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England squad for Euro 2012: Terry to be given captain’s armband?


In just a few days, we’ll find out who Roy Hodgson has chosen for his 23-man squad for Euro 2012.

In the Total Football office, we can’t agree on who should be in the squad, who should be in Hodgson’s starting 11 for the first game, or who should be captain.

Here, Steve Bott stands up for John Terry - and believes the Chelsea man can put aside his differences with Rio Ferdinand.

STOP PRESS:

Rio Ferdinand, Micah Richards, Kyle Walker and Peter Crouch left out of England squad - John Terry and Frank Lampard included - CLICK HERE FOR FULL STORY

It's time to get real

John Terry is the only choice to lead England into the 2012 European Championships.
 
Any earlier decisions should be immediately rescinded, all talk of his poor form discarded to the rubbish bin and all true English football loving folk should get right behind Terry and the squad selected by Roy Hodgson.



Just to give the new man a helping hand ahead of his selection next Wednesday, I will now outline my 26 players for England's preliminary squad - led by Terry with Rio Ferdinand alongside him.

I don't think there will be a problem for the two to continue playing together.

They have done so reasonably successfully in the past and just because one or two people want to jump on the politically correct bandwagon and crucify Terry for one or two alleged observations about an opponent, I don't see why that should hinder his undoubted right to attempt to lead his country to glory.

How the criminal court will deal with the affair is another matter. If Rio does feel strongly about it, and to be fair, it is his brother Terry is supposed to have racially abused, then leave him at home and pick someone else.

Now, we don't know exactly what went on and of course, use of racist language is unacceptable. But if it's a bit of name calling of the non racist variety then big boys should be able to stand it. If they can't they should take up origami or knitting instead. We've all been called names and anyone with any bottle simply smiles back at their antagonist and gets on with it.

Squad selections

In goal I would have Joe Hart as my number one, backed up by Robert Green and, because he has had plenty of practice with relegated Blackburn Rovers this season, Paul Robinson.

The defence would consist of Terry, Ferdinand, Gary Cahill, Michael Dawson, Glenn Johnson, Micah Richards, Ashley Cole and Joleon Lescott.

In midfield, I'd pick Aaron Lennon, Scott Parker, Steven Gerrard, Frank Lampard, Gareth Barry, Ashley Young, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, James Milner, Adam Johnson, and Paul Scholes after persuading him to come out of international retirement.

Despite his ban, Wayne Rooney must be picked up front in the hope that England at least make it through the group stage, and I would also have Andy Carroll, Jermain Defoe, Theo Walcott and Daniel Sturridge as the other forwards.

Carroll has come good at just the right time for England. His impact when he came on as a substitute for Liverpool in the FA Cup final against Chelsea was immediate and dynamic. He is simply the best we have if you are looking for a big, raw, hard goalscoring target man.

Peter Crouch is good - a lanky, awkward handful. But Carroll is the real deal and goes for it at the sharp end for 90 minutes.

Formation options

I would be tempted to partner him with Defoe, utilising Rooney's many talents just behind them. That would mean playing just three in either defence or midfield depending on the opposition.

My midfield three would be Lennon, Parker and Young, and the back four of Richards, Terry, Ferdinand and Cole. However, a four-man midfield would consist of Lennon, Parker, Gerrard and Young.

Gary Cahill has shown his potential since moving to Chelsea after long being tipped as a contender while at Aston Villa and Bolton, and he would be my choice to come in if there were injuries or suspensions affecting Terry or Ferdinand. He would also be in my three-man defence alongside Terry and Ferdinand.

I would love to see a Spain v England final. That would be a big step forward after falling at the quarter-final or semi-final stage in the major competitions for years.

Whatever happens I just hope everyone gets behind Hodgson and makes no reference to what Harry Redknapp might have done if he, as many people hoped, had been given the job.

England have got to be more than convincing in the group matches. No half measures and some emphatic scorelines in their favour are required. Then they can march on and try for the ultimate - a first big competition win in 46 years.

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