth Barry will all make the trip to Poland and Ukraine.

In wider positions, former England boss Fabio Capello preferred Arsenal's Theo Walcott and Manchester United's Ashley Young, while Chelsea's Daniel Sturridge impressed in the recent defeat by the Netherlands at Wembley, and there have also been calls for Arsenal's Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain to be picked.

"Sturridge has something about him," says former England striker Gary Lineker. "But the fact is that Arsene Wenger very rarely picks Oxlade-Chamberlain, so why would England?"

Former England winger Chris Waddle disagrees. "Oxlade-Chamberlain should go. When he has played in midfield or on the wing, he has looked threatening and his crossing is good."

He may not have played the same number of Premier League games as his contemporaries but Oxlade-Chamberlain's cross completion is superior, and his dribble completion easily beats Walcott, Young, Stewart Downing and James Milner.

Calls for Paul Scholes to return to the fray seem far-fetched after he made less of an impact against some of the Premier League's better teams recently.


Darren Bent's injury and Rooney's suspension for the first two games at the European Championship has opened the door for another striker to make an impression.

The forward already doing that is Andy Carroll, who played a key part in getting Liverpool to the FA Cup final, and, once he was introduced as a substitute against Chelsea at Wembley, he turned the game's momentum.

Manchester United's Danny Welbeck has a better shooting accuracy and pass completion than Rooney in the Premier League this season, while Peter Crouch is the leading scorer among his challengers, but has not played for his country since the defeat by France in November 2010.
Bobby Zamora was a crucial player in Fulham's run to the 2010 Europa League final under Hodgson but has struggled for goals since joining QPR in January.

"Crouch has a great record and tends to score against poorer teams and we have a couple in our group," says Lineker. "The question is: do England want to change the way they play? He holds it up well, but he's not going to give you much in behind the opposition defence.

"The interesting thing is that Roy is generally a 4-4-2 man but England have been playing 4-3-3 recently to a relative degree of success. And when you have hardly any strikers to choose from, especially for the first two games when you can't pick Rooney, maybe it's easier to have just one and then have Ashley Young, Theo Walcott types on either side.

"Daniel Sturridge is in with a shout, too, so you might want to play that way rather than having two strikers."

You can also discuss more tactical issues and follow me on Twitter


Page 1 of 5

  • Comment number 1.

    You talk of Barry and Parker being certain to go, yet there is no mention of Carrick at all in this. He has been the most consistent defensive midfielder in the Premier League all season. He should start before Barry and Parker in every game.

  • Comment number 2.

    All this user's posts have been removed.Why?

  • Comment number 3.

    It's GOT to be Lescott and Jagielka at the back.

    Both playing regularly and doing well for their respective teams, both at the perfect age, they have played together at club level and proved themselves against the toughest opposition on the international stage.

    It's a real chance for Hodgson to prove he'll pick the BEST players, not just the obvious choices.

  • Comment number 4.

    "Crouch has a great record and tends to score against poorer teams and we have a couple in our group," says Lineker.

    Yes, but *we're* one of the poorer teams...

    France are doing well again, host nations always tend to overachieve so Ukraine won't be that easy, and we tend to draw against Sweden.

    If we get out of the group it'll be an achievement, and, if we top it, a miracle.

  • Comment number 5.

    You pick players on form over the last couple of months so for me, controversially i would take Carroll and put him on the bench. Defence will be interesting dont see how you can play Terry and Ferdinand together i would pick Cahill and Jagielka before them 2.

    Ashley Young and Walcott pick themselves but i also think Aaron Lennon is in with a shout he can play left or right as he does with Spurs when him and Bale switch during games.

    Unfortunately though cant see England getting out of their group with Rooney suspended for 2 games. The French look good and the home countries are dangerous so my money is on France and Ukraine to qualify from the group.

  • Comment number 6.

    As long as Crouch isn't involved it should be (relatively) fine. Welbeck/Carroll up front for the first two games, then Rooney. On paper the defence and attack look reasonable, maybe just lacking a bit of creativity in the midfield. Hopefully Hodgson goes for 4-3-3 rather than the old style 4-4-2.

  • Comment number 7.

    CheadleEnder1982... have to agree with you about Lescott. I can't understand Danny Mills saying he's "not an international defender" whilst he's half of the best partnership in the premier league and kept out Spain with Jagielka, who must also be worth a look. Also, how on earth in Downing being considered and not Lennon?!?! no goals and assists for the Liverpool man this season, abject.

  • Comment number 8.

    why no mention of Aaron Lennon again? overlooked internationally for far too long.

    Ok want great at the WC but since then he has competed in the champions league and at the top end of the EPL

    If he is fit and on his game Wallcott, the Ox, Adam Johnson don't come close.

    a must if you ask me

  • Comment number 9.

    As for up front, is it worth giving Walcott a chance? He can't pass for toffee, but he has pace and could be a makeshift forward who'd prove difficult for defences.

    The defence argument, can we leave Terry behind? He's been a great player, but his obnoxiousness and ego have inflated to the point of liability.

  • Comment number 10.

    young players who need the experiance,with no pressure can play without fear unlike the like of lampard,gerrard,rooney and others in the past.i dont understand why when countries like spain,brazil,italy germany can produce results every tournament they enter but england the biggest football nation in the world cannot get past the 1/4 finals round 16 stage and we dont qualify for every thinks the "golden generation" of lampard etc arent and were never that good,what would an average generation be like.
    my team would be
    walker terry cahill cashley

    walcott young

    carroll rooney

    we still needs these average players which stinks of desperation,as they did nothing in their primes and we still depend on them past their primes.i would of picked wiltshere,englands only talented player(i mean spain like passing,vision,creativity etc) but he is only a young lad who is resting a serious injury.i think carroll has proven he is up for the euros with the string of good performences and we have the wingers to give the deliveries he needs.keep lampard and gerrard of the pitch at the same time,nothing comes about it plus play stevie g he is a better player.

    i hope angland do well and i wish though the media will get of hodgsons back,he is tatically better and makes better decisions than redknapp.good luck to england but i think we wont get past the group stages

  • Comment number 11.

