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Debate rages about Grant Holt. Critics will look down on the 31-year-old because he plays for Norwich and has spent most of his career in the lower leagues, but Holt – whose physique resembles Rooney – is the second highest English scorer in the Premier League, behind the Red Devil. He should be in the squad, if nothing else.
For those who think Holt lacks technique, see how he embarrassed Wolves keeper Wayne Hennessey in March and used fancy footwork to score against Everton in December.
Come on, Roy, give the guy an opportunity.
4. Who should be captain?
When Pearce named Scott Parker as captain against the Netherlands, he snubbed Gerrard. Gerrard, approaching 100 caps and with winners medals in the Champions League, FA Cup and League Cup, deserved the honor.
Maybe Pearce was trying to show that he’s not afraid to shake things up.
Based on his performances on the pitch (and even after his ridiculous foul on Barcelona’s Alexis Sanchez in the Champions League), John Terry is a standout leader. His performances for Chelsea in the past month, and with injured ribs, have been outstanding. He remains a supreme motivator.
But stripped of the captaincy for a second time – on this occasion as he awaits trial for allegedly racially insulting QPR’s Anton Ferdinand – he won’t get a third opportunity. Imagine how Ferdinand’s brother, Rio, would respond to Terry barking out orders in Ukraine if the Manchester United defender makes the cut and appears alongside Terry.
Gerrard, publicly anyway, refused to blame Hodgson after he was sent packing by Liverpool. If their relationship was solid behind the scenes, then Hodgson would likely give Gerrard the armband. A snub by Hodgson, however, would prove telling, now wouldn’t it?
5. So, how will England fare?
Rooney’s early omission could cost England a spot in the quarterfinals. France is the favorite, and if Sweden can earn a point against England, second spot might be determined on goal difference. Nervy.
However, expect England to pip Sweden for second, which would mean a probable quarterfinal date with Spain. It’s unlikely England could duplicate November’s victory over the reigning world and European champion, even if the Iberians’ form has dipped slightly.