Since England won the World Cup in 1966 many West Ham fans, some with tongue in cheek, have claimed it was their club that won it thanks the contributions of Hurst, Peters and Moore in that game.
If England win Euro 2012 I wonder if Liverpool fans will be making similar claims about their club? Granted there is as much chance of England winning the thing as the seas of the world parting, pigs flying over the Albert Dock or the AA’s online route planner actually functioning rather than being permanently “temporary unavailable”!
I raise the Liverpool connection because, in addition toRoyat the helm, our presence in the squad grows with every withdrawal. Gareth Barry pulls out in and comes Jordan Henderson, than, more controversially Gary Cahill goes and in comes Martin Kelly. Andy Carroll gets the number nine shirt probably, let’s be honest, because of the absence of other forwards such as Darren Bent. Stuart Downing is in the mix because well.. erm answers on a postcard. Only Steven Gerrard and, puzzlingly in my book, Glen Johnson seem assured of a starting line up place however if the present rate of “cry offs” continues who knows? OK it’s tenuous bollocks I know and more seriously on the subject of players withdrawing, condolences to Jermain Defoe who is returning home because of the death of his farther.
I’m pleased that Martin Kelly is in the squad. It is a great experience for him and arguably out of all theLiverpool players, on this season’s form, he is the most deserving. He has youth on his side and hopefully he will carve out a place in the national squad just as I am sure he will do at Anfield.
Of course all of this has been overlooked due to the wailing and gnashing of teeth over Rio Ferdinand’s omission due to “footballing reasons”. Let’s be blunt the FA have fowled up again. Football has nothing to do with it, all this tracks back to the forthcoming race case in which Terry allegedly racially abused Rio’s brother. One could have been convinced reRio’s omission when the squad was initially announced however the number of withdrawals now make the stock answer of “footballing reasons” less convincing and more insulting to everyone’s intelligence.
Although he probably hasn’t helped matters (presumably he rubber stamped Terry’s inclusion and those players who were called up as replacements), poor old Roy is the sucker caught in all of this? Time for the FA to intervene, help out and clarify matters? No that would be too sensible wouldn’t it, let’s leave Roy to get on with it and face the music? Doing the right thing would only damage what has been yet another f*ck up to add to their long list of f*ck ups?
Of course one could argue that at thirty plus Rio’s time is up however as much as I’m pleased for Kelly our man isn’t even a regular in the Liverpool team and has only played two minutes forEngland. Rio is regular in the Mancs team and has played for England eighty odd times. What is ironic is the presence of Terry in the squad. I suspect Steven Gerrard is none too pleased. Remember when he wasEngland captain inSouth Africayet Terry, when things started to go pear shaped, high jacked the occasion and became some kind of self appointed spokesman for the team trying to gain popularity at the expense of Capello. Of course high jacking the occasion is a Terry habit, one only has to see his laughable behaviour during after Champions League Final. Have you given the medal back yet John?
Back to Liverpool and of course we should not forget our players who are involved outside the England squad such as Dirk Kuyt (still haven’t got used to him not being with us yet) and Daniel Agger but the main question in this country is clearly how will England do and for us how will theLiverpool connections get on? Royhas precious little time to make his mark so no doubt caution, and doing the sensible things right, will be the watch word. The formation will be rigid which means Glen Johnson won’t be able to go walkabout. Steven Gerrard will also probably find it limiting but, aside from his hat trick against Everton, his club form hasn’t really suggested that this will make too much difference? Perhaps Andy Carroll will benefit from this regime and get more supply although I won’t be holding out too much hope if Stuart Downing is charged with supplying the ammunition. Martin Kelly and Jordan Henderson will probably have one of the best seats in the house for theEnglandgames, on the bench or in the stands!
Despite all this I’ll watch it, even the sumptuous opener between Poland and Greece and who knows, perhaps the lack of expectation might be to the benefit of England but remember, you didn’t read it here first!