    I'm tempted to say it really won't make a lot of difference who we take.

    I can't see that Terry should go - that tackling statistic is very damning, and add that to his recent form, and all the baggage...

    Carroll is interesting. His form in recent weeks has been terrific - suddenly his first touch is excellent, and his link up play has been brilliant. To get Crouch back in the fold, after so long away...I can't see it, even if I do have a soft spot for him. Carroll could be the wild card that we need. I think he must get a run out in the friendlies.

    Am surprised to see Sturridge in so many people's thoughts. He has been dreadful this year. His awareness is appalling.

    I think i might return to my initial sentence. We are also-rans. The difference is that we know it before the tournament has started this time.

  • Comment number 12.

    Thomas Earnshaw


  • Comment number 13.

    how is Carroll even being mentioned?? Grant Holt has proved time and time again this season that he needs a call up!! its about time we had a big striker that can really battle hard with the defenders and give them something extra to think about.

    Holt for England

  • Comment number 14.

    There must be some barely-heard-of 15 year-old that's nailed on for the final squad and won't even make the bench... any suggestions?

  • Comment number 15.

    This squad is incredibly difficult to predict and I don't envy Roy Hodgson in having to put together a squad capable of firstly competing at this summer's competition, and secondly reaching the media expectation.

    For me, the main debate surrounds the spine of the team (with the exception of Joe Hart of course), and that could prove incredibly costly for England.

    I see no way how John Terry and Rio Ferdinand can both go, but I see Ferdinand's form, particularly since the turn of the year, and his less public profile being the key to him being the experienced centre-half. Alongside him I think it is Cahill, Lescott and another, but any appeals for Chris Smalling or Phil Jones to be first picks anywhere in the team I think is a little premature just yet.

    In midfield, it would appear that we can't get away from needing Lampard and Gerrard although Lampard in particular appears to at least have a potential selection based on his form rather than his reputation as both have been guilty of in the past. It will be interesting to see how Hodgson chooses to accommodate them both if he feels fit... it may be the vacant Rooney role that goes to Gerrard and we may see him in his natural role for England.

    The strikers concern me as we don't have a real goal-threat internationally for me. Danny Welbeck appears to have forged a reasonable partnership with Rooney, it's just a pity the latter's idiocy has prevented us seeing that until we play Ukraine. As for the other two roles... who knows? I'm surprised that Grant Holt wasn't mentioned above... I'm not saying he's the answer, just that he's had an excellent season and scored a fair few goals.

  • Comment number 16.

    Why isnt Celtic's Fraser Forster not being mentioned as a potential deputy to Joe Hart. He's been brilliant for Celtic and a top class keeper in my opinion.

  • Comment number 17.

    I think you'll find that Hodgson doesn't have to submit a final squad list until May 29th and England have a friendly against Norway on the 26th. Granted it's not ideal but I would have thought some of the 'maybe' players would get a run out in that game and have a chance to prove themselves before the final selection and then the first choice team would play on the 2nd against Belgium in the other friendly.

  • Comment number 18.

    It's a hell of a dilemma, particularly at the back.

    Trivial Pursuits sports editor Nilesh Bhagat has been writing extensively about Hodgson and the England job. He will be revealing his reaction to the squad announcement next week as well.

  • Comment number 19.

    Judging bu those stats none of these strikers...!

  • Comment number 20.

    Why hasn't Holt been mentioned on this at all? Absolutely ridiculous. Just because Norwich isn't a 'fashionable' club I guess... he deserves it more than any of the other players other than Rooney.

    Rooney Holt Crouch Welbeck. Simple. Holt would play for the shirt and the nation unlike some of the players that get called up.

  • Comment number 21.

    Spurs slump may of coincided with the Redknapp to England talk but it also is worth noting that the form also dipped at a similar time to the loss of Lennon, then when he recently returned we looked a much better team going forward again. As a spurs fan who watches all their games i find it hard to see how he is not in line for a starting place let alone a place on the plane. In a 4-3-3 formation you need that width which he will provide and also unlike downing he knows his way to goal. For me he is a must to go.
    One final point, why not only take 2 gks. Chances of both getting injured/suspended are very slim and it frees up a spot for an outfield player. Worst case scenario let Terry prove his dedication to England by putting on the gloves as i would only have him on the bench anyway!

  • Comment number 22.

    I am going to change my name to Hans and support Germany for this tournement has England have got no chance.

    Given that Hodgson has had little time with the squad there is no point going in with any high minded ideas and tactics. I would stick with what the players know, a fairly standard 4-4-2 and use the time on the training ground to drill the team on positional solidity for those endless periods of time we will have without the ball.

    I would do with

    Walker, Terry, Dawson, Cole
    Walcott, Parker, Gerrard, Young
    Defoe(until Rooney is back), Carroll

    Solid centre midfield, couple of flying wide men and the old big man / small man partnership up front.

  • Comment number 23.

    i actually dont care...

    england will flatter to deceive (again), so who plays doesnt really matter

  • Comment number 24.

    The Euros should be used as a team building exercise for the World Cup so anyone who is unlikely to be around, or at their peak, in 2014 should be discarded now.

    But then when has the FA every thought ahead apart from giving it's managers lengthy 4 year contracts only to see the English team fail in the first two yeas of their reign.

  • Comment number 25.

