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Thursday, November 15, 2012
England ended the year as they began it. By losing.
Yet those book-end defeats by Holland and Sweden barely tell the story of an amazing 2012, in which both a captain and a coach were lost before a ball was kicked and, once more, the Three Lions lost their roar in a quarter-final penalty shoot-out.
Here, London24 assesses the contribution of the men who have represented England during this calendar year.
Joe Hart (11 appearances)
Still the undisputed number one but ends 2012 under a cloud after abysmal performance against Sweden. Has confidence to rebuild, starting with Brazil in February. 7 out of 10.
Robert Green (1)
Friendly appearance in Norway prior to Euro 2012. Be a surprise if he played again. N/A.
Jack Butland (1)
Great Britain’s Olympic keeper started against Italy in August but may need to concentrate on Under-21s for a while. N/A.
John Ruddy (1)
Norwich man replaced Butland in Berne but now in a battle with Fraser Forster to be Hart’s deputy. N/A.
Micah Richards (1 appearance, 0 goals)
Started against Holland but fell out of favour again and now injured. Work to do if he is not to remain an unfulfilled talent. N/A.
Glen Johnson (9, 0)
Has improved defensively and now seems unquestioned as England’s best right-back. 9.
Phil Jones (2, 0)
Two appearances prior to Euro 2012 but none in Poland and Ukraine. Needs to get his fitness back but time on his side. 6.
Chris Smalling (1, 0)
Never got back in the swing of things after suffering a badly cut head against the Dutch. Hodgson has high hopes. N/A.
Kyle Walker (1, 0)
Another of those who gets talked about a lot but never seems to be available. N/A.
Carl Jenkinson (1, 0)
Hodgson fought hard to get Jenkinson to commit himself to the England cause. Whether he will be worth it remains to be seen. N/A.
John Terry (6, 0)
One of the most divisive England internationals in modern times called time on his international career in controversial circumstances in September. A loss. 7.
Gary Cahill (5, 1)
Cahill looks the part but needs to play more often for Chelsea to take the next step. 7.
Phil Jagielka (6, 1)
Has made the most of his chances but one of the players at risk from the emergence of younger rivals like Steven Caulker. 6.
Joleon Lescott (10, 1)
An excellent year at international level - yet doubts about him for club. Still prone to unforced errors but can be pleased with his efforts for the Three Lions. 8.
Steven Caulker (1, 1)
Grown in maturity and one of those to benefit from the Olympic experience with assured performance against Sweden. Got a goal as well. N/A.
Ashley Cole (6, 0)
Remains England’s best left-back and a true world class talent. Nursing injury though. Next cap will be his 100th. 7.
Leighton Baines (7, 1)
Ashley Cole’s successor has been found. Brilliant at set-pieces. 7.
Ryan Bertrand (2, 0)
Couple of caps in an amazing year but career approaching a crossroads. Needs to play more at club level. 6.
Martin Kelly (1, 0)
Answered injury SOS in Norway but not really threatening a big breakthrough. N/A.
Ryan Shawcross (1, 0)
Made his debut in Stockholm and was swiftly given a lesson by Zlatan Ibrahimovic. N/A.
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (8, 1)
Impressed at Euro 2012 but not really built on that, yet. Still a teenager though, so no need to worry. 8.
Raheem Sterling (1, 0)
More obvious wide attributes than Oxlade-Chamberlain. Has a big future at this level. N/A.
James Milner (11, 1)
No surprise that Mr Dependable racked up so many appearances. No fuss. Just does the job. 6.
Gareth Barry (2, 0)
Would have been a started at Euro 2012 but international career now in the balance. N/A.
Frank Lampard (3, 3)
Missed Euros through injury, Hodgson persevered after and now might not have to. Useful goal threat still. 5.
Steven Gerrard (11, 0)
Excellent year for the captain and richly deserved 100th cap. Adjusting his game and now dropping deeper. Big role still. 9.
Scott Parker (7, 0)
Raised an eyebrow prior to the Euros when he said thought it might be his only tournament. Not played since, largely because of injury, and might be right given quality in midfield. 6.
Jordan Henderson (4, 0)
Hard to escape the conclusion he was a bit out of his depth at Euro 2012. 4.
Michael Carrick (4, 0)
Ended his England exile but cannot be regarded as an automatic choice by any stretch of the imagination. 5.
Tom Cleverley (6, 0)
Has made a smooth transition into the international arena, although he needs to take one of those chances. 7.
Leon Osman (1, 0)
Decent debut against and can do a job - but only as back-up. N/A.
Jonjo Shelvey (1, 0)
Liverpool youngster called up for the San Marino game as a replacement - and then played. N/A.
Jack Wilshere (1, 0)
Hodgson needs Wilshere fully fit by next spring to fuel hope of reaching the World Cup Finals. Having him back is a plus. N/A.
Ashley Young (9, 2)
Continues to perform more consistently for country than club. Peach of a cross last night. 7.
Wilfried Zaha (1, 0)
Much talked-about Crystal Palace youngster. Has to go some to fulfil the hype and may still be enticed away by Ivory Coast. N/A.
Adam Johnson (3, 0)
International career has ground to a halt. Needs to concentrate on Sunderland first. 5.
Stewart Downing (2, 0)
A regular member of Fabio Capello’s squads, now almost always overlooked. Would be a long injury list to get back in. 5.
Theo Walcott (9, 1)
Almost exclusively used as a substitute, which suggests Hodgson is not so sure. Brilliant goal v Sweden in Kiev the highlight. 5.
Jake Livermore (1, 0)
Played in Berne but overlooked for last night. Maybe too much too soon. N/A.
Aaron Lennon (1, 0)
Rarely seen on the highest stage and nothing much to suggest that will change. N/A.
Tom Huddlestone (1, 0)
Hodgson has confirmed Huddlestone is not being ignored but suspicion is he needs to do more at Tottenham. N/A.
Wayne Rooney (5, 4)
Another disappointing international year for Rooney, who failed to fire at Euro 2012. 4.
Andy Carroll (6, 1)
Did well at Euro 2012 but now seems to be falling out of favour. Surprise really. 7.
Danny Welbeck (11, 5)
England’s player of the year. Top scorer in 2012 and his matchwinner against Sweden in Kiev will live long in the memory. 9.5 (England’s player of the year)
Jermain Defoe (5, 2)
So often seems to be cemented his international place, only to lose it again. It seems he is back there. 7.
Daniel Sturridge (3, 0)
Could easily follow Welbeck’s example and make a massive impact. But really has to play more often at club level. 7.
Frazier Campbell (1, 0)
Surprise when Stuart Pearce picked him for the Holland game and look even more bizarre nine months later. N/A.