Euro 2012: How Harry Redknapp as Boss Could Affect England's 23-Man Squad
Wednesday 8th February, 2012 will be a day forever remembered by football fans as one in which the stars aligned and Harry Redknapp effectively became the next England manager.
Just before lunchtime (GMT), the Spurs boss and former Portsmouth chairman Milan Mandaric, were shockingly acquitted of tax evasion by Southwark Crown Court and subsequently avoided custodial sentences, for what many believed to be a stone-wall case for the prosecution.
In an eerie twist of fate, just a few hours later across London at FA headquarters, Fabio Capello headed to a meeting with FA chairman David Bernstein for what was supposed to be "clear the air talks." Supposedly regarding the England manager's stance toward the sacking of John Terry in a recent interview for Italian television.
At approximately 8 p.m., news broke that the Italian had resigned from his post as England coach, just three months away from the 2012 European Championship finals in Poland and Ukraine.
By Thursday morning, bookmakers had already ceased betting activity on Redknapp to replace the former Real Madrid boss, having seen prices slashed on Wednesday, from 9/2, down to as little as 1/10 on favourite.
This slideshow will examine the potential 23-man squad Harry Redknapp could select for the Euro finals in June; taking into account his history with certain players but also his current role as manager of Tottenham Hotspur.
Each position of the pitch has been broken down with prospective candidates given a short once-over and odds of actually featuring in a potential England 23 selected by Harry.
Please be aware that this is by no means a definitive list of EVERY English player who could theoretically play for England, instead it is just an overview of realistic candidates for inclusion in the squad and the reasoning behind this.
Thanks in advance for reading!
1. Joe Hart
Having only made his full international debut in September 2010, Hart is now recognised as England's first-choice goalkeeper. The Manchester City No. 1 was part of Fabio Capello's 2010 World Cup squad but was snubbed in favour of the more experienced Rob Green, and subsequently David James.
Odds of making the 23-man squad: 1/10
Hart has appeared 16 times for the national side, and England have never lost a match that he has played in.
2. Ben Foster
Despite not appearing for England in 2011, Foster moved to Premier League West Brom at the start of the current season after being named as Birmingham City's player of the season in 2010/11 (despite their relegation to the Championship).
Odds of making the 23-man squad: 5/4
Foster has five England caps to his name to date but is one of the more practised English goalkeepers in the Premier League through playing at the Hawthorns.
3. Scott Carson
The former Baggies keeper is one of very few English players to currently play abroad. Signing for Turkey's Bursaspor at the start of the 2011/12 season, Carson can claim the distinct advantage of not having his blunders broadcast to the nation every Saturday on Match Of The Day.
Odds of making the 23-man squad: 9/4
The mystique of playing in an unknown territory may just be enough to swing the decision of the next England boss toward Carson as third choice goalkeeper. Whether he will add to his current four caps, though, is highly debatable.
4. Robert Green
Green's last run as No. 1 for his country came to a sour end in South Africa last year, with a huge howler costing England three vital points in their opening World Cup group game against the United States.
Odds of making the 23-man squad: 11/2
The current West Ham goalkeeper can only hope that with a new manager comes renewed faith and may lead to an increase in his current tally of 11 international caps.
5. David Stockdale
The Fulham goalkeeper has attracted a lot of positive attention following successful loan spells at Leicester (2008/9), Plymouth (2009/10) and Ipswich (2010/11). Returning to his parent club this season, he was selected to join the national squad on three separate occasions in 2011.
Odds of making the 23-man squad: 12/1
Stockdale has only made the England squad previously due to the unavailability of others. Expect no different at this year's European Championships.
1. Ashley Cole
The Chelsea full-back is undoubtedly one of the best in the world in his favoured position.
England's player of the year in 2010 should be one of the first names on the team sheet.
At 31, he is one of the most experienced members of the squad and is known for his high work rate and determination on the pitch (and off it to an extent as well!).
Odds of making the 23-man squad: 1/7
Closing in on 100 England caps, Cole will be an integral part of the squad in Poland and Ukraine. The possible omission of teammate John Terry, though, could have a negative impact on the notoriously volatile left-back.