    I dont think there is particularly an Issue up top. Rooney Sturridge and Welbeck are an obvious 3. I doubt during the tournament we will start with more than one striker, and with more attacking options from midfield like Walcott, Johnson, Young potentially Chamberlain etc there may not be a great need to take any more than these three. If we had another option who was on form I wouldnt hesitate to take another front man but with Bent injured Carrol not scoring as we would like and Defoe struggling for form maybe we take an extra option out wide? Since we have plenty of options as cover in the middle anyway, Geerard Lampard Parker Barry all potentials we can afford to take a more attacking mid?

  • Comment number 26.

    With all the unnecessary hype around failures such as Carroll and Walcott, the real PL performances of the year have come from outside the top 6. This is the team of the year and it has players who deserve to go to the Euro’s for both England and Ireland.

  • Comment number 27.

    4-4-2 Joe Hart GK Cole LB Shawcross CB Cahill CB Richards RB Lampard RM Wilshire CM Gerrard CM Downing LM Crouch ST Welbeck/Rooney ST

    thats my opinion anyway

  • Comment number 28.

    Personally I think John Terry will be a divisive influence on the England team much like he was in South Africa and will try and make himself de facto captain. I would not pick him for England again, he is past his best.

  • Comment number 29.

    Shock horror no mention of John Ruddy in the keepers slot but instead two guys who have retired from the international game. Great analysis there boys.

    Still no mention of the second highest English goalscorer in the EPL this season who has scored against Chelsea, Spurs, Arsenal, Liverpool, Everton, Newcastle, Man Utd and a few others - clearly Grant Holt is no where near good enough to play against top defenders and we should pick the like of Frasier Campbell/Danny Wellbeck/Daniel Sturridge/Andy Carroll who all have scored fewer goals and have a worse goals to game ratio than Holt plus they get to play against Norwich's defence and he doesn't!

  • Comment number 30.

    Lennon's got to be there.

  • Comment number 31.

    Why player like Parker and Barry, and even Lampard given the position he actually plays at club level, are being touted for central midfield berths ahead of Carrick is beyond me. He's technically superior to all of them, had an excellent season (though i don't subscribe to him having a poor one last season, on the whole he is very consistent, but quietly goes about his job), has won medals playing consistently in the heart of United's midfield both in the PL and in Europe and has a style of play made for international football (technical, patient etc...).

  • Comment number 32.

    GK - Hart
    LB - Coles
    CB - Lescott
    CB - Cahill/Jagielka
    RB - Richards
    RW - Milner
    CM - Barry
    CM - Parker
    LW - Johnson
    AT - Sturridge
    AT - Carroll

    Boom, easy peasy. This'll win the Euro 2012

  • Comment number 33.

    Clearly John Ruddy at Norwich should be in consideration as Englands number 2 , Steven Gerrard as England Captain no questions asked no one else even comes close to that , also grant holt ahead of carroll anyday he's the second highest goal scorer in England this season.

  • Comment number 34.

    31. At 17:23 10th May 2012, BerbaKing11 wrote:
    Why player like Parker and Barry, and even Lampard given the position he actually plays at club level, are being touted for central midfield berths ahead of Carrick is beyond me. He's technically superior to all of them


    That's strange as last Monday Carrick had a non-descript evening against Barry who was Man of the Match!

  • Comment number 35.

    Agree with #1, how Carrick doesn't even get mentioned is beyond me. A very consistent player all season, can win tackles, but more importantly is a good passer and keeps possession, something not too many English players can do. He should be a strong contender to be a starter for England, him alongside Parker could be an excellent partnership. I just hope Roy is at least smart enough not to play Lampard and Gerrard together, they've had 10 odd years to form a partnership and it has never looked like happening. Not to mention that neither of them should imo be starting, on merit. They're past their prime and have had more than enough chances, failing to deliver time after time.

    As for the strikers, Rooney's ban gives someone else a chance but who is there? Welbeck is probably the most deserving, and if he plays well his partnership with Rooney should hit the ground running in the third game, they've combined superbly for United. Players like Carrol, Crouch or Sturridge aren't fit to be ball boys let alone make the 23.

    And I wouldn't worry about whether Terry can play with Rio because on merit Terry shouldn't be picked at all. Terry is an overrated defender and a bad influence in the dressing room. Start Cahill with Rio, with Jagielka and Lescott as backup.

  • Comment number 36.

    Ferdinand - over the hill, error prone calamity. No way he should go.

    Rooney - banned for the first few games anyway. Hates England fans, hearts not in it. No way he should go. I'd take Carroll, Holt and Welbeck.

    Carrick - proven time and time again that he is not international class.

    Scholes - You're having a laugh.

    My starting 11 would be


  • Comment number 37.

    Can't agree more with norfolkbhoy - Ruddy & Holt have to be in with a shout.
    And yes I'm a Norwich fan!

  • Comment number 38.

    I don't want to see John Terry anywhere near that squad. His form is appalling and his presence unsettling.

    Definitely yes for Carroll but no for Downing.

  • Comment number 39.

    Regarding defense, Terry should not go. He may be great as a leader at Chelsea where he is the undisputed boss, but amongst England players he is a poisonous. There are many reasons why England collapsed at WC2010 and he is one of them (see aforementioned poison and being responsible for Germany goals).

    Ferdinand if healthy along with Cahill or Jagielka in CB.

    It pains me to say this but I don't think Jones or Smalling have had the game time or form to justify a first place spot at RB; perhaps bench?

    In midfield whatever you do play Steven Gerrard in the middle and give him a free role. As a United fan this is where I fear him the most.

    Not sure about wide and attacking players...

  • Comment number 40.

    You want to take players who are in form so, while not a fan of his normally, I would take and play Carroll. Defoe should go. Also take one of Crouch or Holt - despite them not playing for 'big' clubs as that is the usual requirement.

    Downing cannot go, he has been terrible this year. Young, Walcott and Sturridge have had a good year so must all go.

    Lescott, Cahill, Jones and Jagielka should be the centre backs. Terry is past it and will be a disruptive influence in the dressing room. Ferdinand also is not the same quality as he was, let the younger players come in and play instead.

