Les Ferdinand believes that Stuart Downing and Andy Carroll's reputations were the main reason the Liverpool duo made it into the England squad, with their form for the Reds questionable over the course of the season.

While Carroll is still finding his feet at Merseyside, and finished the season well, Downing has been a particularly disappointing season, and has so far been considered one of the worst value for money signings of last summer's transfer window.

And after Liverpool suffered from one of their lowest finishes in the Premier League for some time, coming in below cross-town rivals Everton, Ferdinand believes that Roy Hodgson is trusting that Carroll and Downing's displays of the past, that made them a combined £55m last summer, will return.

"Stewart Downing and Andy Carroll have not had the best of seasons," Ferdinand told the Sun of the Liverpool pair.

"Downing is probably the one that raised the eyebrows more than anyone else, because he had no assists or goals in the Premier League.

"You think normally players get into the England squad on merit and what you have done throughout the season.

Stewart Downing
Stewart Downing suffered from a disappointing season with Liverpool.

"But sometimes your past reputation goes before you. But I am certainly hoping they all have a fabulous European Championship."

While Downing and Carroll's inclusions in the England squad caused great debate amongst pundits, away from Liverpool, the exclusion of Manchester United's Rio Ferdinand was also a heated issue.

And Les, who is Rio's cousin, believes that there may have been more to the 'football reasons' justification Hodgson gave for not choosing the defender for the 2012 Euros.

"There are reasons for there being no Rio," he explained. "The politically correct reason is the fact they didn't believe he could play two games in a short space of time.

"The manager has said that so you have to go along with it. Is that the real reason? I don't know, I have no idea.

"There was a lot of talk about whether John Terry and Rio would have been able to play in the same team.

"What I do know that they are both professional players and the one thing they do want is for England to be successful.

"The manager had to make a decision on whether there would be disharmony, but none of that has come out. What he said was he didn't think Rio could play two games in a short space of time. And we have to go along with that.

"But we will all try to read between the lines, because Rio has played 38 games this season for Manchester United - and even being injured for a spell, he still managed to play that many."

With Hodgson being an untried manager thus far for England, the tournament will be a big learning experience for the former West Brom man as well as a chance to show his potential to take the Three Lions to their first Euro trophy.