2. Leighton Baines
Having been snubbed at the 2010 World Cup by Fabio Capello, Leighton Baines made his competitive international debut in June 2011, replacing an injured Ashley Cole in a Euro 2012 qualifier against Switzerland.
The Everton player has shone since joining the England-fold and has subsequently collected six international caps.
Odds of making the 23-man squad: 2/5
With his domestic form this season, expect Baines to go one better than 2010, by making the 23-man squad and featuring in his first major international tournament finals.
3. Wayne Bridge
Despite having announced his international retirement in 2010, Wayne Bridge may well be a dark horse to join the England fray come June. Recently moving to a revitalised Sunderland, the 31-year-old left-back looks sharp as ever, and with the sacking of John Terry as captain, a return for Bridge may not be all that shocking!
Odds of making the 23-man squad: 25/1
Bridge retired on the back of personal issues with former Chelsea teammate and England captain John Terry. With Terry potentially out of the England equation this summer, what better time for the left-back to return than now?
4. Stephen Warnock
The Aston Villa left-back was selected as part of Fabio Capello's 2010 World Cup squad. Despite only being an unused understudy to Ashley Cole at the tournament, Warnock has since made two subsequent appearances at international level.
Odds of making the 23-man squad: 8/1
Having only made eight league appearances for Villa this season, justifying the selection of Warnock over Cole and Baines would be extremely difficult.
1. John Terry
The most controversial Brit in football (second in the world only to Luis Suarez), John Terry is an enigma.
In his early years, "incidents" involving the Chelsea defender were merely limited to assault, fraud, bribery and parking in disabled bays.
On December 31st, 2009, though, Terry apparently made his New Year's resolution to be an absolute (insert profanity here). Sleeping with the wife of Chelsea and England teammate Wayne Bridge seemed bad enough, but that was only the tip of the iceberg compared to an incident this season, wherein he was accused of racially abusing QPR defender Anton Ferdinand.
Stripped of the International captaincy by the FA, Terry still stands to face trial for the incident, following the completion of the Euro 2012 finals.
Odds of making the 23-man squad: evens
Terry is undoubtedly still one of England's best defenders—the question now stands as to whether Harry Redknapp may risk including the Chelsea skipper, knowing that Capello's support of the player ultimately led to the loss of this position as manager?
2. Rio Ferdinand
Another stumbling block for John Terry could be the inclusion of this man, Manchester United's Rio Ferdinand. Anton's brother has publicly voiced his disgust at the way the entire investigation has been handled by all parties, and friction between the two bedposts of England's defence would not be an ideal situation for the new England boss.
Odds of making the 23-man squad: 2/11
Despite losing some of his agility at age 33, Ferdinand is still a sure and solid centre-half who will bring experience and leadership to what could be a very young England squad. Expect Rio to add to his tally of 81 international caps in June.
3. Phil Jones
The Manchester United new-boy has looked extremely promising in his 19 appearances for the Red Devils so far this season. The 19-year-old has collected three impressive senior England caps already and has shown real promise in performances against the Netherlands and Montenegro.
Odds of making the 23-man squad: 2/1
Jones is the kind of player whom England will rely on in the future to carry the national side. Already tipped as a future England captain, expect the United defender to make the squad yet only potentially appear in a supporting role at the Euro's, likely as an anchorman for the defence in the latter stages of tight games.
4. Gary Cahill
A £7-million move in January to Chelsea may have permanently cemented the former-Bolton man's place in the England setup. Having already collected seven England caps in just two years, good form for the Blues should see the centre-half be a steady contender for a starting XI place, should John Terry miss out.
Odds of making the 23-man squad: 3/1
Cahill was Bolton's best player before leaving. If he can remain relevant at Chelsea in a team full of big personalities and characters, then we should definitely see the big man at least travelling to eastern Europe in June.
5. Phil Jagielka
With 10 England caps already under his belt, Phil Jagielka should be considered a strong candidate to be part of (at least) the provisional 30-man squad for the summer. The Everton centre-half impressed most recently in England's victory over world champions Spain.
Odds of making the 23-man squad: 4/1
Everton's league form could be the key to Jagielka's inclusion in the summer, but just as importantly is the defender's ability to remain fit. Having suffered two cruciate ligament injuries already in his career, staying out of harms way until the finals could prove to be his biggest challenge.