    Oh, Gerrard for captain too. Just look what he does for a struggling team like Liverpool, without him they would have won nothing the last ten years.

  • Comment number 41.

    A very decent analysis, with one major flaw. The time is right to up the tempo and definitely DROP the BAND. Many a dire England performance has been accompanied by the worst 'official' musical? dirges.
    So please Mr Hodgson do a favor to all music lovers in Europe and all England fans by calling time on the 'Band'.
    Sven was too polite to do this, Fabio also.
    This would be one dropping I think all fans would agree with.

    Alternatively get a decent band then at least the music will be bearable if we are in trouble.

  • Comment number 42.

    tis wud be the squad i take 2 euros:
    goalkeepers: J.Hart, B.Foster, R.Green

    Defence: G.Johnson, G.Cahill, J.Terry, A.Cole
    K.Walker, P.Jones, L.Baines

    Midfield: S.Parker, G.Barry, A.O.Chamberlain, S.Gerrard, A.Johnson
    F.Lampard, M.Carrick, T.Cleverly

    Strikers: D.Sturridge, W.Rooney, P.crouch, D.Welbeck, A.Carroll

    with these players my 1st system would be a 4-2-3-1, and then with the second set there is the 4-3-3 system, it mixes established internationals with young blood, somethin which england has failed to do for a long time. i have chosen sturridge as my loan striker as he has a bag of tricks can get in behind defenders and cause real problems, i would like to point out i wud have taken rodwell ahead of barry but rodwell is now ruled out through a hamstring injury, this squad is very flexible and it can mix things up, although rooney is suspended for the group stages we should still take him as this will make him fresh for the later stages of the tournament, i have chosen crouch as he is a goal scorer and can come off the bench and put a cat amongst the pidgeons so to speak and i believe carroll on current form has done just enough to be taken as the spare striker, although chamberlain hasnt played that much football i still believe he is englands best technical player and adam johnson is a winger who can do a variety of things i hope liverpool sign him in the summer as he is a better winger than downing, i have left rio out as i believe he is to similar to cahill and we need to start off using younger players who have bags of potential.

  • Comment number 43.

    GK: for me has to be Joe Hart, would recommend any of the youngsters (Steele, Fraser Foster) as back-up for championship experience instead of Ben Foster or Green. cant see any difference between them and Foster or Green who are abject performers.

    Defence: Left back is obviously Ashley Cole with Baines as backup. Right Back has to be Glen Johnson cos of international experience over Micah Richards of Kyle Walker but I will recommend Walker over Richard due to his consistent performance for Spurs in the premiership. Central defence has to be Lescott, Jaagelka, Cahill, Ferdinand and Terry in that order. The standbys are Jones and Smalling. Will probabaly drop Ferdinand and Terry for these 2.

    Midfield: This is the most interesting and controversal. Depending on the system to be adopted a few players would fit in and others will drop out. The sure candidates are Scott Parker, Steven Gerrard, Frank Lampard, Ashley Yound, James Milner, Gareth Barry & Aaron Lennon. The others with outside chance are the Ox Chamberlain, Adam Johnson.

    Attackers: This is pretty easy they are Theo Walcott, Danny Sturridge, Wayne Rooney, Andy Carroll, Danny Welbeck.

    Outsiders: Injuries et al then anyone of Gabby Agbonlahor, Peter Crouch, Steward Downing, Defoe

  • Comment number 44.

    Can't believe you show Lampard and Gerrard in the same midfield - its a PROVED failure!

    Keep playing the same players - and you will keep getting the same (bad) results.

    Wiltshire is a massive loss.

  • Comment number 45.

    If Carrick isn't in the squad, it is a complete joke...simple as that. Far as I'm concerned he should start.
    Why Theo Walcott is a certainty is mind boggling really, the guy is just not good enough in those wide areas (cant cross, can't keep ball), like someone else said maybe playing him in a central role but seen as he hasnt played there for a long time I just can't see it.
    Lampard on current form has shown his class and would be pushing for his place in the starting XI, shame Wilshere isnt available as he is a class act and can actually keep the ball.
    Welbeck is the obvious choice to start up front with his energy and ability on the ball. Carroll has shown a bit of form recently and will more than likely go.
    It shows how thin our striker department is when people are worried whether Darren Bent will make the squad...'he scores goals'. The guy is absolutely useless as a footballer, he gets caught offside at least ten times in a game and scores tap ins or rebounds.
    Its like the whole 'will Barry be fit?' story for the World Cup, who cares??? I mean we got worked up about Barry like he was some kind of superstar and then laughed at him as he choked on Ozil's mud flying off his boot.
    Terry can't go, trouble follows him around. I would play Ferdinand and Lescott...the cheek of Danny Mills to say he doesn't think he is an international defender, well you played for England Danny so its not that much of a stretch.

    To sum up, I find some people's obsession with certain players bizarre but it really doesn't matter what we do. With all thats gone on I'd be happy to get out the group.

  • Comment number 46.


    "DROP the BAND"

    That should be our mantra going into these championships. The ONLY thing that unites fans of all clubs together.

    Spot on

  • Comment number 47.

    Strikers are a problem - especially as Rooney's England career is hardly stellar. Can't believe Jagielka has been sidelined from this article. He's back from injury and hungry to prove himself, he and Lescott were impenetrable at Everton a couple of seasons ago and should easily be picked over Ferdinand (although his PR is very good at promoting him). Terry is a quality defender whose done well by england but he'll just be too disruptive to the dressing room and attract too much negative press.

  • Comment number 48.

    Alistair, how have you Gary Lineker, Chris Waddle and Danny Mills managed to collaboratively omit Grant Holt from this list of hopefuls?

