England's Euro 2012 Squad: Revealed and Rated


Joe Hart

Age: 25
Position: Midfielder
Club: Man City
Caps: 17

Will be the first name on Hodgson’s team sheet for a multitude of reasons. The City stopper is one of few truly world class acts in this squad, and will be flying high after collecting his first league winners’ medal.

8/10    

Rob Green

Age: 32
Position: Goalkeeper
Club: West Ham
Caps: 11

The West Ham custodian’s international career will be forever remembered for that calamity in the last World Cup, but he’s had a good year and will be an able back-up. 

6/10    

John Ruddy

Age: 25
Position: Goalkeeper
Club: Norwich
Caps: 0

The only member of the squad never to have represented his country at any level, Ruddy is the biggest surprise package to be packing his bags for Poland and Ukraine. Impressive throughout his debut campaign in the Premier League, the 6ft 4ins 'keeper is a top shot stopper and commands his area well.  

6/10

Glen Johnson

Age: 27
Position: Defender
Club: Liverpool
Caps: 35

England’s first choice right back at the 2010 World Cup, and one of very few to come out of the tournament with any credit, Johnson will compete with Walker for the berth. Had a bust-up with Hodgson, while they were together at Liverpool, which makes his inclusion ahead of Micah Richards somewhat surprising. 

7/10    

Ashley Cole

Age: 31
Position: Defender
Club: Chelsea
Caps: 93

One of the few truly great players England have had in recent times, Cole – for all his off-pitch idiosyncrasies – is a class act. Brilliant in Chelsea’s recent revival under Roberto Di Matteo, he won’t let anyone down (on the pitch) this June. 

8/10    

Joleon Lescott

Age: 29
Position: Defender
Club: Man City
Caps: 14

One of England’s most improved players, Lescott is comfortable at centre back and able to fill in at left back if required. In the absence of Ferdinand, he could start alongside Terry in the first game. 

7/10    

Gary Cahill

Age: 26
Position: Defender
Club: Chelsea
Caps: 8

Rio Ferdinand's likely replacement, Cahill is a commanding presence with tremendous distribution, who is hoping to overcome a hamstring strain in time for the finals. All being well, he’ll be a major part of the line up for the tournament, and for years to come. 

7/10     

Phil Jones

Age: 20
Position: Defender
Club: Man United
Caps: 4

A revelation for United in his first season, Jones has taken to the international stage with aplomb and could start at centre half, or even in holding midfield should Scott Parker’s injury persist. A star for the present and future. 

7/10    

John Terry

Age: 31
Position: Centre back
Club: Chelsea
Caps: 72

A surprise inclusion given recent headlines that suggested he’d be overlooked by Hodgson. Terry will need to build bridges off the pitch and perform impeccably on it if he is to avoid criticism in the coming weeks. Nonetheless, a 100% performer, and a tremendous organiser of defensive troops.

7/10    

Leighton Baines

Age: 27
Position: Left back
Club: Everton
Caps: 7

Everton’s star full back is unfortunate to have been playing during the same era as Ashley Cole, and thus won’t start at the Euros. But a more able back up we couldn’t ask for. 

7/10    

Scott Parker

Age: 31
Position: Midfielder
Club: Tottenham
Caps: 11

Owner of a staggeringly low haul of caps, Parker has been impressive for Tottenham of late and looks best placed to anchor the midfield at the Euros. Skippered the side during the friendly defeat to Holland in February, and led by example to boot. Needs to shake off a knock before the opener against France, but will start.

8/10

Gareth Barry

Age: 31
Position: Midfielder
Club: Man City
Caps: 52

A relative late starter on the international scene after years in the wilderness, this will be Barry’s second and last tournament for the Three Lions. Unfairly chastised for his lack of sharpness in South Africa when he’d been rushed back from injury, he could serve as an integral cog in the England engine room this time around after a stunning season at City.

7/10    

Steven Gerrard

Age: 31
Position: Midfielder
Club: Liverpool
Caps: 90

Approaching 100 caps and with little to show for it, at 31 Stevie G will be disappointed by his lack of glory in an England shirt so far. Euro 2012 is likely to represent his last chance, and for all his perceived lack of tactical awareness, the Liverpool captain’s energy and technique are still world class. Hopefully he’ll be played off the main striker, and given licence to roam.

