The three lions’ team selection for the Euro 2012 showpiece suggested that Roy Hodgson was going to employ a defensive formation against his opponents.
Many football observers intimated that Hodgson was going to ‘pack the bus’ at Euro 2012. before the tournament even kicks off, England has been forced to replace three of its players. two of whom are central midfielders.
First it was England goalkeeper John Ruddy who broke his finger while training on 24 May. he was replaced by Birmingham FC goalkeeper Jack Butland who is yet to be capped.
Next was Gareth Barry with a groin injury suffered in England’s 1-0 victory against Norway. Everton FC defender Phil Jagielka was brought on board as his replacement.
The biggest loss came when Frank Lampard was ruled out of the tournament after picking a thick injury while training on 30 May. Jordan Henderson of Liverpool FC came in as Lampard’s replacement. The Chelsea midfielder’s loss has left Hodgson severely short of central midfielders with Scott Parker just recovering from an achilles problem.
The absence of seasoned midfielders like Paul Scholes and Michael Carrick who have had a good season with their club was the main reason why observers suggested that Hodgson was going to employ a defensive system during the tournament.
The loss of two midfielders from this Euro 2012 squad especially Lampard whose boots can not easily be filled has more less justified the earlier defensive observation. this is worsened by England’s few strike force options that were not helped by the limited number of attacking players that were selected for this European showpiece.
The three players that have replaced the injured ones have not dispelled this defensive notion either. this has made the three lions predictable even before kicking a ball at Euro 2012. this is an advantage that their opponents will definitely exploit during the forthcoming games against England.
England has a history of pre-tournament jinx but we hope that this is the last time that the three lions will be robbed of their fine players. unfortunately for Lampard, this may be his last major outing with the three lions.
Patrice Evra, captain of France, their first Euro 2012 opponents will no doubt be happy with these developments having cheekily suggested it was better to play England minus Wayne Rooney. The list of possible players he will not play against has now increased to four thanks to injuries and Wayne Rooney’s suspension.