Terry named in England squad, Gerrard captain
LONDON, May 16 – England manager Roy Hodgson included Chelsea’s John Terry, Liverpool striker Andy Carroll and Norwich City goalkeeper John Ruddy in a 23-man squad with Steven Gerrard named as captain today for next month’s European Championship.
Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand was left out but his club team mate Wayne Rooney was included despite missing the first two matches of the tournament through suspension. Strikers Andy Carroll and Jermain Defoe have also made the list.
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 gulity.
Ruddy, who is due to get married on June 2, 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 at Norwich.”
The 25-year-old, who along with Arsenal teenager Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain are the only uncapped players in the squad, has been given special leave by the FA to marry his partner Laura on the day England play Belgium in a friendly at Wembley.
“I have already had the conversation and they (England) don’t want me to cancel it (the wedding)... so fingers crossed I will still be getting married and then be on the plane to Poland,” said Ruddy.
Liverpool’s Andy Carroll, signed for US$56.14 million in January 2011 from Newcastle United, has endured a difficult spell at Anfield scoring just 11 goals in 56 appearances.
Team mate Stewart Downing was another surprise inclusion with the left-winger having failed to score in the Premier League this season, while Defoe has struggled to break into the Tottenham Hotspur first team despite scoring regularly.
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.
Other notable omissions from the squad were Manchester City defender Micah Richards and Stoke City forward Peter Crouch, who has scored 22 goals in 42 games for his country.
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 Wembley Stadium. – Reuters