6. Joleon Lescott
Having made his England debut against France in 2008, Joleon Lescott has since picked up 14 caps during his international career. A solid and physically imposing defender, Lescott has proven to not only be a defensive asset, but also a real attacking threat in the air.
Odds of making the 23-man squad: 9/2
The only hindrance to Lescott's inclusion may be his league appearances for Manchester City. One would assume that the new England manager will have wanted to see his potential squad playing regularly for their club side, however the City defender has actually played in less than half of his team's league matches in 2011/12.
7. Michael Dawson
It is here that we may begin to see the Harry Redknapp factor really begin to take effect. A Spur's regular and club favourite, the former Tottenham manager could very well opt to take with him a player whom he knows and trusts well.
Odds of making the 23-man squad: 5/1
Dawson has made fewer appearances than he would have liked for Tottenham this season, but if Harry were to look for an established defensive partnership that he knew well, he may not go far wrong in employing Dawson to play inside-right and support Kyle Walker at right-back for England.
8. Ledley King
Dubbed "an absolute freak" by Harry Redknapp for being one of the better defenders in the Premier League despite not training, King has been described by many as the best centre-half England has to offer. He has already enjoyed 21 caps at England-level—which would have been many more had it not been for chronic knee problems over the years.
Odds of making the 23-man squad: 14/1
Another man with whom Harry has a great relationship, King could well be included in the provisional squad for the Euro 2012 finals. With his state of fitness, however, tournament football has proven extremely difficult in the past for King. Therefore, even positive sentiment may not be enough to salvage a place for the 31-year-old.
1. Kyle Walker
After an impressive start to the 2011/12 season for Tottenham, Kyle Walker was selected to make his England debut against Spain—limited to five minutes (including injury time), but a winning debut nevertheless.
After winning man of the match in his first full start against Sweden in November, the right-back has arguably made his own case to be a permanent fixture in the position.
Odds of making the 23-man squad: 1/4
Another Spurs player who should get the nod purely through his relationship with Harry Redknapp, Walker is arguably one of the brightest young players in the England setup and should be rewarded with at least a place in the final squad.
2. Micah Richards
The Manchester City man is probably the best right-back in the country as it stands. Strong, athletic and commanding, Richards has been so impressive in guiding City to the top of the English Premier League.
He was the youngest player to ever be called up to the England squad in 2006, but now aged 23 he seems to have matured into a cool and confident full-back for both club and country.
Odds of making the 23-man squad: 2/1
Despite his reputation, Richards was largely snubbed by both Fabio Capello and Steve McClaren in favour of Glen Johnson, a far more attack-minded right-back. Through playing in a lively and exciting City side, though, Richards has enhanced his game and is now a regular part of wing attacks for Mancini's side.
3. Glen Johnson
After moving to Liverpool from Portsmouth in the summer of 2009, Glen Johnson found himself almost immediately thrust into the regular England squad, despite debuting as a substitute for the Three Lions as early as 2003.
Odds of making the 23-man squad: 5/2
Upon the arrival of Steve McClaren, Johnson found himself as first-choice right-back for the national side and this continued under the tenure of Fabio Capello. With 35 caps, the 27-year-old is surprisingly experienced but could well find himself watching from home this summer, with two bright young stars who could be considered higher in the pecking order by a new boss.
1. Adam Johnson
Hailed by both Stuart Pearce and Roberto Mancini as "England's answer to Ryan Giggs," the 24-year-old Manchester City winger has already managed two goals in nine England appearances.
Having failed to make the cut in Fabio Capello's 2010 World Cup squad, Johnson should this time be guaranteed a place, averaging nearly a goal every other game in the Barclay's Premier League this season.
Odds of making the 23-man squad: 4/5
With a renewed perspective on the squad from a fresh-faced manager, expect to see Johnson as not only in the squad, but also as a starter for the Three Lions on the 11th June vs. France.
2. Stewart Downing
The Liverpool winger could be an invaluable asset for England at this summer's Euros. Able to play on either side of midfield, the £20-million man has featured in nearly all of his club's matches this season and has proven to be an extraordinary attacking threat for the Reds (with an uncanny knack of hitting the post!).