    It's Despicable. He's got more goals than all of the above (bar Rooney) this season, and is described by defenders and commentators as 'unplayable', yet you go for Carroll & Welbeck.


  • Comment number 49.

    Not going to waste any time on the dross that has failed in the past.

    Rooney should be the player the team is built around. Parker deserves his place as he is one of the hardest working players in the country (much like Hargreaves of old).

    So the squad should look like this:

    GK: Hart, Ruddy, Foster
    Def: Cahill, Cole, Richards, Johnson, Lescott, Baines, Walker, Jagielka
    Mid: Parker, Lennon, Barry, Walcott, Chamberlain, Young, Scholes
    Str/Mid: Rooney
    Str: Sturridge, Welbeck, Carroll, Bent (if fit)

    We should look at the Euros as a training exercise for the W/C because, as others have said, we have little chance of progressing to the knock-outs. Blood the youngsters and give them big stage experience...

  • Comment number 50.

    Everyone seems to be missing the obvious choice as lead striker....! Guess who? He's played lead striker all season, is the second leading English goal scorer in the Prem this season, has scored 14 in 35 compared to Zamora's 7 in 28 and Welbeck's 10 in 38. Is a target man that can control a football, can hold it up and bring others into play and can obviously score goals from his record........thats right, its GRANT HOLT!!!! Not a word has been said about him from anyone?!

  • Comment number 51.

    Danny Mills has very high or skewed standards when it comes to international defenders if he doesn't think Lescott is good enough. Maybe he doesn't want Joleon (14) to pass his own England mark of 19 caps!

  • Comment number 52.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 53.

    The squad is effectively only for three games... is it worth this much analysis?

  • Comment number 54.

    When will England learn from the past and drop the old "Golden Generation"?? Gerrard is the only player from that era who has proven his class at International Level, therefore he should start (besides every team at this level needs a box-to-box engine which we do not have in abundance).

    Drop Terry, Ferdinand and Lampard. Walcott - impact sub to take advantage of the tired opposition legs at 65mins+.


    Walker Jagielka Cahill Cole


    Chamberlain Young


  • Comment number 55.

    @10, adrenilenepotato

    Just a point: you're calling Lampard, statistically the best player of the past decade in the premiership overall, an average player? I don't care if he goes to the Euros or not but please, don't do the man such discredit.

  • Comment number 56.

    I guess a few of the Norwich and Swansea guys can have an outside shout especially with Ruddy as deputy to Hart instead of Ben Foster or Green.

    Holt is also cool and maybe Danny Graham

  • Comment number 57.

    Get rid of the dross and pick a squad like Lancaster did with the rugby...

    GK’s (3): J Hart, D Stockdale, B Foster
    LB’s (2): L Baines, K Gibbs
    RB’s (2): M Richards, K Walker
    CD’s (4): G Cahill, J Lescott, P Jones, P Jagielka
    CM’s (4): S Gerrard ©, Cleverley, L Osman, J Rodwell (if fit) – if not B Johnson (Norwich),
    LM’s (2): A Young, A Johnson
    RM’s (2): A Lennon, T Walcott
    CF’s (4): W Rooney, D Welbeck, D Sturridge, D Bent (if fit) – if not A Johnson

    Others could be's a risk, but why bother taking Terry/ Lampard/ Barry etc when we know they're past it internationally and have failed in too many previous finals!

  • Comment number 58.

    The problem with those 3 team selections in the graphic, when compared with the favorites, and even France, is that the starting 11 looks weaker and you have way bigger egos to try to gel a team together from.

    They may well finish 2nd in the group phrase behind France, and meet one of the other group winners, so they'll have to play solid and disciplined. You could use Barry and Parker to solidfy the midfield. England are blessed to have strong wingers this time around in Young and Walcott, and then you have to choose one of Gerrard and Lampard, for me it's gotta be Gerrard.

    Up front you're hoping whoever plays the first two games adapts, and then Rooney comes in and hits the ground running.

    They'll make the quarters, wildcard shot for the semis, dreamland for the final.

  • Comment number 59.

    I think Roy will go with a very experienced team and squad. The guy hasn't worked with the younger players and so hasn't seen what they can do on a day to day basis.
    Expect to see the same old faces for this tournament and then the younger ones fazed it for Brazil. Therefore don't expect the likes of Welbeck, Cleverley and Sturridge in the squad..possibly the Ox too!

  • Comment number 60.

    Tricky to predict what team and squad Roy will pick and I am not normally negative on the content of these blogs but this is pretty light on interest and detail, especially considering there was (a little) input from Waddle, Lineker and Mills... surely this could have been better. Maybe would just be better to wait and see who he picks and comment on that OR put forward each pundits squads/teams?

    Roy will pick a good squad, I just hope he looks to the future a bit and casts aside some of the old guard mentioned here >> are we really saying that Barry, Milner, Lampard and Gerard are ALL going?? A shame about a few injuries (especially Wilshere, looking at names mentioned here) as we lack creativity but there is still potential there and YES Lennon is a must but who are they going to take with him as I think Ox should go, Young of course, Walcott?

    Terry, I am sorry but he has to stay at home... surely??

  • Comment number 61.

    I cannot believe that Grant Holt has not been mentioned in this. He is much better then Crouch and Zamora, and is the second highest English man in the Premier League after Rooney. Also it's not as if i'm a Norwich supporter, in fact, i'm an Ipswich supporter, I just think that he deserves a chance.

  • Comment number 62.

    In truth, there are many players who have proved that they deserve a chance with england, and the fact is that because they don't play for one of the 'big clubs' there are many top players who aren't even in with a shout!

    For instance, Carroll has been woeful most of the season, and just because he has now started hitting the back of the net, he is suddenly deserving of an international call-up, while the likes of Grant Holt (who has been fantastic all year) can't even make their way onto a bbc blog! I sincerely hope Roy Hodgson has a more open mind...

