Three players should have been in England’s Euro 2012 roster when New England manager Roy Hodgson this afternoon named his squad for this summer’s tournament in Poland and Ukraine.
There have been some surprise inclusions and omissions to a squad that will be in a group alongside France, Ukraine and Sweden.
Here is the whole squad:
Midfielders: Gareth Barry (Manchester City), Stewart Downing (Liverpool), Steven Gerrard (Liverpool, captain), Frank Lampard (Chelsea), James Milner (Manchester City), Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (Arsenal), Scott Parker (Tottenham), Theo Walcott (Arsenal), Ashley Young (Manchester United).
Strikers: Andy Carroll (Liverpool), Jermain Defoe (Tottenham), Wayne Rooney (Manchester United), Danny Welbeck (Manchester United).
The omission that will get the most headlines is that of Rio Ferdinand. The Manchester United defender has been left out of the squad ‘”for footballing reasons” said new manager Hodgson during a press conference on Wednesday.
Others will probably have the view that he and John Terry would have been unable to collaborate in the same squad never mind the same team.
Here are the three players, though, who I think deserve the chance to be on the plane to Poland.
If there was a player I would have taken to the Euros if I was Roy Hodgson, then it would have been Daniel Sturridge.
He has the potential to be a game-changer for England. He has so much raw ability that he deserves to be in the squad just on that.
But this season he has built on that raw ability. His performances for Chelsea, especially earlier in the season, looked as though he was beginning to fulfill the potential of the player that broke through the ranks at Manchester City as a 17-year-old.
He is the type of player who can change a game in an instant, a real mercurial player in terms of recent English talent.
He has been used out wide predominantly this season; he is, though, most effective through the middle, and this is where he will be used further on in his career.
He has been placed on a standby list for the time being and will probably replace any of the wingers or attackers should they fall to injury between now and the opener against France.
Micah has been the standout full-back in the Premier League this season, alongside injured England colleague Kyle Walker (who will also miss the tournament), but he has failed to make the cut with Hodgson.
Richards is one of the best attacking full-backs in world football and on his day is absolutely unplayable.
He missed City’s league run-in through injury and the good form of Pablo Zabaleta, who Roberto Mancini rewarded with an extended run in the team.
Quick, athletic and surely a better choice than the limited Glen Johnson or the inexperienced Phil Jones (who is also much better in the centre), Richards has a right to feel aggrieved this time around.
Unpopular with former manager Fabio Capello, Richards' future doesn’t look any brighter under the new boss either.
Peter Crouch is an international footballer; it is what he does well. It is as simple as that in terms of why he should be in the squad.
In and out of the squad during Fabio Capello’s tenure, the Stoke City striker is at times unplayable.
His 6'7" presence in the box literally frightens opposition defenders.
He is not just a target man, though, he is a highly gifted footballer for someone of his size; just take a look at his goal against Manchester City earlier this season, for example.
Also, the main reason I would have taken him is that Wayne Rooney is suspended for the first two games.
England have to score during these games if they are to have any chance of progressing out of the group stage.
Andy Carroll is out of form—with the exception of the last couple of games—and is inexperienced. Danny Welbeck, even though an exceptional talent, is also very inexperienced at this level. And lastly, Jermain Defoe is not the player he once was and has really struggled for games and goals this season.
Roy Hodgson may regret not taking the big man with him this summer.