Gary Cahill has been ruled out of Euro 2012 and joins Frank Lampard and Gareth Barry on the injury list.
Cahill will be replaced by the inexperienced Martin Kelly rather than two of the more obvious replacements in Rio Ferdinand and Micah Richards.
Ferdinand was left out of the squad for ‘football reasons’ although this is now very debatable and puts England manager Hodgson in a very difficult position. Are we seriously to believe that Hodgson rates Martin Kelly as a better defender than the experienced Rio Ferdinand? Hodgson will have to face some difficult questions from the media in the coming days.
Micah Richards we are led to believe did not want to be on the initial stand by list alongside the likes of Henderson and Kelly, both of who are now in the 23 man squad. It is appalling behaviour from the Manchester City defender and few will see his side of the story when it all unravels in the press.
The FA once again are found to be controlling the England team from behind the curtain. I wonder how much longer the fans will stand for their meddling?
After another uninspiring England performance against Belgium this evening I started thinking about the expectations that we place on our national team. The fans and media are often criticised for expecting England to win things but this really isn’t the case. We’ve been misinterpreted. (more…)
Euro 2012 will be with us in under a week so it’s time to start thinking about placing a few cheeky bets, here’s our roundup of the best…
Spain enter the tournament as favourites but offer little value at 13/5. The shrewder bets for outright winner would be Germany at 3/1 or Holland at 7/1.
If an each way bet is more your thing then you’re likely to get half odds to get to the final. The French have a strong squad and could surprise a lot of people, current odds on France are 11/1. Following their comprehensive 3-0 victory over Italy last night Dick Advocaat’s Russia might be worth an each way bet at 22/1.
If you watched the Champions League final then you’ll probably be stunned that Germany’s Mario Gomez has the shortest odds to lead the scoring at 8/1. Our money would be on either Robin Van Persie or Cristiano Ronaldo at 10/1 and 14/1 respectively.
Finally just for fun, how about placing a bet on the team to receive the most red cards? Holland at 6/1 are the favourites, presumably after kicking Spain around in the 2010 World Cup final but our money would be on England at 10/1, you’ve got to have at least one patriotic bet haven’t you?
The shows will be released following England’s matches at Euro 2012 and should be quite entertaining as some will be recorded under the influence of a continental strength lager or two.
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England’s Frank Lampard has suffered a thigh injury whilst training which effectively rules him out of the tournament which kicks of in just 8 days time.
The 33 year old Chelsea midfielder will be absolutely distraught as the chances of him playing in another major tournament for England are very unlikely – Lampard will be 35 by the time Brazil 2014 is upon us.
Lampard is due to have a scan on Thursday morning but Roy Hodgson will be fearing the worst, particularly after Manchester City midfielder Gareth Barry suffered a similar fate only days ago.
Liverpool’s Jordan Henderson is on stand by.
The Croats are one of the teams who had to go through a play-off to reach the 2012 finals. They managed to beat Turkey 3-0 on aggregate. They are a more recent nation, only being formed in the early 1990’s, since they have managed to reach the Quarter-Finals of the 2008 Euro, and currently lie 12th in the FIFA Rankings, with a highest position of 3rd in 1999. Teams will probably favour a draw against Croatia, but they do have players capable of winning games.
Luka Modrić: Honestly, could we start anywhere else? I think not. The Tottenham Midfielder was the subject of intense transfer speculation during the summer, with some reports suggesting Chelsea put in up to £35,000,000 for the gifted playmaker. At 26 he already has over 50 Capps for Croatia, scoring 8 times. In recent seasons he has formed notable partnerships with fellow Croats Niko Kranjčar and Vedran Ćorluka at Tottenham, as well as being recognised as one of the finest Midfielders in world football. The former Dinamo Zagreb man impressed at the last Euro, he even managed to become the second Croatian player ever to enter the Team Of The Tournament. Slaven Bilić is clearly going to take Luka to the finals, where we all think he will show us once more why he is rated so highly.Josip Šimunić: The former Hoffenheim Defender has been a rock in the Croatian Defence for almost 10 years now, with 92 Capps to his name, Josip is one of the most experienced players available for manager Bilić, he is the second most capped player for the Crpats just behind Dario Šimić. Aged 33 he has made the orthodox move and went to Dinamo Zagreb, of whom most start their career with. Regardless everyone who has ever seen him play knows he is the real deal, and after forming a partnership with Lyon Defender Dejan Lovren and current team mate Leko, there is no doubt that he will be vital to any success that Croatia enjoys at the Euros.
Eduardo: Currently playing in Ukraine with Shakhtar Donetsk, the Brazilian born Striker has something to prove. The former Gunner has represented Croatia a total of 44 times, scoring a total of 22 goals since (The equivalent of 1 goal every other game) Sadly many thought his career was over after he broke his left fibula in 2008 against Birmingham, it took almost 1 year for him to play a game for Arsenal again, and he did in style, scoring a penalty, yet again however, he was injured, ever since little things have popped up which has damaged what looked like a magnificent career. Thankfully he seems to be getting past it, managing to play more than 30 games for Shakhtar since joining. He isn’t a certainty in the squad, but he will be fighting for a spot, and if he gets it, he can do damage.
Honourable Mentions: Ivica Olić, Mario Mandžukić, Vedran Ćorluka, Stipe Pletikosa, Danijel Pranjić, Ivan Rakitić & Darijo Srna.
Even with the decent squad that Croatia have it will be difficult for them to qualify out of their group but it will be possible. If they can manage to win in the opener against Ireland then they have every chance of qualifying with it a bit unknown how well Italy will be. To know for sure we will just have to wait until June to watch the Euros.
Liverpool and Swansea are thrashing out the final details before an announcement is made confirming Rodgers as the new manager of Liverpool football club.
It will come as a shock announcement to some as Wigan’s Roberto Martinez had been thought to be the front runner for the job, with Rodgers only being seriously considered by the media in the last 24 hours.
The appointment is a bold move from Liverpool’s American owners as Rodgers has only one season managing in England’s top flight to his name. That said, following a successful promotion campaign in the Championship last season Swansea have acquitted themselves well this year and surprised everyone with an 11th place finish.
Expect an announcement from Liverpool FC in the next 24 hours.
Love this, especially the Arsene Wenger one…
This week a shorter podcast sees us reflect on Hodgson’s revealing England squad numbers, chat about SoccerAid and it’s comedy moments and we even manager to crowbar a mention of podcast favourite Danny Dyer.
Roy Hodgson announced the shirt numbers today for his 23 man England squad.
Whilst there are no guarantees, numbers 1 to 11 look very much like Hodgson’s first choice team…
- Joe Hart
- Glen Johnson
- Ashley Cole
- Steven Gerrard
- Gary Cahill
- John Terry
- Theo Walcott
- Frank Lampard
- Andy Carroll
- Wayne Rooney
- Ashley Young
- Leighton Baines
- Robert Green
- Phil Jones
- Joleon Lescott
- James Milner
- Scott Parker
- Phil Jagielka
- Stewart Downing
- Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain
- Jermain Defoe
- Danny Wellbeck
- Jack Butland
Obviously England will be without Wayne Rooney for their first 2 matches of Euro 2012 and it may be a case of shuffling a couple of players to accommodate that rather than just a straight swap. Or could it be that the squad numbers aren’t indicative of the starting XI at all? Joleon Lescott, Scott Parker and Jermain Defoe will be among many others hoping that is the case.