Terry's poor form might solve Roy's selection headache

ENGLISH FOOTBALL

ROY PILOTT
Last updated 08:29 11/05/2012

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OPINION: England boss Roy Hodgson will name his squad next Wednesday and may have been given some help with a tough call.

John Terry was stripped of the captaincy over allegations he racially abused Anton Ferdinand, and the resulting case has still to be heard. Terry's partner at the heart of the England defence has been Anton's brother, Rio.

Hodgson is reportedly reluctant to take both players to Euro 2012, although they have been regarded at the best pairing available.

If Hodgson was looking for an out, he might have it in Terry's poor form this week.

A complicating factor is that the two leading contenders for his place are Gary Cahill and Joleon Lescott - and neither have reached the heights Terry has.

A leaked letter shows Blackburn's deputy chief executive Paul Hunt told the club owners in December that manager Steve Kean had "lost the dressing room". He warned action had to be taken: "The players no longer want to play for him. It is a shame and disappointing but we must act now to save the club". Hunt was sacked on Thursday.

Bacary Sagna has broken his leg for the second time this season, and will miss Euro 2012 - and rather foolishly accused Norwich's Bradley Johnson of deliberately crocking him . . . talented Chelsea striker Romelu Lukaku wouldn't mind a loan move to get playing time . . . Out of contract Emile Heskey could go back to Leicester in the summer.

Former Liverpool and now Hoffenheim striker Ryan Babel has been asked to explain why he wrote "ref was on drugs" in response to being shown two yellow cards by Thorsten Kinhofer last weekend.

Steve Bould will replace Arsene Wenger's loyal number two Pat Rice next season. The Gunners, who picked Bould ahead of Tony Adams, have also unveiled a new strip for next season. It includes the rather silly blue hoop on the sleeves leaked onto the internet in February. The new United shirt was also leaked early. It has been likened to a tea towel. In both cases Nike have produced some drivel about the shirts harking back to the clubs' history.

Villa trio James Collins, Fabian Delph and Chris Herd were given a telling off by the club after being caught up in a nightclub fracas during the week . . . Martin Allen, in his third spell at Barnet, wouldn't mind the job fulltime . . . Ray Wilkins has been charged with drink-driving.

The taxman has notched up another three points, with John Carew declared bankrupt . . . Preston striker Neil Mellor has retired because of a knee injury . . . Young French defender Christophe Lowinsky is having trials at Newcastle.

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Cardiff's Malaysian owner Vincent Tan wants the club to play in red, because it is lucky. The Bluebirds, playing in red. That's what you get when millionaires come to play English football. Tan will also wipe the club debt if they change the bluebird to a dragon too.

A host of Newcastle legends were at the unveiling of a bronze statute of Sir Bobby Robson at St James this week. One was Paul Gascoigne who said he has been off the booze for 17 months . . . Unless QPR can pull off a miracle result tomorrow, it will be [PndStlg]930 million well spent at Maine Rd by Sheikh Mansour, who has put more than [PndStlg]560 million of his own cash in . . .

Hull boss Nicky Barmby will appeal his sacking, over comments he made about the club's ambition and transfer spending . . . Manchester City have announced it will be Umbro out and Nike at the start of the 2013-14 season . . . Andy Hessenthaler has been offered a seat on Gillingham's board, but has stepped down as manager after his side missed out on the fourth division play-offs.

WEEKEND FIXTURES England, Sunday, Chelsea v Blackburn, Everton v Newcastle, Man C v QPR, Norwich v Villa, Spurs v Fulham, Stoke v Bolton, Sunderland v Man Utd, Swansea v Liverpool, West Brom v Arsenal, Wigan v Wolves. Scotland, Aberdeen v St Mirren, Dunfermline v Kilmarnock, Inverness v Hibernian. Sunday, Celtic v Hearts, Motherwell v Dundee Utd, St Johnstone v Rangers.

roy.pilott@dailynews.co.nz

- Taranaki Daily News

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