England manager Roy Hodgson has named his 23-man squad for this summer’s Euro 2012 tournament in Poland and Ukraine.
The selection includes a few surprise call-ups and omissions, including places for the uncapped pair of Arsenal’s 18-year old winger Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Norwich goalkeeper John Ruddy, with snubs for Stoke’s Peter Crouch and Manchester City right back Micah Richards.
Now that the squad has been announced, punters will no doubt form their own opinions on exactly how far Hodgson and his England squad can go.
After learning of his selection, Ruddy told BBC Sport: “It’s a real honour for me and hopefully it’s an indication as to how far I have developed as a player with Norwich City and how far we’ve developed as a squad at Norwich.
“Playing for my country has been a dream of mine, of course it has.
“I’m under no illusions as to the quality of Joe Hart and Rob Green and that I will be number three keeper. But I’m really looking forward to training with them and getting down to some hard work.”
As was widely reported on Tuesday night, there is also no place for Rio Ferdinand, removing the possibility that there could be tension in the camp between the Manchester United centre back and John Terry following the race row involving the Chelsea player and Ferdinand’s brother, Anton.
Tottenham right back Kyle Walker and Aston Villa striker Darren Bent also miss out through injury, while United youngster Chris Smalling is unavailable after suffering a groin strain.
In-form Liverpool forward Andy Carroll has been picked ahead of former Anfield favourite Peter Crouch, despite the impressive international record of the 6ft 7ins Stoke City player with 22 goals from 42 caps.
Former Newcastle striker Carroll is 80/1 with bwin to take his chance and emerge as the tournament’s top scorer.
As expected, Wayne Rooney has been selected despite being suspended for the first two games following his red card in England’s final qualifier in Montenegro.
There are also places for Man Utd’s versatile youngster Phil Jones, Liverpool winger Stewart Downing and Tottenham’s out of favour striker Jermain Defoe, who has not been selected for a competitive international since September 2010.
Birmingham’s 19-year old goalkeeper Jack Butland also received some good news after learning that he is one of five players selected on the stand-by list, along with Phil Jagielka, Adam Johnson, Jordan Henderson and Daniel Sturridge.
The Three Lions are 13/1 with bwin to win Euro 2012 – an industry-leading price – and now that the squad has been announced, punters will no doubt form their own opinions on exactly how far Hodgson and his England squad can go.
England Euro 2012 squad in full:
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)
Jack Butland (Birmingham), Phil Jagielka (Everton), Adam Johnson (Man City), Jordan Henderson (Liverpool), Daniel Sturridge (Chelsea)
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