AGENCE FRANCE PRESSE
LONDON: Veteran defender Rio Ferdinand was the highest-profile casualty today as England manager Roy Hodgson unveiled his squad for the European Championships.
After intense speculation about whether Hodgson would risk picking Ferdinand and Chelsea captain John Terry in the same squad, an announcement confirmed that it was the Manchester United centre-half who had been left out.
Terry had previously been tipped to miss out with Hodgson questioning whether the centre-half could exist happily in the same squad as Ferdinand. Terry is facing a July court case on allegations he racially abused Ferdinand’s younger brother Anton during Chelsea’s Premier League clash with Queens Park Rangers last October, accusations he strongly denies.
Other notable selections saw Arsenal teenager Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain earn his first senior call-up after a promising first season with the Gunners. Meanwhile Liverpool striker Andy Carroll was one of the four strikers picked up by Hodgson.
With Wayne Rooney suspended for England’s opening two Group D games, Carroll will now be a strong candidate to lead the attack in their opening game against France on June 11. Rooney’s Manchester United colleague Danny Welbeck and Tottenham’s Jermain Defoe complete the lineup.
In midfield Hodgson has opted for an experienced pool of players with several veterans of England’s 2010 World Cup campaign in the frame, including Steven Gerrard, Frank Lampard, James Milner and Gareth Barry.