Odds of making the 23-man squad: evens
Downing has been a favourite of England managers since 2005, picking up 32 full international caps. Provided his January arrest for alleged assault is found clear, Downing should be an absolute certainty to feature in Poland and Ukraine.
3. Joe Cole
Currently on loan from Liverpool and playing in the French first division for LOSC Lille Metropole, the 30-year-old is now considered somewhat of an England veteran with 56 caps since 2001. The skillful winger is self-reportedly playing the football of his life in France, and the former favourite of Harry Redknapp at West Ham could well be the surprise outsider pick for a place in the Euro 2012 squad.
Odds of making the 23-man squad: 30/1
More likely than not, Redknapp will opt for a young(ish) squad in order to build his side for the future. At 30, though, Cole is no spring chicken. Even more likely will be the inclusion of players playing in the English Premier League week-in and -out. Cole may have connections with the new boss, but playing in a relatively obscure league (sorry, France) may severely hinder his chances at a surprise call-up.
4. Nathan Dyer
The Swansea winger has had an unbelievable season thus far, being an integral part of an exciting "Swanselona" side.
Odds of making the 23-man squad: 15/1
Supporters' player of the year for 2010/11, Dyer certainly has the backing of fans and neutrals alike with his fast-paced, agile and tricky approach to the game. The stigma of playing for the lowly Swans, though, could adversely affect the 24-year-old's chances of surpassing Johnson, Downing or even Joe Cole.
1. Scott Parker
Star man for Spurs so far this season, and equally impressive at international level.
With calls for Parker to replace John Terry as captain and former boss Harry Redknapp picking the team, the tough-tackling midfielder is all but guaranteed a place in the final squad.
Odds of making the 23-man squad: 1/50
Scott Parker WILL be in the England squad for the summer. 'Nuff said.
2. Jack Rodwell
It's hard to believe that Jack Rodwell has only racked up 83 appearances in his entire club career at Everton, but at 20 years of age, the midfielder has represented his country at all levels from under-16 right up to the senior team.
Odds of making the 23-man squad: 6/4
With an impressive physical build and playing within a tough Toffees side, Rodwell has learned the ropes quickly and has rightfully attracted interest from some of Europe's top clubs. Don't be surprised to see the youngster add to his two senior caps this summer to top off another greatly impressive club season.
3. Gareth Barry
Now effectively an England veteran with 51 caps, Gareth Barry has been a Three Lions stalwart since making his debut in 2000. Leaving Aston Villa in 2009 for the greener pastures of Manchester City, Barry's game has come on leaps and bounds—proven in Fabio Capello's faith in the midfielder to captain the side in February, 2011.
Odds of making the 23-man squad: 7/4
With Scott Parker 99.9-percent sure of his spot in the side, odds are that Jack Rodwell and Gareth Barry will be in direct competition for one other central defensive midfielder role.
4. Tom Huddlestone
After failing to make the cut of the final 23-man squad for the 2010 World Cup squad, Tom Huddlestone had been very much out of the international scene. Making only two starts for Spurs this season due to injury will almost certainly not help his potential chances either.
Odds of making the 23-man squad: 40/1
When fully fit, Huddlestone is a fantastic player. Unfortunately, Huddlestone is not set to return until March with an ankle injury, so with fewer than 10 games of the season left to impress, it is highly unlikely that he will be able to secure a coveted spot in Harry Redknapp's squad (he will need one hell of a bouquet of flowers to give to Harry!).
1. Steven Gerrard
Undoubtedly one of England's star attractions, Stevie G has racked up a hugely impressive 89 caps in just over a decade.
Out for most of the 2010/11 season with a groin injury and subsequently missing the beginning of the 2011/12 campaign, though, may mean the Liverpool star could be rusty by the time the finals roll around.
Odds on making the 23-man squad: 1/3
Providing he's fit in time, there should be no way that the Liverpool captain would miss out on appearing in his sixth major international finals for England.
2. Frank Lampard
Another of England's great servants, since 1999 Chelsea's Frank Lampard has played in 90 matches for England, scoring 23 goals. While having been criticised for being unsuited to play alongside Steven Gerrard in midfield, the Blues star has been a staple of the side in England's last three international finals appearances.
Odds on making the 23-man squad: 1/2
With uncle Harry at the helm, Lamps should find himself as a definite contender to start England's opening fixture against France.
