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Hodgson falls back on Liverpool connection as England team announced

Football News 24/7
The FA's official press release about England's newley named squad is fairly matter of fact:

England Manager Roy Hodgson has named his 23-man squad for this summer’s UEFA EURO 2012 Finals in Poland and Ukraine.

There are two players who have been selected in the Senior squad for the first time in the shape of Norwich City goalkeeper John Ruddy and Arsenal midfielder Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.

Meanwhile, Liverpool’s Andy Carroll is selected as one of four strikers alongside Wayne Rooney, Danny Welbeck and Jermain Defoe.

England face Norway in Oslo for Hodgson’s first game on Saturday 26 May before they play Belgium at Wembley Stadium on Saturday 2 June in preparation for the Finals.

The first game of the Tournament is against France in Donetsk on Monday 11 June.

The Squad

Goalkeepers
Robert Green (West Ham United), Joe Hart (Manchester City), John Ruddy (Norwich City).

Defenders
Leighton Baines (Everton), Gary Cahill (Chelsea), Ashley Cole (Chelsea), Glen Johnson (Liverpool), Phil Jones (Manchester United), Joleon Lescott (Manchester City), John Terry (Chelsea).

Midfielders
Gareth Barry (Manchester City), Stewart Downing (Liverpool), Steven Gerrard (Liverpool), Frank Lampard (Chelsea), James Milner (Manchester City), Scott Parker (Tottenham Hotspur), Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (Arsenal), Theo Walcott (Arsenal), Ashley Young (Manchester United).

Forwards
Andy Carroll (Liverpool), Wayne Rooney (Manchester United), Daniel Welbeck (Manchester United), Jermain Defoe (Tottenham Hotspur).

Standby list
Jack Butland (Birmingham City), Phil Jagielka (Everton), Jordan Henderson (Liverpool), Adam Johnson (Manchester City), Daniel Sturridge (Chelsea).

The big surprise, considering that Liverpool managed their lowest ever points tally since 1954, is that four of that team are on the plane to Poland. We talked to the pundits at one of the leading football tipping websites, www.­footyinsider.­co.­uk and they were still taking the team news in.

'If you watch the number of games we do, you can't help feeling Liverpool have under achieved across the board this season. The OPTA stats back this up in terms of pass completions, tackles and goals scored.'

'Roy Hodgson may feel he can get better out of the Liverpool connection, but he didn't sign three of those in the squad if you include stand by Jordan Henderson. The Anfield crowd are pretty sound judges and Henderson, Carroll and Downing have all under achieved by all accounts. Gerrard has been blighted by injury and only Glen Johnson to our mind has played anywhere near his best all term.

'As punters we would have far rather seen Peter Crouch (near 50% scoring rate in England shirt) or prolific Grant Holt given a shout, or even Bobby Zamora ahead of Carroll up front. Wellbeck has also fizzled out of form towards the end of his first full season for United.

'The goal keeping department is fine, and at the back other than perhaps Jagielka there are no big surprises.

'In midfield though, taking both Oxlade Chamberlain and Theo Walcott reduces an option to us as they play pretty much the same game. We would have left Walcott at home.

'The one thing England have going for them is the lack of pressure. The media have already decided England can't win and Hodgson may well over achieve.'

MM

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