England manager Roy Hodgson has defended his selection of John Terry, claiming that only ‘football matters’ were taken into consideration.
Hodgson named his Euro 2012 squad on Wednesday, leaving out Rio Ferdinand and naming Terry.
While there had been plenty of speculation on whether the two central defenders could be selected after Terry was charged with racially abusing Ferdinand’s brother Anton in October, Hodgson claimed the only factor taking into account was the two players’ ability to perform on the pitch.
“If you take the court case, (Terry) is an innocent man until proven guilty,” Hodgson said.
“The Terry decision was based on football matters.
“When I selected him I knew people would raise their eyebrows, but I believe he has played well in the latter half of the season.”
Hodgson had similar reasons for leaving Ferdinand out of the squad.
“I had to make my decision based on what I’ve seen on recent months,” Hodgson said.
“(Ferdinand’s) played only once for England in the last year.
“I wanted Phil Jones to balance out because of the absence of Kyle Walker at right-back.
“It’s based purely on football and nothing else.”
The former West Bromwich Albion manager chose four strikers including Liverpool’s Andy Carroll.
The 23-year-old scored just four league goals since moving from Newcastle, for a total of nine for the season, but Hodgson believed Carroll’s recent form warranted a ticket to Poland and the Ukraine.
“He’s a different type of player to the others in the squad,” Hodgson said.
“He has that aerial ability that is very useful, but also the ability to make the runs behind defenders and use the strength and power.
“I spoke to Kenny (Dalglish) at some length about him.
“I didn’t know him too much and you can be tricked by perceptions of players – by what you hear or read about them – but Kenny praised him for being serious as a professional, so I had no reservations.”
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