This week the FA confirmed the England squad for Euro 2012 - Hodgson’s first as England manager - will be revealed on Wednesday. Here's mine.
With less than a month to go until Euro 2012 starts, the competing nations have begun to announce the squads of 23 players they hope can take them all the way to the final in Kiev on 1 July.
Germany have announced theirs (frighteningly good), Ukraine have done theirs (one cap between three goalkeepers) and France have sort of done theirs (only the foreign-based players have been confirmed so far). This week the FA confirmed the England squad for the tournament - and Hodgson’s first as England manager - will be revealed on Wednesday.
Now I know what a tough task Roy Hodgson has on his hands: it seems like he’s been in the job only a matter of hours, and already he has to pick a squad that will play under the weight of the obligatory unrealistic expectations of the nation’s public. So to give Roy a hand, I’ve given him some food for thought by picking my suggested 23 for Poland and Ukraine:
Undisputed number one and will go into the tournament on the back of a fine season, with potentially a champions medal around his neck by Sunday evening.
Has fully bounced back from his horror show in South Africa and has been consistently good since. A decent back up for Hart.
It’s slim pickings for English goalkeepers beyond Hart and Green, particularly with Foster and Robinson unlikely to play for their country again.
One of England’s most consistent performers and despite a wobbly start to the season, has been in sensational form during Chelsea’s unlikely march to the Champions League final.
Often the choice of Roberto Mancini to partner captain Vincent Kompany in Manchester City’s defence, Lescott has had a solid season and can also operate at left-back should Cole be unavailable.
Still not convinced he is rock solid positionally, but can certainly play with the ball at his feet and dangerous in the opposition’s box as well.
The man everyone outside of west London loves to hate, Terry will almost certainly start in the opener against France despite a shaky end to the season and rumours that he’s unpopular in the dressing room.
Big question marks over his fitness in recent seasons, but is enjoying a good run of games and brings vital tournament experience to the squad. Still a class act when fit.
Has experienced an up and down season, with some great early performances but not enough games in any one position for him to settle properly. Young, versatile and energetic though; he has a lot to offer.
An under-appreciated talent who often seems to be Liverpool’s stand-out player in what is increasingly an average side. Dangerous in attack, generally solid for England and can play left side if needed too.
The PFA Young Player of the Year fully deserved his award and not looked out of place in his early appearances for England. His pace is a huge asset going forwards and backwards.
The most recent captain of England and strong contender for the role during Euro 2012, Parker is up there with the best anchors around and keeps the ball brilliantly. Should be a certain starter.
Seems a long time ago that the nation sweated on his fitness for South Africa, but he is one of the more intelligent users of the ball we have and is in good form.
No longer the wide man he used to be and now more a reliable up and downer. Is that what England needs? In an otherwise one-paced midfield, I’d suggest it is at least a good option.
Remains a shame that his talents have often been wasted by England managers, intent on shifting him to the left or right side of midfield. Perhaps on the wane, but still has a lot to offer and likely to start.
Written off at the start of the season, he is another of the Chelsea players that seems to have been rejuvenated in recent months. Not always great for England, but will be on the plane for sure.
When he isn’t diving, young can be devastatingly dangerous. Great set piece taker and also chips in with his fair share of goals. Would like to see him tried in a floating role.
Not had much of a look in at City this season, but still remains England’s best left-sided midfielder for years. Always good for England and can often be the key to unlock stubborn defences.
Major doubts over his fitness, but if he can get fully fit, he will deserve his place on the plane. Clearly hasn’t fulfilled his potential, but pace is frightening and has certainly matured this season.
Despite being suspended for the first two games, Rooney has to go. Despite a suspect temperament, he is England’s talisman and still our only genuinely world class player.
Over-priced? Definitely, but also under-used. Carroll has shown in recent weeks that there is a top footballer somewhere inside him, and Hodgson should use him as his go-to ‘big man’.
At times this season, has threatened to look a real star. He’s inconsistent a little too self-assured, but is also very talented and is worth having as an option to play off a front man.
Wouldn’t have made this list had Bent been fit, but the Aston Villa’s injury means Hodgson is clutching at straws for another striker deserving of a place. Defoe remains a sharp finisher though.
So there we have it, my England squad for Euro 2012. In short, it looks strong at the back, robust but a little unimaginative in midfield and worryingly light up front. Sound familiar?