Roy Hodgson Announces England Squad For European Championship

The Huffington Post UK  |  By Posted: Updated: 16/05/2012 15:59

Arsenal youngster Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain has been included in Roy Hodgson's England squad for the European Championship.

Liverpool flop Stewart Downing is another surprise inclusion, with club team-mate Steven Gerrard captaining his country for a second successive international tournament.

Hodgson, 64, confirmed the omission of Rio Ferdinand and Micah Richards, originally reported on Tuesday night.

Oxlade-Chamberlain is the youngest member of the squad and one of two uncapped members. Norwich goalkeeper John Ruddy is the other uncapped newbie.

Hodgson explained how Oxlade-Chamberlain's performance against AC Milan's Andrea Pirlo and Massimo Ambrosini in the Champions League played a significant part in his selection. Pirlo, of course, plays for Juventus.

John Terry's selection over Rio Ferdinand possibly stems from the Chelsea captain's trial for allegedly racially abusing Anton Ferdinand until 9 July.

Hodgson, however, said otherwise: "Rio has only played once for England in the last year. It was purely a footballing decision and a very hard phone call to make.

"I hope Rio can accept my decision, but it was a purely a footballing decision. He was very gracious. He was obviously disappointed. He wished me and the team good luck in the tournament".

Becoming perturbed by the Ferdinand questions, Hodgson mused "we seem to be discussing one man until the cows come home".

Regarding appearances for England recently, Gerrard, appointed captain "on merit", has played just 33 minutess for England in 19 months.

Ferdinand has ignored attempts by Terry to contact him over the incident and Hodgson, having agonised over who to take with him to Ukraine and Poland, has opted for Terry.

Rodney Marsh was unimpressed (INCLUDES EXPLETIVE)


Rodney Marsh
If we get to the semi finals RH should be knighted: it's simple, shit squad !

Hodgson said Terry's trial at Westminster Magistrates' Court was irrelevant in his decision.

"He is an innocent man until proven guilty," Hodgson said. "So my decision with John Terry was based purely on footballing matters. I realise there will be raised eyebrows."

Richards' exclusion is baffling after he enjoyed a resurgence in form for Manchester City during their Premier League-winning season.

He played 37 games for the Citizens throughout the campaign and was expected to make the squad as the second right-back to Kyle Walker. The Tottenham defender however is out injured with a broken toe.

Richards' omission now ensures Glen Johnson will start in defence, despite defensively unconvincing during his career. Manchester United's Phil Jones, who prefers to play at centre-back, appears to be the cover for the 27-year-old.

Downing meanwhile has endured a miserable season at Anfield. The former Aston Villa did not score a goal or provide a single assist in the Premier League - less on both counts than Everton goalkeeper Tim Howard.

The Football Association have often cited their desire to follow Spain's lead on producing technically sound players, yet Hodgson overlooking Michael Carrick and Adam Johnson contradicts their idealism.

England's 23-man squad:

Goalkeepers
Joe Hart, Rob Green, John Ruddy

Defenders
Glen Johnson, Phil Jones, Gary Cahill, John Terry, Joleon Lescott, Ashley Cole, Leighton Baines

Midfielders
Theo Walcott, Stewart Downing, Steven Gerrard, Gareth Barry, Frank Lampard, Scott Parker, James Milner, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Ashley Young

Attackers
Wayne Rooney, Andy Carroll, Jermain Defoe, Danny Welbeck


Jermain Defoe
Buzzin I've been selected to represent my country thanks for all the support can't wait to get out on that pitch & contribute #goals

Stand-by list
Jack Butland, Phil Jagielka, Jordan Henderson, Adam Johnson, Daniel Sturridge

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