    Also, the partnership of Lescott/Jagielka was good enough to keep out Spain (they both were magnificent together that night!) so surely they should get another chance to prove themselves?

    And in regards to the GK position, goalkeepers such as John Ruddy should be having more of a look in than Rob Green - not that Green is a bad keeper, but that the premiership is a much higher level than the championship!

  • Comment number 63.

    Here we go again. The same narrow-mindedness that will get England nowhere once again, and those people will all moan once it ends in tatters during about the 3rd week of June.

    To not even mention guys like Grant Holt and Danny Graham strikes as completely ridiculous and ignorant. Both those guys will sweat blood for the England cause, be full of pride as it will actually mean something to them that it seemingly doesn't to others. More importantly, they have both proven over the course of a whole season that they can more than mix it against world class opponents week in, week out.

    Grant Holt has dominated most centre-halves this season. Not only did he have the audacity to dump England's (then) captain on his backside at Stamford Bridge back in August, he has since gone on to give many top defenders a rough ride, coupled with deceptive skill and a regular goal-scoring knack that only Wayne Rooney can better of English strikers this season. Just ask Spurs and Arsenal fans how thyey felt Holt played at their respective places this last month.

    A refreshing review of all English players would be nice. It seems more a case of; 1. list the top 6 clubs first and picking players from them, or failing that; 2. pick tried and tested failures from all else.

    Was this blog written by Mark Lawrenson per chance?!

  • Comment number 64.

    If there are any close choices between two players and one of them is young enough to be eligible for the Olympics (as a non-overaged player) and one isn't, then the older player should go to the Euros and the younger to the Olympics.

    The Olympics is a tournament we can win whereas we haven't got a hope of winning the Euros, and the opportunity to win a major international tournament will give the younger players better experience when it comes around to Brazil 2014.

  • Comment number 65.

    Personally,I would like to see the young players at the Euro's,we need to get completely away from the old guard who have achieved ZERO.
    Ferdinand like others of the AOP gang are now past their prime,lets build for the next world cup,use the Euros as a training ground tournament.

  • Comment number 66.

    oh and @57 Hansonnick >> you are not far off my thinking. A Lancaster-style squad would be fantastic; they may do quite well and would be a view to building for the long-term.

  • Comment number 67.

    Grant Holt, John Ruddy, Leon Britton of Swansea has been very good all season too.

    Pick a hungry side that can build towards 2014 and see what they can do.

  • Comment number 68.

    Smalling also has been around Ferdinand too long already. He is showing the same calamitous tendencies. Jagielka deserves his chance for me

  • Comment number 69.


    Good call - totally agree Terry, Ferdinand and Lampard should be dropped. Unfortunately this is Hodgson we are talking about though.

    Agree that Holt should get a chance in the friendlies - would be good if he can reproduce at international level.

  • Comment number 70.

    You can't use Young, now that the world knows that he's a diver. Crouch is past it so Carroll has come into form at exactly the right time.

  • Comment number 71.

    I think England managers should always focus on freshness when putting together squads for major tournaments. I would seriously consider the likes of Carroll, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Ashley Young, Milner, Adam Johnson and Micah Richards for the starting 11 as they haven't had heavy campaigns.

    The only players who should be considered first-team certainties are Rooney, Gerrard, Hart and Cole, and I'd have the freshest players possible filling other positions.

  • Comment number 72.

    The 'lets use this is a build up to 2014' theory does annoy me a bit. Its like we think everything is building to a glorious moment in Brazil! We are in this tournament because we are trying to win it, to use it as anything else is an insult to the fans. I agree with trying to involve younger players but they have to be younger players who deserve to be there on merit. You need to have some experience in the squad/team and saying lets not take the likes of gerrard and lampard is fairly stupid considering they are still easily amongst the best midfielders in the country.

    I agree with the people talking about Holt and why people like Zamora and Bent should be considered ahead of him is laughable but as we have seen International football is much different to the Premiership and to throw him in at the deep end is a difficult decision. However, I'm all for giving him a place in the squad if he is competing with the two strikers I mentioned above.

  • Comment number 73.

    What on earth is going on ? why cant people see that Andy Carroll is not good enough any probably never will be good enough to play for England, the same goes for Downing, why do you think Liverpool have struggled. Lampard and Gerrard have seen better days and shouldnt go, the same could be said of Terry and Ferdinand, lets get some hungry players who want to go out and give it a go not the same old half hearted rubbish we have seen in the past.

    As a Norwich fan I have seen Danny Mills defend so he really shouldnt comment on Lescott.

    And finally i will make a prediction , something that i dont want to happen but fear it will, Wayne Rooney will let his country down ..............again !!!

  • Comment number 74.

    Ok...Euro 2012 is a great opportunity to blood in some younger players. Admittedly, there are not too many english ones around, but they can be found. We have to accept that England will not win the tournament. Instead of labouring and trying to scrape through to a last 8 placing, let us give thought to 2 tournaments ahead (yes, 2 ahead). If we want to have a realistic chance of making the semis, or better, by 2016 then we need to form a group of players who will mostly play together for the next 4 years. At first it doesn`t matter what the results are. The team that plays often together will only get better over time. It would be better to lose all the games at the Euros now, yet have a strong group mentality, together with improving youngsters who then go on to better things over the next 4 years.


    ...this WILL NOT happen whilst the England job is such a `trophies now` pressure cooker. The media do not help.

    Look at France in 1994: Failed to qualify for the World Cup, their biggest star Ginola was livid with the national boss Houllier, and it looked pretty bad. Roll on 4 years and they won the trophy, followed by Euro 2000 success (a much bigger achievement). This was due to youngsters being given a chance and the big `star` players like Ginola and Cantona (both class by the way-yet superseeded by their younger apprentices) being set aside.

    England could win the Euros in 4 years, if they think about that now, and start to build for that tournament.
    That`s what I think at least :)

  • Comment number 75.

