Goalkeepers: Joe Hart (Manchester City), David James (Portsmouth), Robert Green (West Ham).
Defenders: Leighton Baines (Everton), Jamie Carragher (Liverpool), Ashley Cole (Chelsea), Michael Dawson (Tottenham), Rio Ferdinand (Manchester United), Glen Johnson (Liverpool), Ledley King (Tottenham), John Terry (Chelsea), Matthew Upson (West Ham), Stephen Warnock (Aston Villa).
Midfielders: Gareth Barry (Manchester City), Michael Carrick (Manchester United), Joe Cole (Chelsea), Steven Gerrard (Liverpool), Tom Huddlestone (Tottenham), Adam Johnson (Manchester City), Frank Lampard (Chelsea), Aaron Lennon (Tottenham), James Milner (Aston Villa), Scott Parker (West Ham), Theo Walcott (Arsenal), Shaun Wright-Phillips (Manchester City).
Forwards: Darren Bent (Sunderland), Peter Crouch (Tottenham), Jermain Defoe (Tottenham), Emile Heskey (Aston Villa), Wayne Rooney (Manchester United).
So Cappello has named his provisional 30 man squad and to say there are some surprise inclusions is an understatement. Let me start with the surprise call up of Jamie Carragher. Fabio has managed to prevent JC wearing his sandals this summer and convinced him to lace up the boots. I for one am pretty shocked, but I can see where Jamie coming from. Liverpool have failed to qualify for Champions League next season thus shedding a number of high intensity games off his football calendar season (lets face it Europa league is a poor mans Champions League), therefore maybe Jamie doesn’t feel like he needs that much rest in the close season. Rewind back to 2007, he had every right to quit the national team. He was one of the best defenders around if not the best at the time but he could not break into the England team for toffee. Then along come Wes Brown and in the wave of a wand he was in the team something Jamie felt very strongly about I recall. That was the last straw for JC and up middle finger he showed them. Effectively this snub meant he would rather prolong his career at Anfield then play for England, fair play I say if that’s what he wants to do. You wont get a Liverpool fan saying any different! (Hint Hint I am a Liverpool fan)
Finally who can argue you with him if he just playing to forget the woes of the past season? Not me! Liverpool had a terrible season I am not even sure “terrible” is the right word or if there is even a word to describe last season antics, but I and JC are glad it’s over. Will he travel to the WC? I would imagine so, with no other recognized right back he must be a cert. His versatility will also be advantageous for Capello
Staying with the defensive department Michael Dawson also got a call up. Not really a surprise as he has had a good season with Spurs strong and demanding in the air and willing to stick his body on the line. Although he seems to be a different player when Ledley is not around him an issue he will need to resolve if he is to be seen as top class defender. In my opinion I would leave him out of the squad and take Ledley (note this is one of Cappello’s most difficult decisions, due to Ledley’s injury issues, the man cant train for gods sake). I think everybody has seen what a good player Ledley is during the final 5-6 games for Spurs, he’s not that quick but has that ability to be in the right place at the right time. At heart he’s a footballer he likes to get the ball down and play, he’s not afraid to travel with it from the back similar to Rio (the good Rio). We don’t have a lot of those “footballer centre backs” anymore so more the merrier.
My final selection would Leighton Baines, Jamie Carragher, Ashley Cole, Rio Ferdinand, Glen Johnson, Ledley King and John Terry
Midfielders, lets tick the players definitely packing their bags, in you go Gerrard, Lampard, Barry (if fit), Milner, Lennon. Those 5 I would say are dead certs. Now the other 4 (I assuming he will take 4 strikers, leaving Bent out). Joe Cole and Carrick are 80% percent likely to be on the jumbo jet. This has been an unfortunate season for Joe due to injury but needless to say he has bags of talent. If he wishes to move away from Chelsea there definitely will be a queue forming outside Stanford Bridge. That leaves 2 and on that note I would like to start the Adam Johnson bandwagon or join it which ever works. I like the look of this guy pacey, skillful and can deliver a good cross. But more importantly a NATURAL left footer. I can’t think of the last left footed winger that played for England? Ryan Giggs (or Wilson, the name he used in the game) for England School boys?? The only criticism I have is that he maybe a little bit lightweight, nothing a few days in the Joberg ghetto can’t sort out! Overall I think he would be a good addition to the squad and good player to throw on when Crouchie is in box. 1 space left, and you would assume that it will be out of SWP and Walcott. This is a difficult one (makes thinking face), if Walcott had a good season then it would be a no-brainer, but as he hasn’t it leaves Cappello with a huge decision. The thing that frustrates me with Walcott is that he is either exceptional or complete shite. There is no in-between with him. His touch is either Maradona esq on Jason Lee esq. SWP on the other hand has had a steady season hasn’t knocked the socks off anyone but has played a vital part in City’s fight for 4th place and lets not forget has played well for England on previous occasions. Ideally I would have taken Ashley Young as he’s more versatile, can beat a man and has great delivery from left and right, but he didn’t make the squad so less of that. All things considered I would give the nod to SWP as he’s more consistent. However I think Cappello will take Walcott and use him as an impact player, I can’t think of another role for him to be honest.
