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England boss justifies squad selections

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New England manager Roy Hodgson says Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain’s tremendous performance against AC Milan in the Champions League played a big factor in him being selected for the England Euro 2012 squad.

The Arsenal midfielder was one of the surprise inclusions to the 23, after starting just six Premier League matches this season.

“He is a very exciting player who has made an impression on me, not least in his performance against AC Milan at the Emirates,” Hodgson said.

“I was there live and saw how well he dealt with Pirlo and Ambrosini. He can play wide or central and for future and can continue as he started.”

One less surprising decision was to choose Steven Gerrard as skipper. The Liverpool has captained his country in the past and is one of the most experienced members of the 23-man squad.

“He merits this award, this distinction. I know him as a player as a person. He was delighted with my decision,” Hodgson said.

“I shall be counting on him [Gerrard] to help me as much as he possibly can to build the team unity we need to thrive in an important tournament.”

England squad: England squad in full: Hart, Green, Ruddy, Baines, Cahill, Cole, Johnson, Lescott, Terry, Barry, Downing, Gerrard, Lampard, Milner, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Parker, Walcott, Young, Carroll, Defoe, Rooney, Welbeck.

Players on standby: Butland, Jagielka, Henderson, Johnson, Sturridge.

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