Roy Hodgson has finally announced his final 23 man squad for the European Championships this summer.
On the 16th May Hodgson announced a squad of 26 men so he could give a few players like Jordan Henderson, Jack Wilshere and Daniel Sturridge a chance to prove their fitness for the competition.
This larger squad also gave fringe players such as Andros Townsend and Marcus Rashford an opportunity to squeeze into the last remaining squad.
Below is the official announcement of the squad including squad numbers for the tournament:
This final squad announcement has spelled the end of the Euro 2016 dream for three players: Fabian Delph, Andros Townsend and Danny Drinkwater.
I am going to discuss the possible reasons behind each exclusion.
It’s fair to say that Fabian Delph was not a popular choice for many England fans when the initial 26 man squad was announced to the media.
Delph’s inclusion meant many players, West Ham’s Mark Noble in particular, were not afforded the opportunity to capitalise on great season form and change the mind of Roy Hodgson.
26-year-old Delph only made 17 Premier League appearances (out of a possible 38) whereas Mark Noble only missed one Premier League game this season and scored 7 goals to Delph’s 2.
Delph is not a regular fixture in the Manchester City therefore didn’t deserve to be involved for England this time around.
Andros Townsend has been a regular in Roy Hodgson’s squad for over two years but his name on the list of 26 men still felt fairly left field.
Townsend struggled in the first half of the season at Spurs where he fell severely down the pecking order behind all of Christian Eriksen, Erik Lamela, Heung Min Son, Nacer Chadli and of course his national compatriot Dele Alli.
The constant exclusion from match squad lead to a move to Newcastle in the North East in an attempt to resurrect his club and his international career.
Despite Newcastle being relegated this season, their form improved becoming very hard to beat at the very least.
Townsend’s energy and directness in attacking lead Newcastle to some decent results including a final day 5-1 thrashing of his old club Spurs.
Unfortunately for him and Newcastle it was too little too late.
The same could be said of his Euro 2016 exploits.
Danny Drinkwater is the player that should feel most hard done by out of the three who missed the cut.
Drinkwater was an integral part of the Leicester City team who achieved the dream and defied all the odds to become Premier League Champions.
That obviously did not have an effect of Roy Hodgson.
In a way this can be seen as a good thing; showing that Roy will not be swayed but the ‘fairytale’.
However on this season’s form Drinkwater should be in the squad ahead of most of the midfielders selected.
His two main rivals for this squad were Jordan Henderson and Jack Wilshere. All three play a deep playmaker role as opposed to a defensive midfielder or pure attacking midfielder.
Baring in mind the fitness questions hanging over both Henderson and Wilshere it may have been more sensible to take Drinkwater and one of the aforementioned players.
Drinkwater will have to take this decision on the chin; take a well deserved rest over the summer and prepare for his club side’s title defence next season.
I predicted the 23 man squad in an article written on the 10th May where I managed to select 22 out of the 23 players to be selected; only making a mistake in choosing Theo Walcott over Marcus Rashford.
I did however mention Rashford as an outside bet for the squad so I feel vindicated in that sense.
The Three Lions will play their final warm-up game at Wembley tomorrow before flying out to France.
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images sourced from: the FA, ESPNfc, Zimbio, Sky Sports, givemesport.com