What the Jewish football world thinks about England's Euro 23

By Danny Caro, May 16, 2012

Following the announcement of Roy Hodgson’s 23-man England squad for the 2012 European Championships, Jewish managers up and down the land give their verdict.


"Conjecture is always going to be thrown around when an England manager selects a squad for a major tournament, especially when that manager is so new to the job. The squad has this vulnerable feel about it. Almost like the cracks are being papered over. My biggest concern would be in forward and wide areas. With Rooney out for the first game against France, which incidentally is going to be the most important up to the knockout stages, I see England struggling to score the goals which will be needed to win games.

"I am very surprised to see Downing, Milner and Green in the squad. I think Downing and Milner have had at best very mediocre seasons and I believe that at international level they are simply not good enough. Green - having played Championship football all year - wasn’t up to it when he was playing in the Premiership so that is a real surprise inclusion. They will all count themselves extremely lucky to be involved.

"I feel for Peter Crouch who has been excluded again. His record speaks for itself at international level and there is certainly enough evidence to suggest he deserves to be involved. I would have liked to seen Michael Carrick and Paul Scholes (surely someone can talk him round) there as well. Both players have had very consistent seasons and both are two of the best passers in the game something that will be crucial at the tournament. I certainly think Ben Foster deserves to be involved as well. West Brom have had a terrific season and he is one of the reasons why, I don’t think he made a mistake all season.

"Roy Hodgson is without doubt the right man for the job. What he achieved at Fulham and West Brom was nothing short of spectacular. Forget what happened at Liverpool because he was a dead man walking before he even arrived there (and Dalglish has done such a wonderful job since… NOT!).

"Hodgson is one of the best coaches/managers in the world. He is very astute tactically and he knows everything there is to know about European football and the different styles. For this particular tournament I believe he is damned if he does and damned if he doesn’t. The fans, players, papers will build it up and shoot him down at the first opportunity.

"The bare facts are simple, England are no longer a world force (not that they have been since 1966). I respect Capello for the way he handled himself, I still believe it is England’s loss that he has gone. This squad is nowhere near good enough to win the Euros. However, with Hodgson at the helm, if he can get the players to trust in him and believe in his methods then maybe, just maybe we might surprise a few people.

"I don’t believe Hodgson should be judged on this tournament. Hopefully he will take us on a journey but ultimately I think the quarter-finals is where this particular adventure will end - as long as its not losing on penalties."

Tony Gold (London Lions manager)


“The squad doesn’t really surprise me. If you look further than this 23, there may be two or three who you would select, i.e Crouch, Lennon, Rio.

“I cannot see how Stuart Downing gets near the squad. He’s played 36 games, no goals, no assists. Andy Carroll has played two good games this season and finds himself in what about Grant Holt and I don’t know what Micah Richards must do to get in.

“For the first time ever we go into a tournament with no expectations so it doesn’t matter if we lose all three games., I just worry for us in the middle of the park and up top. If we come up against technically good players in midfield then we will struggle, just look at our first game- Cabaye, Ribery, Nasri, Ben Arfa, Benzema, Valbuena, Remy

Verdict: Knocked out at group stages

Darren Yarlett (joint-manager North West Neasden A)


"No creative midfielder a la Nasri, Modric, Xavi, Iniesta, Silva ... Scholes is badly needed.

"Three forwards only for first two games is not good enough - Defoe can't even get in Spurs first team and Micah Richards is unlucky to miss out. John Terry should not be near the squad.

"The final point is how many of our squad would get in the top 20 players of the tournament prior to a ball being kicked? Not many!

"In terms of achievement, Newcastle have shown how lack of expectation can reduce pressure and get results.

"Similarly England fans have been burnt so many times before there is no expectation and the team may benefit ... but I have only cleared my diary to the quarter finals!"

Darryl Lee (South Manchester Sports manager)


"I think I echo a lot of football fans in this country when I say that I have never been less interested or less looking forward to a major football tournament than this one. Maybe it is because the Olympics will no doubt take centre stage this summer or maybe it’s because Roy is an unappealing appointment who has picked an unappealing squad but whatever the case the interest is low.

"The one thing this squad does have in its favour is the fact that expectation is so low as well therefore any progress will be considered okay and if they do actually manage to go on a run then they will probably all get knighthoods. Somehow though I don’t see it happening.

"I hate the choice of Terry who stands for everything bad in football – I’m amazed he didn’t include Joey Barton as well for the ultimate thug dream team but aside from his behaviour he just isn’t good enough as has been proved this season on more than one occasion.

"It’s a shame Kyle Walker wasn’t fit as he would have been an exciting prospect but Glen Johnson and Ashley Cole should be as good as most full-backs in the competition.