3. Jack Wilshere
Last summer, Jack Wilshere would have been a dead-cert for a place in the England squad for this summers Euro finals. During preseason for the 2011/12 season, however, the 20-year-old suffered a stress fracture ankle injury, and even after successful surgery in late September was reported to be out for a further four to five months.
Odds on making the 23-man squad: 6/1
If fit, Jack Wilshere should be at least a part of the England squad that goes to the Euro 2012 finals. His Gazza-like style of play has attracted praise from all over the world, and even missing nearly a full season, Wilshere could bring a gritty determination to the heart of the England midfield that has lacked in previous tournaments.
4. James Milner
The Manchester City midfielder is extremely versatile. Being able to play as both a holding central midfielder and as a winger, at just 26, Milner shows maturity beyond his years. He has accrued 46 caps at under-21 international level, and a further 23 for the senior side.
Odds on making the 23-man squad: 3/1
For a utility player, there seems like no better option than James Milner. Having filled in for Man City centrally, wide and at full-back, the midfielder could be considered as an invaluable squad member for the tournament.
5. Tom Cleverley
At the start at the 2011/12 season, Tom Cleverley was identified as a potential home-grown replacement for the recently retired Paul Scholes.
Unfortunately, having picked up a couple of injuries in the lead-up to Christmas, Cleverley was sidelined until at least mid-February. With Scholes having now un-retired and playing extremely well, the question remains as to whether the youngster can and will regain his place in the side.
Odds on making the 23-man squad: 18/1
Strong performances in August and September gave both Manchester United and England fans great hope of a new star in the making. Due to unforeseen circumstances, though, the 22-year-old may need to wait a little while longer in order to get his opportunity on the international stage.
6. Jordan Henderson
The Liverpool youngster has had a fantastic season so far in 2011/12, after having joined for £20million from Sunderland in the summer. With one cap to his name already, if Henderson were to sustain his club form until May, he could soon see more to follow.
Odds on making the 23-man squad: 14/1
While impressive for the Reds this season, form may not be enough for the 21-year-old to secure a place in the highly competitive position of midfield for England's Euro 2012 squad.
7. Michael Carrick
The Manchester United midfielder has been thoroughly underwhelming all season for the Red Devils and has appeared particularly weak when compared with the returning Paul Scholes. Despite already having 22 caps to his name since 2001, do not expect Michael Carrick to enhance this number anytime soon.
Odds on making the 23-man squad: 35/1
A good relationship with Harry Redknapp may be the only saving grace for Carrick, who at age 30 will not get many more opportunities to feature for his country in a major finals.
1. Aaron Lennon
The Harry Redknapp connection strikes again, and Aaron Lennon's greatly impressive club form could well mean the Spurs winger will be first choice on the right side of midfield in June.
Odds on making the 23-man squad: 1/4
Lennon has only been rewarded with 19 caps since his England debut in 2006. With Harry Redknapp now in charge, though, expect the pacy Lennon to be a staple of the England side over the coming years.
2. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain
Despite only appearing for Arsenal six times so far this season, the former-Southampton winger has already bagged himself two Premier League goals, as well as a multitude of praise from pundits and fellow professionals alike.
Odds on making the 23-man squad: 9/2
At the under-21 level, "The Ox" proved his salt by bagging three goals in seven appearances for Stuart Pearce's side. Now considered a serious threat to the likes of Theo Walcott at both international and club level alike, expect to see the 18-year-old in England's plans for the foreseeable future.
3. Shaun Wright-Phillips
SWP has found a mini-career revival by moving from his under-utilised Manchester City role to QPR in August, 2011. Somewhat surprisingly selected for the 2010 World Cup final squad ahead of Theo Walcott, Wright-Phillips has subsequently found himself without international direction, having failed to receive an England cap in more than 15 months.
Odds on making the 23-man squad: 16/1
Even playing confidently at Loftus Road this season will probably not be enough to salvage the international career of Shaun Wright-Phillips. Once notorious for his pace and dribbling, now aged 30 it is questionable as to whether the winger still possesses the skill and agility required at top-international level football.
A guilty pleasure of mine to be perfectly honest. David Beckham has more chance of being the next England manager than he does of winning his 116th cap this summer.