    First things first @35-Welbeck is more deserving Sturridge not fit to be a ball boy...Joke...Sturridge has out scored Welbeck playing wide left/right in a poorer team so your biase towards united players is not needed.

    Take a young squad with a few experianced heads get some players ready for tournament football with a view to performing well at wc2014

    Gk Hart Foster Green
    Def Richards Walker Ferdinand Jones Lescott Smalling Baines Cole
    Mid Young Oxlade Chamberlain Parker Barry A Johnson Lampard Lennon
    Forwards Rooney Welbeck Sturridge Carrol Defoe

    Starting 11

    cb-Ferdinand (c)
    Rm Young
    cm Lampard
    lm Johnson
    cf Sturridge
    cf Welbeck

    Rooney replaces whoever has performed least in 2 games

  • Comment number 76.

    GK- Hart, and then it doesn't matter really. If Hart is not playing England are screwed.

    DF- Johnson and Cole at full back, covered by Walker and Baines.
    If Ferdinand really (and rightfully so) can't play with Terry, take Terry and partner him with Cahill, Jagielka and Jones on the bench. Maybe Smalling as well, never hurts to have more options at the back.

    MF- Gerrard a must if fit. Neither Barry or Parker fits me with confidence, but both capable for a spot in the middle. Lampard only comes on if Gerrard is unfit.
    Walcott and Young on the wings i suppose, would take the Ox as well. I think its a joke that Downing is even named on this page, useless.

    FW- Rooney, Sturridge, Welbeck and Carroll if he plays well in the last game. Prove its not just Chelsea he can play against.

  • Comment number 77.

    We have to face facts.
    England are NOT the force they used to be.
    We simply do not have quality players, so our team has for years been made up of also-rans.
    What to do? Choose a new, young, ATTACKING, team.
    4-4-2? 4-5-1? Yawno. 2-3-5, please.
    Can Hodgson do it? Yeah - right.
    The team philosophy should be, "The Best Form of Defence is ATTACK".

  • Comment number 78.

    My England squad: Formation: 4-2-3-1 and 4-3-3 the players out side of brackets are my starting 11.
    GK: J.Hart (B.foster, Ruddy)
    DEF: M.Richards, G.Cahill, J.Terry, A.Cole (P.Jones, P.Jagielka, L.Baines)
    Mid: S.Parker, G.Barry, Chamberlin, S.Gerrard, A.Johnson (F.Lampard, M.Carrick, T.Cleverly)
    STR: D.Sturridge (W.Rooney, P.Crouch, D.Welbeck) (T.Walcott cover 4 wide areas as well as up front)

  • Comment number 79.

    How often does an International Manager get a free go at a tournament? Never, especially if you are an England manager....

    No expectations, not realistic to think we might get beyond the QF, or even the goup.

    RH should pick the team of the future, doesn't matter he hasn't worked with them. He is a Prem manager he knows who is out there. Pick the right team and he'll see who can handle tournament?

    Other teams won't expect it either and maybe this might give us a marginal start in the games...

    Cahill (if fit)
    A Johnson

    That team could even carry Gerrard if we want and would naturally be replaced by Wiltshire

    No room for Walcott; one of the thickest footballers ever, G Johnson ditto, still decent but had 90 odds caps woth of chances won't be LB in 2014. Welbeck; I'd look good playing for Man U

    Lampard, Chamberlain (remember Wenger takes ages to blood youngsters) Milner, all in and around the side

  • Comment number 80.

    surely Nathan Dyer and Scott Sinclair should be in with a shout. If the selection is based on form (which it should), then they BOTH outclass Downing and Walcott.
    Also, Wes Hoolahan is worth a shout, and Danny Graham or Grant Holt should definately go to the 2 friendlies to see how they will fit into the team.

  • Comment number 81.

    Not sure where the 'Wilshere is a class act' keeps coming from. As far as I can see he had half a good season, but didn't win any trophies. Other than that he is gobby and injury prone.

    In my view the only way a England is going to do well is play a team familar to the others players. I.E base it around City and United's teams with 'added extras'. Works for Spain. This will mean some decent players will miss out but as England know on too many occasions the best players aren't always the best team. I think A.Johnson and Young could be similar to Ribery and Robben.

    Probably isn't the best England team below but one of the more effective at winning.






  • Comment number 82.

    Cannot believe how narrow minded the pundits are. Why oh why is Carroll even being discussed - just because he cost a lot and plays for Liverpool I guess..... the fact that he has been useless except for the last 90 mins of season is not relevant?? Grant Holt is an aggressive hungry striker who scores goals - and causes central defenders untold problems. He also has pace and can provide.

  • Comment number 83.

    sturidge is good, but very selfish! Would he even consider crossing a ball?Lol....caragher has to take part in the team though, for the times wen/if terry(thats if he gets into the team)skips up...lampard has been playing Well, gerrard has abit lacking for pool of late but still is a vital player for england...j.cole should be consider, damn i admire the ex chelsea player alot

  • Comment number 84.

    as long as hodgson doesnt put a right footed winger on the left and vice versa we should be creative cos england have some decent players in the wide areas

  • Comment number 85.

    What is wrong with you people? Why is anyone guarenteed a spot based on their name??? Remember when Capello's success at the WC was based on whether or not Barry got fit in time? BARRY? GARETH BARRY!?!
    Bring in players who are fit and in good form right now. You have a guy like Crouch who has the best scoring record in internationals and he's being overlooked because why? Lampard shouldn't be in the squad. What has Gerrard done lately orther than get hurt? He's out. Parker is excellent, Carrick should be in, Scholes should get an invite, THEN you go to Barry. You don't need an attacking CM if you have speed and pace outside, like Ox/Walcott and Aaron Lennon. Let those guys run their tails off, and feed balls into a big man like Crouch and a proven scorer like Rooney who can head and use both feet. Need something later on? Bring on Defoe.

