England manager Roy Hodgson cast
aside Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand, probably
signalling the end of his international career, but included
former captain John Terry in his squad for next month's European
Hodgson, appointed on May 1 to replace Fabio Capello who
quit in February after guiding England to the finals in Poland
and Ukraine, also named Liverpool striker Andy Carroll in a
23-man party along with uncapped Norwich City goalkeeper John
Ruddy and Arsenal's teenage winger Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.
Striker Wayne Rooney was included despite having to miss the
first two matches of the tournament through suspension, while
Liverpool midfielder Steven Gerrard will captain the side who
have been drawn in Group D with co-hosts Ukraine, France and
Hodgson said Ferdinand's omission and Terry's inclusion were
both "footballing decisions", despite media reports that the
pair have fallen out.
Defender Terry is in the squad despite losing the England
captaincy in February after being sent to a trial on July 9
charged with racially abusing Queens Park Rangers defender and
Ferdinand's brother Anton. He has pleaded not guilty.
Hodgson conceded his decision to take Terry would be
questioned in some quarters.
"I realised when I selected him there would be people who
would raise their eyebrows, that's the decision I have made and
the decision I will live with," Hodgson told a news conference
at Wembley stadium on Wednesday.
"I believe that John Terry, especially in the latter half of
the season, has played very well. I selected him because he is
the man for the job."
Ferdinand won the last of his 81 caps against Switzerland in
June last year and has since suffered injury setbacks.
"Rio is a man who I respect as a player, and as a person. I
don't know him well personally but I've seen enough of him over
the years to realise what a fine footballer he is, what a good
person he is," added Hodgson.
"But I had to make a footballing decision, had to decide on
the basis, basically, of what I have seen in recent months, in
particular, influenced to a certain extent by the fact that Rio
hasn't played so much since the  World Cup and has only
played for England once in the last year."
Ferdinand, 33, said he was "gutted" by the snub.
"Absolutely loved playing for England. To say I'm gutted is
an understatement of the highest order," he wrote on Twitter.
Gerrard was the man to help forge "team unity", Hodgson
said, adding that the player he knew well from his time as
Liverpool manager merited the "distinction" of captaining
Gerrard's Liverpool team-mate Carroll got the nod up front
ahead of Stoke City's beanpole front-man Peter Crouch, who boasts
a fine scoring record at international level with 22 goals in 42
Carroll, signed by Liverpool for 35 million pounds in January 2011 from Newcastle United, has endured a
difficult spell at Anfield scoring just 11 goals in 56
"He [Carroll] is a different type of player to the others in
the squad," said Hodgson. "He has that ability to hold the ball
up, that aerial ability which is very useful, but also has the
ability to make runs behind defenders and use his strength and
Ruddy, who is due to get married on June 2 and has been
given special leave by the FA to marry his partner Laura on the
day England play Belgium in a friendly at Wembley, could barely
contain his surprise at the inclusion on the back of a superb
first Premier League season with Norwich City.
"It hasn't sunk in yet but I'm absolutely over the moon," he
told Sky Sports. "It was quite surreal. I can't wait to get
started. It just caps off a wonderful couple of years I've had
Hodgson said Ruddy had enjoyed an excellent season with
Norwich while Oxlade-Chamberlain had made a strong impression on
Liverpool's Stewart Downing was a surprise inclusion with
the left-winger having failed to score in the Premier League
this season, as was Jermain Defoe who has struggled to break
into the Tottenham Hotspur first team despite scoring regularly.
Hodgson said he had pondered long and hard before finalising
"I won't deny it's not been an easy squad to put together
and it's taken a lot of thought. I'm pleased with the result,"
he said. "It's a well-balanced squad."
Birmingham City's Jack Butland, Everton defender Phil
Jagielka, Liverpool midfielder Jordan Henderson, Manchester City
winger Adam Johnson and Chelsea forward Daniel Sturridge were
named on the standby list.
England begin their campaign against France on June 11 in
Donetsk before travelling to Kiev to play Sweden on June 15 and
returning to Ukraine to face the co-hosts on June 19.
England face Norway in Oslo in a warm-up game on May 26 when
Hodgson makes his debut as manager before they face Belgium at
Goalkeepers: Joe Hart (Manchester City), Robert Green (West
Ham United), John Ruddy (Norwich City)
Defenders: Ashley Cole (Chelsea), John Terry (Chelsea), Glen
Johnson (Liverpool), Phil Jones (Manchester United), Leighton
Baines (Everton), Joleon Lescott (Manchester City), Gary Cahill
Midfielders: Steven Gerrard (Liverpool), Frank Lampard
(Chelsea), Scott Parker (Tottenham Hotspur), Gareth Barry
(Manchester City), James Milner (Manchester City), Stewart
Downing (Liverpool), Theo Walcott (Arsenal), Alex
Oxlade-Chamberlain (Arsenal), Ashley Young (Manchester United)
Forwards: Wayne Rooney (Manchester United), Danny Welbeck
(Manchester United), Andy Carroll (Liverpool), Jermain Defoe
Standby: Jack Butland (Birmingham City), Phil Jagielka (Everton), Jordan Henderson (Liverpool), Adam Johnson (Manchester City), Daniel Sturridge (Chelsea).
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