[EURO 2012 COUNTDOWN] During Graham Taylor’s stint as England national team coach, a documentary about his tenure
titled “The Impossible Job” was produced.
His saga ended bitterly with elimination from qualifying play for the 1994 World Cup. The film vividly portrayed the post’s excruciating pressures, which have greatly escalated in a digital world as England disappoints its fans time and time again.
Nearly 20 years later, Roy Hodgson made his decision regarding an impossible situation: whether to pick defender John Terry, who will stand trial in October for alleged racial insults he directed at Anton Ferdinand, the brother of England defender Rio Ferdinand.
"Absolutely loved playing for England ... to say I'm gutted is an understatement of the highest order," Rio Ferdinand tweeted after the squad was announced Wednesday and he was not in the final 23.
Hodgson named Terry to his squad for the European Championships and both in Terry's case and that of Ferdinand maintained the decisions were based on their play and nothing else.
“[The trial] is obviously very unfortunate for him ... but he is innocent until proven guilty,'' Hodgson said. “I realized when I selected him there would be people who would raise their eyebrows.”
Regarding Rio Ferdinand, who hasn’t played for England in nearly a year, Hodgson said, “It is purely a footballing decision. I had to decide ... on what I have seen in recent months, and influenced by the fact Rio hasn't played so much [for England] since the World Cup.”
The English Football Association's decision to strip Terry of the England captaincy in February led to Hodgson’s predecessor, Fabio Capello, quitting. For three months, under-21 coach Stuart Pearce managed the team as speculation ran rampant that Tottenham manager Harry Redknapp would be named as the long-term solution.
Instead, Hodgson left his post at West Bromwich Albion to sign a four-year contract.
Steven Gerrard, who was Hodgson's captain during a turbulent six-month stint at Liverpool, has been named team captain.
Forward Wayne Rooney, as expected, was included despite being suspended for the first two Euro games against France and Sweden. He was ejected from England's last qualifier in October.
Only 11 returnees from the team Capello took to South Africa in 2010 were picked by Hodgson. He has also selected two uncapped players: Arsenal’s teenage winger Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, and Norwich goalkeeper, John Ruddy.
England plays warm-up matches against Norway in Oslo May 26, and Belgium at Wembley Stadium June 2.
Goalkeepers: Robert Green (West Ham), Joe Hart (Man. City), John Ruddy (Norwich).
Defenders: Leighton Baines (Everton), Gary Cahill (Chelsea), Ashley Cole (Chelsea), Glen Johnson (Liverpool), Phil Jones (Man. United), Joleon Lescott (Man. City), John Terry (Chelsea).
Midfielders: Gareth Barry (Man. City), Stewart Downing (Liverpool), Steven Gerrard (Liverpool), Frank Lampard (Chelsea), James Milner (Man. City), Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (Arsenal), Scott Parker (Tottenham), Theo Walcott (Arsenal), Ashley Young (Man. United)
Forwards: Andy Carroll (Liverpool), Jermain Defoe (Tottenham), Wayne Rooney (Man. United), Danny Welbeck (Man. United)