Roy Hodgson announced the England roster for Euro 2012 on Wednesday.
Here is the team:
Goalkeepers: Joe Hart (Man City), Rob Green (West Ham), John Ruddy (Norwich)
Defenders: Glen Johnson (Liverpool), Phil Jones (Man Utd), John Terry (Chelsea), Joleon Lescott (Man City), Gary Cahill (Chelsea), Ashley Cole (Chelsea), Leighton Baines (Everton)
Midfielders: Theo Walcott (Arsenal), Stewart Downing (Liverpool), Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (Arsenal), Steven Gerrard (Liverpool), Gareth Barry (Man City), Frank Lampard (Chelsea), Scott Parker (Tottenham), Ashley Young (Man Utd), James Milner (Man City)
Forwards: Jermain Defoe (Tottenham), Wayne Rooney (Man Utd), Danny Welbeck (Man Utd), Andy Carroll (Liverpool)
The goalkeepers were no surprise. Joe Hart will start in his first major tournament for England, and is the long-term answer between the pipes. The last time Robert Green played in a major tournament turned into a career nightmare as he botched a Clint Dempsey shot in the first game of the 2010 World Cup.
The back line for England has a strong Chelsea influence. The trio of John Terry, Gary Cahill and Ashley Cole have had several bright spots recently including their play in the Champions League semifinal against Barcelona. Terry did have a moment of stupidity in the second leg and was sent off, but his team is still playing in the Final in Munich on Saturday. The three could make up 75 percent of the England starting defense. Glen Johnson will most likely start at right back, but youngster Phil Jones could push Johnson for a starting spot. The major exclusion from the squad at defense is former captain Rio Ferdinand. He has battled injuries in the past and Joleon Lescott was preferred as a backup center back.
The midfield has usual suspects and fresh face. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain was selected despite not playing much at Arsenal this season. Oxlade-Chamberlain, 18, has impressed when given the opportunity. Theo Walcott is back in an international tournament after his surprise exclusion from the 2010 World Cup team. Steven Gerrard was named captain of the team. If England decides to play with two holding midfielders, Gareth Barry, Frank Lampard and Scott Parker will be in contention to start in this role. Aaron Lennon and Adam Johnson are the top midfield snubs.
The strikers are interesting because the best player is suspended for the first two games. Wayne Rooney received a red card in the last game of qualifying against Montenegro, and after winning an appeal his original three game suspension became two. When Rooney is gone, who will score for England? Carroll and Defoe have struggled in the EPL season and haven’t had many opportunities to start for their club. This leaves Danny Welbeck, 21, as England’s best bet to start the first game of Euro 2012.