  • Comment number 86.

    I've trawled through the posts what is the the obsession with Cole????? He has had a very average season, injured several times and is on the way down. His direct competitor, Baines, has more goals, more assists in a team which has far less posession that Chelsea (note if we somehow got to the knockout stage, Baines takes a decent pen)

    Sure Cole should go, but only as number two, even Bertram has looked better than Cole at times

  • Comment number 87.

    How can you overlook John Ruddy and Grant Holt, yet another case of big club bias.

  • Comment number 88.

    Carroll is definitely worth taking as Plan B, if Eng are behind in the last 20 mins. Not many defenders will fancy an aerial dual with him, he could be just the man for a flick on or knock down. Plus his shooting from distance is under rated, i've seen him hit some powerful 25 yarders.

  • Comment number 89.

    plz can people ignore my 1st squad that i posted up here thank you

  • Comment number 90.

    "Crouch has a great record and tends to score against poorer teams and we have a couple in our group," - It is comments like this that build up all the hype and expectation on England before a major tournament and then theres a major disaster when England play poorly and get knocked out. As Alan Hansen said Joe Hart and Rooney are the only players at their peak with the rest being pretty average.

    England are likely and probably will finish bottom of the group, France have been playing really well and player for player are much more talented than England. Ukraine play in front of their own fans and have some fantastic players in their team and Sweden won't be pushovers either.

  • Comment number 91.

    80. Wes Hoolahan: great shout, though unfortunately he's Irish (a genuine one at that!). Begs the question as to how the likes of Jon Walters, Keith Fayer and Paul Green (unattached) are further up the pecking order for ROI, but that's for another blog!

    Dour Italian tactics, with the team set out to stifle the opposition rather than let their own players express themselves spring to mind...

  • Comment number 92.

    Jagielka should start in preference to Lescott; Carroll will never be an international striker (it's doubtful he's a Premiership one) and should not travel - Wellbeck is demonstrably superior to Carroll - and other names mooted here who should not be picked are Walcott and Johnson. Kyle Walker should start at right back; Baines at left back and Parker should be a fixture. Controversially, I wouldn't necessarily give Gerrard a starting place...too old, slow and failed internationally on too many previous occasions. Hodgson should be bold and break with the past.

  • Comment number 93.

    I agree with the guy that said about Celtic's Fraser Forster, he's kept like 40 Clean sheets in 2-Seasons at Celtic. he's at the best Scottish Team and could definatly be third choice behind Foster/Carson/Green.

    But with Hodgson being ex-fulham I can see David Stockdale being called up.

  • Comment number 94.

    How have Aaron Lennon and Michael Carrick not been mentioned!?

  • Comment number 95.

    Not buying into the Holt love-a-thon, he'd be sent off within 15mins with an internatinal ref, hes an animal.

  • Comment number 96.

    Hogsden's Free Flowing England???
    P Neville, Terry, Upson, Cole
    Beckham, Parker, Scholes, Downing
    Rooney, Carroll

    Richards, Johnson, Cahill, Shorey, Jones
    Gerrard, Hargreaves, Lampard, Barry
    Johnson, Milner, Jarvis
    Zamora, Crouch, Walcott, Holt

    He'll tell Cole to not go past the 1/2 way line
    defenders to hoof the ball forward
    Scholes is only in because he loves ferguson, it could be Cattermole
    Rooney is only there to get Carrols flick ons.
    This man is anti football.
    Although I do actually think he may do well in the tournaments.
    Greece, Turkey, Switzerland, Denmark, Italy have all had good tournaments
    playing negative tactics.
    Maybe Scotland should hire George Graham??

  • Comment number 97.

    Really disappointed no mention of Michael Carrick at all.

    Here's my uninformed opinion:

  • Comment number 98.

    Knock the holt stuff on the head.....please. The guys is good striker he is playing at his limit in the prem and won't be able to keep the perfromance up for much longer, how many 90 minutes did the guy play. Lambert either started him and withdrew him/or brought him on.

    Perhaps as an form choice coming on late...but really that what Crouch is for and he has the record and the caps to prove it

    Great season but not a realistic choice, lets here your Holt for England next season when Norwich and Holt are struggling second season in

    More likely Norwich sell him to a promoted side or championship favs.....Wolves/BB, that the kind of calibre he is

  • Comment number 99.

    Just a thought what about the forgotten man Joe Cole? Not sure how he's got on with Lille but in my opinion has always done well in an england shirt unlike some of the others.

  • Comment number 100.

    4-4-2 formation as it's what Hodgson favours
    GK Hart - obvious choice
    LB, + 2 CB Cole, Cahill & Terry - Despite might dislike of 2 of the 3 of them they play together for their club and will already have a good understanding as a defensive unit.
    RB + RW Walker & Lennon - Play together on the same wing for their club and always seem to link together and cover well whenever I've seen them play
    CM Parker - He's the captain and has been the stand out England performer over the past year
    CM Lampard - In good form and tactically aware. Would get the nod over Barry due to his familiarity with 3 quarters of the defence. Gerrard should get nowhere near the first team. Liverpool's fortunes fell on his return from injury as, like Rooney, everything has to go through him.
    LW Young - Can't stand the diving little so and so but he's a dead ball specialist, in decent form and plays with the strikers who I'd pick. Besides who's his competition.
    ST Welbeck - Decent pace and work's well for his team plus plays with Young and spudface
    ST Rooney - inevitably he'll pay even though I wouldn't pick him myself (same reasoning as Gerrard). In his absence Carroll or Holt as a battering ram type forward. Some decent crosses from the wings could produce results. I would worry a little about Holt fouling opposing defenders though.
    Realistically our best hope is to keep it tight defensively and score from set pieces or quick counter-attacks.


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