Friday, 11 May 2012

Defensive Headache for Hodgson

New England Manager Roy Hodgson has revealed that he will name his provisional squad for the European Championships in Poland and Ukraine on May 16.

With only a matter of weeks between his appointment and England’s first appearance at the Euros in eight years the 64-year old will no doubt be depending on his more experienced players to help him make the step back up to international management as smooth as possible.

Unfortunately for Hodgson two of his most capped players, John Terry and Rio Ferdinand, are currently in the midst of an ongoing feud and it remains to be seen whether or not the two can play together, and the resolution of the situation could have a major impact on the football betting arena.

The feud centres around an allegation that Terry racially abused Ferdinand’s younger brother, Anton, during Chelsea’s away game at QPR in October. Terry is due to stand trial for the alleged abuse in July.

Terry and Ferdinand, both former national captains, have represented the Three Lions over 150 times between them and have formed a formidable central defensive partnership in past major tournaments. Hodgson knows that England’s hopes in the tournament rest on forming a strong team spirit and in his first press conference as manager he made clear his desire to work with the players to resolve the feud.

“I’ll have to get in touch with John and Rio to speak with them, hopefully face to face, and find out where they are in this situation,” he said.

With both Terry, 31, and Ferdinand, 33, nearing the twilight of their international careers, both players, who have achieved so much at club level, will surely agree on one thing - it’s about time that England performed on the big stage.

Betfair football punters will surely be keeping their fingers crossed that the experienced players can concentrate on footballing matters and put their differences to one side until after the tournament. If they can, then success might just be a possibility for England.