THE England squad has split opinion this week and as a big fan of Roy Hodgson, I shall back who he has picked for Euro 2012, but here is what I would have chosen...
Goalkeepers: Hart, Green, Ruddy.
With no Foster, Ruddy definitely gets the nod, but the fact we have Butland on stand-by is extremely worrying as I saw him throw three into his own net when Cheltenham played Southend a month ago.
Defenders: RICHARDS (for Jones), Terry, FERDINAND (for Lescott), Cahill, Cole, Baines.
The dropping of Ferdinand has caused a big stir this week and if it was purely footballing reasons then it’s a big error.
Despite a good season for Man City, Lescott has always flattered to deceive on the big stage, meaning Ferdinand should finally be handed his European Championships debut.
Richards should also be on the plane. I’m not a fan of Jones and Fergie clearly doesn’t trust him to play centre-half every week for United.
Were Jagielka and Walker fit, they would have gone instead of Cahill and Johnson respectively.
Midfielders: Parker, Barry, CARRICK (for Downing), Gerrard, Lampard, Chamberlain, Young, Milner, LENNON (for Walcott).
Carrick is massively under-rated and should go in place of the massively over-rated Stewart Downing (addition of Sturridge up front provides cover out wide), while fitness concerns over Walcott means Lennon would get the nod for me.
Parker should stay if he passes a fitness test as we have no-one like him, apart from maybe Joey Barton, who I wouldn’t pick for obvious reasons.
Strikers: STURRIDGE (for Defoe), Welbeck, CROUCH (for Carroll), Rooney.
It was not long ago that Carroll was one of the biggest jokes in English football, but appears to be heading for the starting XI at Euro 2012 in the absence of Rooney.
It takes more than a month of good form to pick someone for me, which is why the ever-consistent Crouch – a menace in Europe for Liverpool, Spurs and England in the past – should be on the plane.
Defoe’s time has been and gone, paving the way for the versatile and left-footed Sturridge, while Welbeck is only in because of injury to Bent.