How many England squad players have gone unused in the past 20 years?


Roy Hodgson is still pondering the final make-up of his Euro 2016 England squad after naming an expanded group of 26 at Wembley on Monday.

But the final few places might not be worth the hours of deliberation, with England having had a total of 43 unused bench-warmers in their past nine tournaments dating back 20 years.

Euro 96

Phil Neville

Unused players - 5 (Tim Flowers, Ian Walker, Steve Howey, Phil Neville, Les Ferdinand)

Manager Terry Venables left his two back-up goalkeepers, Newcastle pair Howey and Ferdinand and a 19-year-old Neville kicking their heels on home turf 20 years ago.

England's semi-final exit to Germany saw the starting XI go through the entire 120 minutes plus spot-kicks without alteration.

World Cup 1998

Rio Ferdinand

Unused players - 5 (Tim Flowers, Les Ferdinand, Rio Ferdinand, Martin Keown, Nigel Martyn)

Glenn Hoddle's most controversial selection decision was leaving Paul Gascoigne out of the final squad - news which the midfielder took less than well.

But five players who did get on the plane to France never made it over the touchline. Flowers and Les Ferdinand sat out for the second tournament in a row, joined by Ferdinand's cousin Rio, Arsenal's Keown and keeper Martyn.

Euro 2000

Robbie Fowler

Unused players - 4 (Richard Wright, Robbie Fowler, Kevin Phillips, Gareth Barry)

England did not even make the knockout stages in Belgium and Holland but Kevin Keegan still managed to find a way to use 19 men in three games.

Two pedigree poachers, in Fowler and Phillips, collected splinters alongside a teenage rookie in Barry and third-choice keeper Wright.

World Cup 2002

A dejected looking England bench at the 2002 World Cup

Unused players - 5 (Nigel Martyn, David James, Wes Brown, Gareth Southgate, Martin Keown)

The consistency of Rio Ferdinand and Sol Campbell meant all three of Sven-Goran Eriksson's spare centre-halves were relegated to spectators. David Seaman's blunder in the quarter-final defeat to Brazil will linger in the memory, but he kept Martyn and David James out of the picture throughout.

Euro 2004

Jamie Carragher

Unused players - 6 (Paul Robinson, Ian Walker, Wayne Bridge, Jamie Carragher, Nicky Butt, Joe Cole).

Another quarter-final disappointment for Eriksson's England, ousted by hosts Portugal, and this time half a dozen squad members were surplus to requirements. All six were clear understudies and failed to graduate beyond that.

World Cup 2006

Theo Walcott

Unused players - 5 (David James, Wayne Bridge, Jermaine Jenas, Theo Walcott, Scott Carson)

Two familiar "P" words - Portugal and penalties - accounted for England in Germany. Walcott's selection, as an untried 18-year-old yet to kick a ball in anger for Arsenal caused quite a stir at the time, but it quickly became clear he was on a curious high-level work experience trip. Four fellow extras, including Bridge for the second time, kept the youngster company.

World Cup 2010

Joe Hart (left) and Rob Green

Unused players - 4 (Michael Dawson, Stephen Warnock, Michael Carrick, Joe Hart)

Having failed to qualify for Euro 2008, the squad had a new look by the time Fabio Capello took it to South Africa. He used two of his three goalkeepers - Rob Green, dropped after an opening-night gaffe, and David James - but left the future number one Hart kicking his heels.

Dawson and Warnock appeared to be filler from the off, while Carrick's frustrations at his role later came to the fore.

Euro 2012

England's substitutes at Euro 2012

Unused players - 7 (Rob Green, Jack Butland, Martin Kelly, Leighton Baines, Phil Jones, Phil Jagielka, Stewart Downing)

Roy Hodgson stuck to a tried-and-trusted core of players in Ukraine and Poland, with just 16 of his chosen men seeing action. That group performed well enough to top the group and take Italy to penalties, but came up just short and headed home at the quarter-final stage. As Hodgson surveyed his bench in that match, few of the names above would have leapt out as obvious game-breakers.

World Cup 2014

England's Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain

Unused players - 2 (Fraser Forster, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain)

In stark contrast to his first tournament, Hodgson used nearly all of his available players in Brazil. Had his first-choice side performed better he may not have done so, but with England's premature exit already confirmed by the time they lined up against Costa Rica, he was happy to make wholesale changes. Oxlade-Chamberlain would surely have joined in had he been fit enough to do so.