England squad: The major casualties

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Andy Carroll, James Milner and Phil Jones all made the cut, but other big name players missed out on Hodgson's first England squad. Micah Richards would surely have been expecting a call and will be disappointed to instead be planning a summer holiday, while the clamour for Michael Carrick's inclusion seemed to steadily grow as the season progressed.

Following the 23-man squad announcement, GMF looks at five players who can consider themselves unlucky to be missing on this summer's tournament in the Ukraine and Poland, but ultimately didn't make the cut.

Have your say on who you think should have gone at the bottom of the article - do you agree with our big five?

Michael Carrick

The Manchester United midfielder has the experience and the quality to make the squad but loses out to Gareth Barry and Scott Parker in the holding midfield slot. Hodgson obviously feels Parker will recover fully from his knock, but Carrick will still rightly feel aggrieved to be left at home.

His passing is among England's best, and he could have been relied upon to keep things ticking over in a midfield that otherwise looks worringly short of inspiration. The former-Spurs star, who was a member of both the 2006 and 2010 World Cup squads, was overlooked in favour of James Milner, who most likely got the nod on account of being able to play all over the pitch.

Even so, Carrick's quiet consistency could have played a vital role alongside, or instead of, Barry's more disciplined approach and Parker's frenzied harrying. His omission from the 'reserves' list is baffling, given Jordan Henderson's dreadful form.


Daniel Sturridge

The Chelsea frontman has paid the price for a quiet second half of the season. A blistering start to the campaign tailed off after Andre Villas-Boas was shown the exit door, as Di Matteo favoured Ramires and Salomon Kalou out wide.

Still, Sturridge has 13 goals and seven assists this season from his wide-right position and was a rare bright spark in a Chelsea team that struggled early on in the season.

However, the Di Matteo inspired renaissance at Stamford Bridge has largely passed Sturridge by. Even so, his dribbling, pace and finishing remain first-class and earn him a space on the standby list. If Hodgson had gone with an extra striker rather than an additional midfielder, surely Sturridge deserved a spot ahead of Stewart Downing.

Micah Richards

Kyle Walker's injury opened up a right-back spot that Richards must of felt confident of filling, but Hodgson has chosen to look elsewhere. The Manchester City defender has made a strong contribution to his side's title-winning campaign and is extremely unlucky to miss out.

Hodgson said the decision came down to a straight choice between Phil Jones and Richards, with Glen Johnson's place seemingly safe all along. The City man may have beaten Jones to the title but the United defender has the consolation of a place at Euro 2012. Once again, the limitations of a 23-man squad probably sharpened Hodgson's focus on Jones' ability to play several positions, and the former-Blackburn man can play centre-half and holding midfield as well as right-back.


Rio Ferdinand

Hodgson insists Ferdinand has missed out purely for footballing reasons but the John Terry situation must have been a consideration. The Manchester United defender has not been at his best this season, but can still feel aggrieved to be missing out on playing in his first ever European Championships.

Ferdinand has 81 England caps but has played an increasingly limited role within the national set-up since injury ruled him out of the 2010 World Cup. Joleon Lescott has been strong at the heart of a title-winning side so deserves his place while the inclusion of Gary Cahill and Phil Jones points towards the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.


Peter Crouch

Danny Welbeck and Wayne Rooney were not surprise picks, but Andy Carroll and Jermaine Defoe certainly raised a few eyebrows. Neither has been in great form this season, with Carroll out of sorts and Defoe out of the Spurs team.

As a result, Crouch could have felt confident of earning a place on the plane, or at least on the standby list. Instead he will not be adding to his 42 caps or 22 goals in an England shirt. The Stoke forward left Spurs for first-team football and has performed well for Tony Pulis, scoring 10 Premier League goals in 32 appearances. In contrast, Carroll has 4 in 35 appearances. To be fair to Defoe he has taken his chance for Spurs when given the opportunity and has scored 11 league goals in 25 appearances.

However, Crouch was ultimately the casualty of Hodgson's decision to only take four strikers to the tournament.

Joe Cole has been in good form for Lille but is absent while Adam Johnson has made the most of limited opportunities at Manchester City but loses out to Downing. Should either of these two have made the full squad? Has Jordan Henderson or Stewart Downing done enough to earn their place? Leave your comment on Hodgson's choices below...

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