There is big news this week as the FA announce that ex Manchester United stalwart and England defender Gary Neville has joined Roy Hodgson’s backroom staff and will be be assisting and coaching the side during Euro 2012 Tournament, which is just around the corner.
Of course, the Old Trafford connection has sent the media into a frenzy, with the name of Paul Scholes begin banded around press boxes across the country, as rumours persist of an England comeback.
Jack Wilshire is crocked, Wayne Rooney is suspended and now it seems another influential member of the England squad, Scott Parker, also could miss Euro 2012.
The influential Tottenham midfielder, who captained England for their last game against the Netherlands, will have an injection on Monday to recover from an Achilles injury that has forced him to miss his club’s last four games.
Roy Hodgson is set to announce his squad for the finals on Wednesday, and even though Parker is still rated as a 1/7 shot by the markets to be included, it has to be a worry for England fans that their most combative midfielder could be carrying an injury through the tournament.
Central midfield options are quite limited for Hodgson even if Parker does make the plane for Ukraine and Poland. Steven Gerrard (1/25), Frank Lampard (1/16) and Gareth Barry (1/8) are all but nailed on to make the 23-man squad with Michael Carrick (Evs) and probably Tom Cleverly (6/1) other options for Hodgson.
A springer in the market to make the squad though, has been Paul Scholes, who sensationally returned from retirement with Manchester United this season to great effect. The 66-timed capped United midfielder is now just a 2/1 shot with most firms after it was announced Scholes’ former teammate Gary Neville will be part of Hodgson backroom staff for the tournament.
The outright markets have reacted slightly to the news of Parker’s injury problems with Bwin now going a best-priced 12/1 for an England tournament win. British based bookmakers such as Ladbrokes, Coral and William Hill all continue to chalk up rather shorter odds of around 8/1, which they do purposely for patriotic punters, who will back England to win whatever the price.
Expect their prices to shorten further if England win one of the pre-tournament friendlies in good style.