At a Glance

Belgium's attacking midfielder Dries Mertens has apologised to Gary Cahill after the English defender was ruled out of Euro 2012 with a broken jaw caused by Mertens' shove.

Mertens apologises for shove on Cahill

Sun, Jun 03 2012

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Belgium's attacking midfielder Dries Mertens has apologised to Gary Cahill after the English defender was ruled out of Euro 2012 with a broken jaw caused by Mertens' shove.

 

During the friendly at Wembley on Saturday, Cahill was shepherding  the ball back to his goalkeeper when the Belgian winger pushed him strongly in the back. The Chelsea defender collided awkwardly with Joe Hart resulting in a broken jaw. He now won't travel to Ukraine with the rest of the Roy Hodgson's England squad.

 

Dries Mertens followed in the footsteps of international teammate Eden Hazard and took to Twitter in order to apologise to Cahill. "I sincerely apologize for the harm I've cost to Cahill. When in the heat of the moment, you often don't think about the consequences..."

 

Mertens' promptly received a yellow card after he tucked the ball away into the empty goal. Cahill was then swiftly replaced with Joleon Lescott as England went on to record another 1-0 victory under Hodgson. Danny Welbeck scored a lovely dink in the 36th minute and they held on in what was otherwise, a dull affair.

 

Cahill had been expected to partner fellow Chelsea teammate John Terry in central defence but Liverpool's young defender Martin Kelly has been called up as his replacement for the tournament. England have suffered severely with injuries over the past week after Premier League winner Gareth Barry and Champions League winner Frank Lampard were deemed unfit.

 

22 year old Kelly has only represented his country at senior level on one occasion,  away to Norway when he came on as a substitute during Hodgson's first game in charge. The English manager has caused some controversy as he refused to consider Rio Ferdinand as a replacement despite his experience at this level. He stated "footballing reasons" as the main motive behind his decision.

 

The former West Brom boss may think about following in Spain's footsteps and banning the use of Twitter after Ferdinand continued the Twitter saga by tweeting "What reasons????!"

 

Hodgson's decision will be questioned by many in the lead up to his first group game, a difficult clash against France in Dontesk on June 11. Joleon Lescott looks the most likely to take Cahill's place in central defence but while Hodgson ponders team selection, many English fans are wondering along with Ferdinand why he won't be on the plane to Ukraine.

 

 

 

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