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Back of the Net
England's new coach has really swung the axe, as Back of the Net's John Foster explains...
New England manager Roy Hodgson has been defending his surprise decision to leave everyone out of his squad for the European Championships in June
The ex-West Brom boss swung the axe in his first national team selection, choosing to omit Rio Ferdinand, Micah Richards, Adam Johnson, Paul Scholes, and Michael Carrick.
There was also no place for Aaron Lennon, Peter Crouch, Daniel Sturridge, Scott Carson, or any of the other 4,000 professional football players eligible to play for England.
“We needed to try something new,” explained the 64-year old at a press conference yesterday to announce the 0-man party.
“Everyone’s had their chances at previous tournaments to show what they’re capable of, and unfortunately, everyone’s made it repeatedly clear that they’re not up to the task.”
How England will line up for their Euro 2012 opener against France
Having spent a career getting the most out of limited resources, Hodgson insisted that he had thought carefully about how to make best use of England’s pool of available talent.
“When I asked myself who deserved to be in the team on merit, the obvious answer was nobody, so that’s who we’ve gone for,” he told FourFourTwo.com.
“It’s not the most physical line-up, given that it lacks any corporeal form, and I wouldn’t expect us to dominate possession,” he added. “But I’m confident that this team can be more than the sum of its non-existent parts.”
The decision to take no footballers means England will presumably line up in a 0-0-0 formation, though a more flexible 0-0-0-0 has also been touted. And with no big egos to contend with, the dressing-room disharmony that has plagued previous squads should be kept to a minimum.
Reaction among supporters to everyone’s omission has been mixed, however.
“It’s great to see Roy get rid of the dead wood, but I worry about this team’s strength in depth,” said England fans’ spokesman Hugh Merryweather. “We’re lightweight in every position, and there’s literally no-one on the bench.”
“Also, I can’t believe he picked Stewart Downing.”
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