Roy Hodgson today named his first England squad today, one of the most important and controversial England squads for many years. Undoubtedly, England are in a transitional period, and balancing a mix of youth and experience was key to this squad.
The controversies in the squad include the exclusion of Rio Ferdinand, who is out of the squad on “footballing reasons” according to Roy, though many are speculating about the effect of the John Terry Vs. Rio’s Brother Anton court case, which is coming up fast. Uncapped Norwich Goalkeeper John Ruddy finds himself in the squad, though canaries’ fans will be disappointed that Grant Holt was overlooked. The other uncapped player in the squad is Arsenal’s youngster Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.
Strikers were the talk of the day, with Hodgson opting for Defoe and Carroll to partner United duo Welbeck and Rooney, overlooking Peter Crouch, Gary Hooper and Grant Holt, who were all linked with a place in the team.
In general, the squad looks solid, and the core of the team is largely unchanged. Steven Gerrard will captain the team, suggesting him starting the majority of matches, and strength out wide in Ashley Young, Stewart Downing, Walcott and Oxlade-Chamberlain points to the fact that this England squad can play in either a 4-5-1 or a 4-4-2 formation, but what will Roy go for come the championships?
Goalkeepers – Joe Hart, Robert Green, John Ruddy.
Defenders – Leighton Baines, Gary Cahill, Ashley Cole, Glen Johnson, Phil Jones, Joleon Lescott, John Terry.
Midfielders – Gareth Barry, Stewart Downing, Steven Gerrard, Frank Lampard, James Milner, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Scott Parker, Theo Walcott, Ashley Young.
Strikers – Andy Carroll, Jermain Defoe, Wayne Rooney, Danny Welbeck.
Standby – Jack Butland, Phil Jagielka, Jordan Henderson, Adam Johnson, Daniel Sturridge.