Odds on making the 23-man squad: 500/1
Harry Redknapp purportedly had a soft spot for bringing David Beckham to White Hart Lane at the end of his LA Galaxy contract this season, so you never know...
Actually, who are we kidding? This will never happen, but it should! We may just have to settle for Becks captaining Team GB at the Olympics if he doesn't quite make it into the England side!
1. Theo Walcott
Prolific at under-21 level, Theo had a fantastic start to his senior international career in being shockingly selected for the 2006 World Cup squad.
Subsequently becoming the youngest player to score a hat trick for England vs. Croatia in September 2008, the future appeared especially bright for the Arsenal forward.
Recently, though, the 22-year-old has failed to impress at club level and has drawn criticism for his lacklustre attacking performances.
Odds of making the 23-man squad: 5/1
If form were anything to go by, Theo would not even make the 30-man shortlist for this year's Euro squad. For international pedigree and experience, though, Theo could be invaluable at such a young age. His inclusion may hang predominantly on the preferred formation of the new management regime (and if Harry holds a grudge against players belonging to his north London rivals...).
2. Ashley Young
Included here as a forward, Ashley Young is known best for his flying winger position/inside forward. The Manchester United star already as 18 caps to his name but could well add to that tally over the coming months.
Odds of making the 23-man squad: 7/1
Again, the inclusion of Young will depend on the tactical preference of Harry Redknapp. If Ashley Cole and Kyle Walker are to start in defence they will probably be utilized as wing backs, meaning less requirement for the likes of wingers such as Ashley Young, and more for general wide midfielders.
3. Daniel Sturridge
Traditionally, I would have included Daniel Sturridge within the category of striker. However, currently being deployed as a winger by Chelsea, it is probably fair to refer to Sturridge more generically as a forward.
With nine goals in 17 league appearances for the Blues already this season, it is easy to see why Sturridge managed his first full international cap in 2011, and also why he could well play a part in this year's Euro 2012 finals.
Odds of making the 23-man squad: 4/1
If AVB continues to fully exploit the pace and agility of Sturridge at Chelsea, there is absolutely no reason to think that the youngster could not earn a place in the England squad this summer. With Chelsea's form so unpredictable, however, Sturridge will need to put in some fine individual performances to really stand up and be counted.
4. Gabby Agbonlahor
Currently the longest-serving player at Villa Park, Gabriel Agbonlahor is also Aston Villa's second-highest Premier League goal scorer of all-time. So far earning three caps at senior international level, Gabby has combined well with fellow Englishman Darren Bent this season, and therefore it is easy to make a case for Agbonlahor being considered for a spot in the team for Poland and Ukraine.
Odds of making the 23-man squad: 8/1
Agbonlahor's form has steadily improved this season, and he has already managed 17 goals in just 24 league appearances for Aston Villa. Taking into account his strong partnership with fellow attacker Darren Bent makes an even greater case for the 25-year-old being included in the England squad.
1. Wayne Rooney
Manchester United's best player. England's best player.
Unfortunately for the Three Lions, Rooney will miss their opening two fixtures in the tournament, vs. France and Sweden, due to receiving a direct red card in England's final qualifying game against Montenegro.
Odds on making the 23-man squad: 1/100
There is no way Wayne Rooney will not be included in England's Euro 2012 squad. Even if his original ban of three matches had been upheld, Rooney would still have travelled as a part of the squad, because let's face it, Rooney is the talisman for English football.
He will be sorely missed in the opener against France, but look for Wazza to come back with a vengeance against Ukraine on June 19th.
2. Andy Carroll
As flops go, Andy Carroll should thank his lucky stars for Fernando Torres. Had it not been for Torres' sensationally disastrous £50-million move from Liverpool to Chelsea, the £35-million Anfield striker may have been subject to even greater criticism for his recent form (or lack thereof). Scoring just five goals in 28 appearances for the Reds, Carroll has lost his scoring touch since leaving Tyneside.
Odds on making the 23-man squad: 8/5
Andy Carroll will almost certainly be selected for the provisional 30-man shortlist squad at the very least. His height, combined with his scoring prowess in his last two seasons with Newcastle have demonstrated his amazing potential, but capitalising on this in order to improve on his current tally of three England caps may be easier said than done.
