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David McCourt’s Midweek Football Roundup 16/05/2012

Rio set to miss Euros, Giggs the best for 20 seasons, and Rochdale secure a new striker

Written by . Published on May 16th 2012.

David McCourt’s Midweek Football Roundup 16/05/2012

RIO FERDINAND has missed out on Euro 2012 as Roy Hodgson has chosen to omit the Man United defender from his 23-man squad.

The picture above is a clever photoshop job from a rogue tweeter but you have to wonder whether it reflects the emotions Ferdinand felt.

The 33-year-old has not played for England since June last year but, despite an ongoing back problem, Ferdinand has made 30 appearances in the Premier League this season – the most he’s managed since 2007-08.

“Reunite Phil Jagielka and Joleon Lescott in the heart of defence and just be done with it.”

Ferdinand’s absence is thought to have been down to the fact that Hodgson has decided to opt for John Terry in the 'twice-stripped England captain vs brother of alleged racially abused by twice-stripped England captain' row.

Why didn't Roy leave them both out.

Rio can’t play two games in a week and JT is an accident waiting to happen.

Re-unite Phil Jagielka and Joleon Lescott in the heart of defence and just be done with it. Or put Gary Cahill in there instead.

Paul Scholes was rumoured to be a surprise inclusion in England’s Euro 2012 squad, presuming Hodgson could manage to convince the 37-year-old to make a dramatic comeback to international football, but the United veteran was another absentee.

Scholes, who has agreed to play on at United for another season, has enjoyed a return to form since coming out of retirement in January - scoring four goals from 14 starts.

Hodgson, who announced his squad earlier this afternoon, will no doubt spark debate with his chosen 23. The whole thing looks depressingly banal.

Stewart Downing, coming off the back of a season for which the fruits of his labour read; played 36, goals 0, assists 0, shots 72, makes the cut just fine.

Whilst Leon Britton, who earlier in the season was reguarly recording passings percentages better than that of Barcelona's Xavi Hernandez, is nowhere to be seen.

In attack things are equally as stale. Andy Carroll, who has endured a season of humiliation and poor form followed by two excellent cameo's as a sub at Wembley, is chosen ahead of Grant Holt, a colossus of a man who has impressed during his first season in the top flight, scoring 15 goals.

Cue the 'our brave lions will do us proud' nonsense followed by baffled dismay routine this summer, once again.

The Premier League 20 Season Awards winners have been announced and (unsurprisingly) there were a whole host of winners from the red half of Manchester.

Ryan Giggs won the Player of 20 Seasons award, whilst Sir Alex Ferguson won the Manager of 20 Seasons award. Wayne Rooney’s overhead kick against City last season won the Goal of 20 Seasons award, and Eric Cantona’s pirouette and pose after he’d chipped in against Sunderland in 1996 won the Celebration of 20 Seasons award.

A young Ryan Giggs playing for UnitedA young Ryan Giggs playing for United

The Premier League 20 Season Awards are a continuation of Sky Sports’ attempt to convince everybody that football was invented in 1992. Yet, whilst I find the whole idea of 2011-12 being awarded the Season of 20 Seasons award a little contrived, it’s difficult to come up with a greater final twist to a season than that at the Etihad Stadium last Sunday.

It’s one that fans at the Etihad should enjoy while it lasts, because if Roberto Mancini gets his way, it’s only going to be a matter of time before City become monotonous serial title-winners.

The Italian has called for City’s owners to match the spending power of Spanish giants Real Madrid and Barcelona, despite having already seen more than £1billion invested since Sheikh Mansour took over in 2009.

He told BBC Sport: "Barcelona and Real Madrid every year buy two or three players and spend a lot of money. We need to improve. We need to have the strength to play Champions League and Premier League."

And finally, Rochdale have made their first signing of the summer – snapping up striker George Donnelly from Macclesfield. A man surprisingly ignored by Roberto Mancini in his march on world domination.

The 23-year-old scored seven goals in 32 games as the Silkmen were relegated from the Football League last season, but is now preparing for life in League Two with Rochdale after agreeing a two-year contract for an undisclosed fee.

New Rochdale striker George DonnellyNew Rochdale striker George Donnelly

You can follow David on Twitter @DavidPMcCourt

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