Roy Hodgson has explained his decision to omit Manchester United midfielder Michael Carrick from his 26-man provisional England squad for the European Championships this summer.
Hodgson announced the squad on Monday, with the likes of Dele Alli, Eric Dier, Jordan Henderson and Fabian Delph all making the list. Man United’s Marcus Rashford was also included.
But there was no room for Carrick, who has 34 caps to his name for the national side. Hodgson addressed the 34-year-old’s omission when asked about the subject in a press conference this week.
“Michael has played a part for us on a regular basis over these last two years and has been unfortunate with injuries but I’ve actually spoken to all three [Leighton Baines and Phil Jagielka too] of those players and they were tough decisions,” he said.
“They’re players that I respect and admire but you have to make a decision and there are only 23 players.”
Carrick has been criminally underused by England over the course of his career but on this occasion, Hodgson is right in leaving him out.
The veteran could not have expected to make the squad after the disappointing season he has had, particularly as the likes of Ali and Dier have been so impressive.
Meanwhile, Carrick is yet to agree a new deal with United, meaning Tuesday’s rearranged fixture against Bournemouth could be his last appearance for the club. The hope is that he is afforded a proper send-off if it does prove to be his last showing as Carrick has been a fantastic and loyal servant to United for a number of years.