Euro 2012: Manchester United Old Boy's Absence Could Cost England
It has been well documented over the past month that some crucial players have been left out from England's Euro 2012 squad.
Notable absentees include the likes of Peter Crouch and Micah Richards, who have been left out in place of Liverpool "stars", Andy Carroll and Glen Johnson.
However, the club that has arguably received the greatest snub when it comes to the international squad selection, are Manchester United.
Although the majority of the younger contingent of United's team has been taken to Poland and the Ukraine, most of Fergie's old guard have failed to be selected for the tournament.
This is something that can—and to an extent already has—come back to bite Roy Hodgson.
Already, before the tournament has even started, Roy's failure to select legendary defender Rio Ferdinand has left the England defense somewhat wanting for international talent.
I was happy enough to have the partnership of Gary and John Terry in England's back four, as I'm sure most of the country were.
After all, these two men, along with left-back Ashley Cole, all play together at club level for current European Champions Chelsea.
However, not to include Ferdinand even as backup to this pairing seems like a ludicrous decision.
Now, with Cahill ruled out of the competition with a broken jaw, Hodgson is leaving the empty center-back position to the relatively inexperienced (at international level) Joleon Lescott.
Who would you rather have seen step in for Cahill?
Lescott is a good player, but can he really be expected to come into such a challenging role on one of the grandest stages of world football?
Say what you like about Ferdinand, but he has the knowledge of past European and World tournaments to see him through.
By not giving himself the option to select Rio, Hodgson has possibly cursed the England squad before a ball has even been kicked.
The lack of Michael Carrick in the midfield could also potentially damage England's chances.
Carrick has had a brilliant year with United and, although he would be playing second fiddle to Scott Parker and Steven Gerrard, would be an excellent man to have in reserve should his services be required.
The failure to include Carrick within the squad is not as disastrous as the absence of Ferdinand, but that is only assuming that the already recovering Parker and Gerrard do not re-aggravate their injuries.
Considering how much football the two men will be playing in such a short space of time, its probable that this could happen.
In defence of Hodgson here, it was actually Carrick's own decision to omit himself from the England fray at this tournament when he found out that he would not be playing first-team football.
Still, the lack of yet another experienced and improving international player in lieu of, yet again, two inexperienced Liverpool players (Henderson and Downing), could spell disaster for the Three Lions.
Witch such crucial absentees, England will have to rely heavily on players from a Liverpool team that only managed to finish the Premier League season in eighth place, level on points with ninth-placed Fulham.
With critical injuries to the likes of Cahill and Lampard also impeding England's chances, the odds really are against Hodgson and his men.
With that said, perhaps going into the tournament with absolutely no pressure on their shoulders might actually do the team some good.
Euro 2012 starts in less than seven hours, with the hosts Poland taking on shock 2004 winners Greece.
I, for one, cannot wait.
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