"The midfield is ageing and lacking in creativity with the possible exception of Ashley Young who at least might win us a few penalties and our one world-class player in Rooney is missing for the first two games.

"Saying that I rate Carroll and he could just be a dark horse for a top goal-scorer bet if England do go far and he might work well with Welbeck so that Rooney hopefully won’t have too much to do to get us through the group.

" It’s a tricky one to call but all the negativity might just work in their favour and from a position of total dis-interest, the country might actually start to get very excited if they get out the group and they might do a Chelsea and fluke their way to the final."

David Garbacz (Hendon United Sports Club A manager)


"Personally I would have taken Scholesy all day long. Even at almost 38, there's no better ball-player in England at keeping it and picking out pinpoint passes. He could have been used for last 15-20 minutes either if we needed some creativity, or even to just keep the ball.

"Would have had Crouch in ahead of Carroll, as he's proven at international level, and also Richards as an extra cover at right-back for the injured Walker.

"I think it's an average squad, with some rubbish in there like Carroll, Walcott and Downing but it is what it is.

"No players excite me in England squads these days. The biggest worry to be honest is Jordan Henderson as a reserve. Do me a favour, is that the best we've got?

"Carrick? Lennon? Russell Yershon?

"Quarter-finals and no more I think."

Richard Slater (chairman/manager Chigwell Athletic)


"For me, Rio, Micah Richards, Michael Carrick and Aaron Lennon should have been included. I’m surprised Downing has made the squad on the form he has been in. Obviously the experienced players will help but I can’t see us progressing past the quarters.

"It's great news that the Ox is involved. The kid is class and is going to be a proper player. Even if he doesn’t get a lot of time on the pitch, it’s great for his experience.

WWe go in with no expectation so let’s just enjoy it and look forward to watching some decent football. But we need a miracle to win it!"

Danny Berg (Redbridge Jewish Care coach)


"A typical England squad - stale and very boring - with a few surprises. To be honest I wasn’t expecting much more from Roy Hodgson and that is another debate if he is the right man to take England forward. In all honesty we don’t have the players or ability to compete with Spain, Germany etc.

“Obviously everyone is talking about Downing (Tim Howard has got more goals and assists than Downing this season!) and it is a terrible decision to take him. Micah Richards should have been included, excellent player, strong as an ox and has put his life on the line numerous times for City this season – seems like Hodgson has just taken over Capello’s squad, since Capello hadn’t picked Micah for a while.

Aaron Lennon has been excellent for Spurs over the past few weeks and should have been included. It seems like the weakest England squad we have had for a while…”

Verdict: “We’ll struggle to get out of the group stages, quarter finals if lucky – personally I will be away over the Euro’s and am not bothered at all – bring on the Olympics!”

Motty Korman (Hendon United Sports Club B joint-manager)


“I’m shocked how Micah Richards, Adam Johnson and Michael Carrick haven’t made the squad.. Carrick plays week in, week out for Utd and performs on a regular basis. Micah is the strongest full-back bar Kyle Walker. Stuart Downing - I don’t understand. Carroll is a unit and either of him Holt or Crouch is much of a muchness so I am pleased for him after the year he had.

“I am delighted to see Ox and Theo make the squad. Theo is the best winger we’ve got and after the disappointment two years ago I am pleased he made it.

“I think we shouldn’t build our hopes up too much this year. I will be upset to see Barry, Lampard and Gerrard to start in the middle because it’s been the same for the last six years and it’s boring. We are all united here and good luck Roy.”

Josh Rosenfeld (Brady Maccabi A manager)


"From my perspective the moment Terry, Downing and Henderson were included I lost all interest in England. Frankly it's just reaffirmed my club over country stance!"

Jonathan Adelman (chairman and joint-manager of North London Raiders)


"We have a real mixed bag of youth and experience but no wow factor. Rooney is out for two games and I feel that we don’t have the quality to bring home the silverware. Most of Europe understand the Premier League as they play in it, so they know how we play and understand our players and mentality. I hope Roy can mix things up so we can offer something different.

"John Ruddy is a surprise. He has done well this year but no experience. Stuart Downing is weak and just because he has a left foot he’s got lucky being included. I'd rather see Adam Johnson in there. Andy Caroll is going to be the man for me, he is a real powerhouse and I'm pleased he got the nod over Peter Crouch. I've never heard of Jack Butland who is on standby.

"For me, England will not get passed the semi-finals."

Darren Rolfe (UJIA manager)


“I imagine every single reply will mention Downing and I have to say this inclusion does baffle me. How he can be picked over Lennon is quite incredible. I’d also have Richards in the squad.

“Other than that I think he’s chosen the best players who are available to him. I’m pleased the Ox has been given a chance. I just hope Hodgson actually gives him the opportunity to play and not do what SGE did with Theo in 2006.

