Euro 2012 Preview England
To say England have been on a rocky roadto Euro 2012 is a giant understatement. It has been one disaster followed by another on the way to Poland and Ukraine. BetVictor and Coral are offering 14/1 that England can win Euro 2012.
Qualification went well but since then disarray has followed on the heels of disaster. First manager Fabio Capello left his post in February, which was followed by a month’s long saga in the press over would succeed him. Harry Redknapp was a certainty to be the next English manager, until he wasn’t, and the FA appointed Roy Hodgson.
Injury has racked the squad with severalkey players set to miss the competition. Including Frank Lampard, Gary Cahill and Gareth Barry.This only exacerbated Roy Hodgson’s problems. The sidelining of Cahill made his decision not to include Rio Ferdinand in the squad seem even more laughable.
Most observers agree Ferdinand was not included because Hodgson feared a squad split on racial lines if he included both John Terry and Ferdinand. Terry will stand trial after the Euros for allegedly racially abusing Ferdinand’s brother Anton. Hodgson’s choice was between Terry and Ferdinand or risk a squad with shattered morale and a media spotlight trained on any signs of discord between Terry and Ferdinand.
He chose Terry for “Footballing reasons,”perhaps so. Ferdinand’s fitness has been in and out. But this excuse has been exposed by Cahill’s injury and the failure to call up Ferdinand.
Problems are mounting for Hodgson ahead of England’s first game with France on Monday, broadcast live on ITV from 4pm. The anti-racism group Kick It Out has been reported to be considering action against the FA and Hodgson due to their handling of the Ferdinand affair.
Meanwhile John Terry himself has been assessed for a tight hamstring. But the defender has been given the all clear to board the England plane for Krakow and the squad’s Euro 2012 base.
Hodgson has begun his career as England manager with two 1-0 victories against Norway and Belgium. The performances were effective if unspectacular. Events off the field have overshadowed, as they always do, England’s perpetration for a major international tournament.But if the team can continue to be effective, if unspectacular, fans would settle for that.
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