3. Jermain Defoe
Spurs syndrome has run wilder than Hulkamania in this slideshow, but I really do feel that big Harry may just sway towards his current/former players when selecting his squad for the Euro 2012 tournament.
Jermain Defoe has proven to be a prolific goalscorer at both club and international level, and 15 goals in 46 international appearances should be enough to ensure a nod for the 5'7" striker.
Odds on making the 23-man squad: 3/1
With Rooney absent for the first two group matches, I see Redknapp going with the little and large combination of Carroll and Defoe up front in order to make the most of the width Johnson and Lennon will provide. Even with Rooney back, Defoe may find a place in the side, fitting into the Javier Hernandez sort of poacher mould, which Manchester United currently employ.
4. Darren Bent
With a league goal-scoring record of exactly 0.5 per game for Aston Villa, and having scored four from 13 appearances for England, it is fair to label Darren Bent as a reliable goal scorer. Described as lazy by some, the Aston Villa poacher has found a great knack for being in the right place at the right time in order to find space and prod the ball home from short distances.
Odds on making the 23-man squad: 5/1
Despite in his final season with Tottenham Hotspur finishing as their top goalscorer, Harry Redknapp's relationship with Bent was a fraught one. The comment "my missus could have scored that one" is hardly redeeming praise for your club's No. 9, so expect there to still be some lingering hard feelings between the two.
5. Danny Welbeck
Having just been promoted from the under-21s, Danny Welbeck has appeared only as a substitute for the full national side so far. Impressive form for Manchester United this season, though, combined with an especially noteworthy loan spell at Sunderland last season, should give Harry Redknapp food for thought in terms of utilizing Welbeck as a striker this summer.
Odds on making the 23-man squad: 10/1
Welbeck has scored some fantastic goals already this season, and if his current performances are to continue, it can surely only be a matter of time before an extended run in the full England team.
6. Bobby Zamora
Before January, many would have imagined Bobby Zamora to be nailed on for an England place in the summer by now.
Under Martin Jol, Fulham look a far more positive side, capable of playing exciting and flowing football—the partnership shared by Zamora and fellow Englishman Andrew Johnson was also extremely promising for England fans. Zamora switching to relegation-threatened QPR, then, may be considered a questionable decision.
Odds on making the 23-man squad: 12/1
Zamora scored on his debut for Rangers last week against Wolves, but the club still face relegation from the Premier League square in the face. A man described as being an awkward character to deal with in the dressing room, Zamora's move may have been more a case of cutting off the nose to spite the face, in moving to a club where he will get even fewer opportunities to score goals and win matches.
7. Peter Crouch
The seemingly forgotten man in English football. Lest we forget, Peter Crouch is one of the most prolific goalscorers in England history with 22 goals from just 42 competitive matches. The 6'7" Stoke striker last appeared for England vs. France in November, 2010.
Odds on making the 23-man squad: 14/1
After having failed to appear for England in over a year, Crouch as himself stated that he "does not carry much hope" of receiving any further call-ups from England. Aged just 31, though, and with impressive league form, it is difficult to see why England would not use such a major and unique asset in June to ensure goals.
8. Emile Heskey
The butt of England fan jokes for over a decade, the now internationally-retired Aston Villa striker mustered just seven goals in 62 international appearances for England. This, however, did not stop Heskey from being selected for and competing in five major international tournaments for England between 1999 and 2010.
Odds on making the 23-man squad: 50/1
The selection of Emile Heskey in 2010 was both infuriating and hilarious in equal measure. His inclusion makes me wonder whether there is a cigarette company bearing his name, and every England manager has unfortunately had to include him after writing the team sheet on the back of a fag packet (Mike Bassett: England Manager-style)—if Heskey appears at Euro 2012 in any sort of playing capacity, please do not be surprised to see Tony Benson and Chris Hedges, or Steve Lambert and Fred Butler also appear (if you haven't seen the film, I urge you, please do!).
Thanks for Reading!
Thank you for taking the time to read my article on England's potential Euro 2012 squad.
Please feel free to leave your comments or thoughts in the comments section below, and I fully welcome any additions/alterations.
Once again, thanks for reading!