“However, I do still feel the other squads are so much better than ours so I struggle to see us getting past the quarter-finals at best.”

Jack Morris (Temple Fortune)


"Surprised to see Jono Gaon missed out but Roy does seems to favour height in forward areas.

"Also having opted out of signing Stewart Downing in the close season it was a shock to see him make the squad, but good luck to the lad.

"England will make the quarters of what will be remembered as the worst tournament in history."

Jonny Bunt (Norstar B manager)


"Unfortunately Roy Hodgson is a mediocre manager and always has been. His squad choice shows that. At least under Capello and Eriksson we had teams scared - this tournament we will be the scared team.

"I have never understood taking three keepers and only four strikers, especially as our leading striker is out for two games.

"In my honest opinion, I think France and Sweden have seen that squad and just booked their hotels for another week."

Daniel Gordon (Redbridge Jewish Care C manager)


"I think the choice of keeper is a no-brainer, and I’m pleased Ruddy’s performances have been recognised.

"Rio’s exclusion from the squad is a pleasant surprise for me. Given that he hasn’t performed well at club level for two seasons now, in my opinion. But Hodgson is an astute operator, and clearly he has seen this.

"Having said that, the inclusion of Stewart Downing must go down as a schoolboy error, or some kind of administrative cock-up.

"Even as a Spurs fan (so what do I know about football?), I’m excited about Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain’s inclusion, and I hope he’s not just there ‘for the experience of being in the squad’.

"I think Wenger under-used him this season, and I think he’s fearless. He could just be the breath of fresh air the squad needs to rejuvenate it.

"I think we’re particularly weak up front, with Rooney the only striker who automatically gets a starting place, but competitions like this usually throw up some unexpected heroes, so Welbeck or Carroll could surprise one or two people, especially given that expectations are so low.

"I think Micah Richards and Michael Carrick might have been included, and it’s a shame that the Jacks - Rodwell and Wilshere – are injured, otherwise they surely would have added to the younger end of the spectrum.

"Of the standbys, the only one who raises my eyebrows a bit is Jordan Henderson, who has been a huge disappointment this season, but can surely only get better as he settles into his Liverpool role (unless they replace him!).

"Finally, can anyone explain why Joey Barton and Emile Heskey have been excluded?

"All in all, it’s a solid enough squad which probably reflects the best we’ve got.

"If we get to the semis, it’ll be a pleasant surprise. Anything more than that will have to be put down to it being Olympic/Jubilee year!"

Jeremy Silverstone (Maccabi Masters)


"I've played about two hours of football in MSFL this season, and I've got as many goals and assists as Stewart Downing, so suffice to say I find his inclusion baffling.

"My approach to a 23-man squad would simply be three keepers, then two of every position, so I'm a bit surprised Roy has only gone with seven defenders - especially seeing that Micah Richards has been left waiting in the wings. He's had a strong season with City, despite trading his starting place with Zabaleta - yet I think on performances alone he's done enough to warrant inclusion. However, Fabio never seemed to pick him either, so I'm guessing there are issues beyond his abilities which have cost him his place.

"I think we're one man too heavy in midfield, so I would have given Micah a spot over either Milner or the Ox. The Ox's inclusion is indeed a surprise, but unlike when Walcott was picked four years back, we've seen this lad play - up against the likes of Man Utd and AC Milan and he's shown he's good enough.

"The big question for me is what formation will Roy go with, especially for the first two games when Rooney is suspended. Past managers have favoured 4-4-2, but having two of Carroll, Defoe and Welbeck up top doesn't fill me with much joy. I suspect 4-5-1 to start the tournament with.

"I think England will make it out of the groups in second place, which will probably put us up against Spain in the quarters. Whilst I feel our squad is strong, I don't think any of our players would make the Spain starting XI - so I think that will be the end of the road for us."

Joel Minsky (Los Blancos manager)


"I predict Stuart Downing will score the goal that will put us through to the knockouts and Oxlade- Chamberlain will win the Golden Boot. Joe Hart will get sent off in the last-minute of extra time in the semi-inal against Germany and John Ruddy will become a hero and we will finally win a shootout”

Verdict: “We will play Spain in the final and lose 3-0”

Oli Shorts (North London Raiders C manager)


"First impression was what an awful team. Baines, Johnson, Walcott and Downing. I could go on. I'm glad the Ox is in. We could well be done and dusted by the time Rooney gets to play."

Jamie Kyte (London Maccabi Lions B manager)


“I honestly don’t care about who's in, who's out. We just need to get behind the players and manager and expect nothing.”

Phil Peters (manager of Norstar A and Team GB)


Email your thoughts to dcaro@thejc.com

Last updated: 5:05pm, May 17 2012