8/10    

Frank Lampard 

Age: 33
Position: Midfielder
Club: Chelsea
Caps: 90

Those who claimed he was a spent force have been forced to swallow some humble pie of late, as the veteran midfielder has emerged as a giant of Chelsea’s march to a possible double. Unlikely to start every game, with Hodgson probably opting for two deep lying central midfielders, but has proved he can still cut it and brings goals and assists to boot

7/10    

James Milner

Age: 26
Position: Midfielder
Club: Man City
Caps: 24

A modern day utility man who played right wing in a 4-4-2 at the last World Cup, Milner has experience that belies his years and could end up starting in one position or another. Always mentally strong, he’s coming off the back of a bench-warming job in recent months at City, so he’ll be raring to go. 

7/10    

Ashley Young

Age: 26
Position: Winger/forward
Club: Man United
Caps: 19

Spectacular in spells for United, Ashley Young is just peaking after a long injury lay-off mid season. Expect him to start on the left, as Hodgson looks for genuine width against the French, although could also double up as a second striker in Wayne Rooney’s absence, especially in tighter, more methodical games. 

7/10    

Theo Walcott

Age: 23
Position: Winger/forward
Club: Arsenal
Caps: 22

The enigmatic Walcott is never going to be the greatest technical footballer in the world, nor is he going to be in the top 1,000 of that particular non-existent list. And his lack of technical application means he’s a surprise inclusion here. But Hodgson obviously sees how his pace can unsettle, and if used sparingly he could be devastating in Poland and Ukraine, just as he was that night in Croatia some years ago. 

6/10    

Stewart Downing

Age: 27
Position: Winger
Club: Liverpool
Caps: 33

Quite simply, an inexplicable inclusion. Downing has been below average for Liverpool this term and was without a goal or even an assist in the entire Premier League season. Has seldom shone in an England shirt historically, yet he is routinely picked by manager after manager. This decision will rile Hodgson’s doubters. A waste of a spot.

5/10    

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain

Age: 18
Position: Winger
Club: Arsenal
Caps: 0

In just 16 appearances for Arsenal, ‘The Ox’ has proved himself to be Britain’s most exciting young talent, with nerves of steel. Capable of beating a man, crossing with pace and precision, and converting ruthlessly in front of goal, Chamberlain is brimming with confidence and riding on a wave of momentum. Could be an unknown quantity-turned-international sensation at the Euros, following in the fine footsteps of Gazza, whose dynamism exploded at Italia ’90, Michael Owen, who showed fearlessness and fabulousness at France ’98, and Wayne Rooney, who aged 18 was the best player at Euro 2004. Bold move from Roy, but could be brilliant.

7/10    

Danny Welbeck

Age: 22
Position: Midfielder
Club: Man United
Caps: 4

With bamboozling movement and a keen eye for goal, Welbeck has looked a real star for United of late, and will hope to lead the England line in team-mate Rooney’s absence for the first two fixtures. However, his ability to be the focal point of an attack is as yet unproven, and he could be better used as an impact sub, or a partner for Wazza when he returns for the final group game.

7/10

Wayne Rooney

Age: 26
Position: Forward
Club: Man United
Caps: 73

That Rooney is fourth favourite at 10.00 for the tournament golden boot, even in spite of the fact he’ll be missing the first two games, says all you need to know about the high regard in which his talents are held. Rightfully so, too – he has 28 international goals already. But that he is suspended says much about his lack of control when the going gets tough at international level, a trait he’s repeated more than once or twice over the years. Of course, he is still England’s best player. But if the Three Lions are not good enough without him, they’ll never be good enough with him.

9/10    

Andy Carroll

Age: 23
Position: Forward
Club: Liverpool
Caps: 3

OK, so he spent most of the season looking like the kid in your school team who only got picked because his dad wrote a letter to the P.E teacher. But, Carroll’s late-season form has not only matched the performances that thrust him to recognition while at Newcastle, but he’s actually looked even better. In the FA Cup final, as well as Liverpool’s last two league games, the Geordie giant was unplayable – worth every penny of his price tag. Hell, he looked like the most comprehensive English striker we’ve seen in years. On that form, he'll be a sensation in Poland and Ukraine.

8/10    

Jermain Defoe

Age: 29
Position: Forward
Club: Tottenham
Caps: 46

His inclusion will have raised a few eyebrows, but he is still the best pound-for-pound goalscorer England have. Chose to broaden his horizons and work on his game with revered fitness coach Tiberius Darau in France last summer and has been sharper than ever at Spurs this term. Also has a knack of scoring for his country when they need it the most.

6/10