After hours of Twitter speculation and outrage Roy Hodgson has just released the following squad for Euro 2012.
Goalkeepers: Joe Hart (Man City), Rob Green (West Ham), John Ruddy (Norwich)
Defenders: Glen Johnson (Liverpool), Phil Jones (Man United), John Terry (Chelsea), Joleon Lescott (Man City), Gary Cahill (Chelsea), Ashley Cole (Chelsea), Leighton Baines (Everton)
Midfielders: Theo Walcott (Arsenal), Stewart Downing (Liverpool), Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (Arsenal), Steven Gerrard (Liverpool), Gareth Barry (Man City), Frank Lampard (Chelsea), Scott Parker (Tottenham), Ashley Young (Man United), James Milner (Man City)
Forwards: Wayne Rooney (Man United), Danny Welbeck (Man United), Andy Carroll (Liverpool), Jermain Defoe (Tottenham)
Standby players: Jack Butland (Birmingham City), Phil Jagielka (Everton), Jordan Henderson wtffff (Liverpool), Adam Johnson (Manchester City), Daniel Sturridge (Chelsea).
Twitter and other social media websites has given lots of football fans (including myself) the vehicle to voice their opinion to the world, and also helped bandwagons gather fast momentum. The fact of the matter is there aren’t going to be many people reading this, or many people who comment on Twitter who are going to have the footballing knowledge that Roy Hodgson, Capello or any other England football manager has. I’m sure many of us have had great success with Football and Championship Manager over the years,…..I remember winning the Premiership with a Cambridge United team where Trevor Benjamins’ goalscoring exploits made Lionel Messi’s look mediocre!!!
|85 goal a season Trevor Benjamin
It’s fine for us to have our own opinions, I mean I for one believe that Rio Ferdinand, Micah Richards,Scholes, Carrick and Crouch should all have been in the squad, or at least on standby, and I also can’t believe that Stewart Downing has been looked upon so favourably by so many managers.
I also think in general a few of our more technically gifted footballers (carrick,crouch) have been sacrificed to make way for more play it safe, archetypal old school English players.
The major plus of this squad though is that it is very balanced, with lots of players who can play in a combination of positions/roles. I think the inclusion of Phil Jones and Milner highlight this point most effectively. You can tell that Hodgson hasn’t just thought about including necessarily the best 23 players, but players who can work their way into different strategies.
If we need a goal in the last 20 minutes we can bring on Defoe, If the passing game is not working and you want to play a target man you have Carroll, if we want to use players to exploit a tiring opposition defense, Oxlade Chamberlain. You could argue that some of those names aren’t exactly going to strike fear into the hearts of opponents, but the grim reality is that we quite simply don’t have the calibre of personnel that a Spain, Germany, Holland or even France have and that’s something we are just going to have to accept.
There is an argument that due to Hodgson concentrating on being being West Brom manager over the past year that a lot of us have a more well rounded perception of exactly who has and who hasn’t been on form this year. However, there’s far too many people on Twitter who’s footballing experience doesn’t extend beyond management simulation games, or playing for their University ”D”team who snap login toTwitter and are quick to bash Sir Alex Fergusons, Arsene Wengers etc selection policies. Fair enough, as supporters we have a right to formulate our own opinions, but I think at times we all need to control our vitriol to our managers team selections, tactics etc. If a manager has 30+ years of management experience, and we have 7 years Fifa Career Mode experience it’s fair to say which person is more likely to know their stuff. I’ve seen comments over the past 24 hours from people threatening physical violence against Hodgson, saying we should sack him, to people saying they think that Jordan Rhodes and Tony Hibbert in the squad.
I say let’s reduce our expectation a little bit,and give the manager a chance. Do you think that there is another team in the Euros who’s supporters are so negative about their team selection, or seem so intent on knocking people down before they have even got started? It’s time for us to realise that we’re nowhere near the level of superior football nations and should just support our country with not as much hope as previous tournaments, but be safe in the knowledge that if we run and play good that we still have a slim chance!
BTW if anyone wants a punt, France at 11/1 is definitely the best value IMO. They are the form team in Europe, have a really solid side, and have 1 or 2 players who you might not know too well now, but who will be household names by the end of the tournament…watch this space!!!