My final selection would be Gareth Barry, Michael Carrick, Joe Cole, Steven Gerrard, Adam Johnson, Frank Lampard, Aaron Lennon, James Milner and Shaun Wright-Phillips
Strikers, the match winners (apparently) well in that case we only have one match winner in Rooney the other guys just don’t cut the mustard at this level. I wouldn’t be surprised see Steven Gerrard playing just behind Rooney in some games such is the lack of quality strikers in the squad. Don’t get me wrong Crouch and Defoe are good players but nothing to keep any good centre back up in the middle of the night. Crouch like Walcott may be used as an impact player, but I would rather start with Crouch over Heskey without a doubt. I think Cappello will take 4 strikers leaving Bent out. Sadly for Bent he’s too similar to Defoe and just not as good as him, although 24 goals for Sunderland is great achievement for him. Not sure that will lift his chin up come 1st of June.
My final selection would be Peter Crouch, Jermain Defoe, Emile Heskey and Wayne Rooney
Finally the goalkeepers, not much surprise here. James will be first choice for sure. I hope Joe Hart gets a game as I think he’s a great goalkeeper. Im sure Arsene is watching.
My final selection would be Joe Hart, David James and Robert Green
Will England win the WC they have as much chance as any other team I guess. I can’t say I will be putting any hard earned money on them that’s for sure. Not enough quality in the squad to be a real contender. I just hope there are no injuries to any Liverpool players!
Peace and Love
So here we go again, it’s World Cup time and England are once again in the mix and apparently in with a good chance of winning the whole thing, well unless Lord Triesman was correct in his allegations.
I have idea what this England squad has been christened, the last one were the golden generation so is this one now the platinum generation? Or maybe generation X? No, I’ve got it, Generation Y.
‘Generation Y have been brought up to expect a lot from life.’ They’ve been mol-lycoddled from birth and expect to be treated with respect. Managers have to coach them through problems rather than simply telling them what to do.
This England squad may have all the talent on paper to win the World Cup but their mentality on and off the pitch will be their biggest Achilles heal. Many of the players of in the current set up are the Kings of the Bentley/Big headphone/Ipod ‘Generation Y’. Ok maybe this isn’t the time or place to psycho analyse the make of each player in the squad and discuss their much documented misdemeanours but the overall make up of some of these players may just be their down fall this summer.
B has done a thorough analyse on the squad and rather than repeat many of his thoughts, I wanted to pick out the biggest questions left to answer.
Ledley King – He must go. When the Spuds needed him over the final leg of the season he played every game and was able to put in some sterling performances to get his team into the promised land of ‘The Top 4’. Apparently he can play every 5 or 6 days with no/lack of training in between, the good news for England is that the group games are spaced out by 5 days therefore if required King can play.
Rio Ferdinand – The new captain of England after Terry let his country, wife and friend down. However, Rio Ferdinand is not fully fit and is lacking match practise on 2010 (only 21 appearance all of last season). It’s this reason why King must go. If Rio pulls up injured, the remaining options are very thin. This is a World Cup, not Bolton on a rainy Wednesday night marking Elbow
Davies, the experience King provided will be invaluable.
Michael Dawson – Great season but for the exact reason why King should go you shouldn’t. Having a good premiership season doesn’t mean you can cut it automatically at the biggest stage in the world. No European exposure this season either fortifies the point. For this reason, Carragher should make the cut too maybe at the expense of Upson. He’s past his best by at least 2 years but his experience could be invaluable.
SWP – Must go. He’s done well for England in the past and has more experience than Theo and Johnson.
Theo vs Adam Johnson – If Johnson had been with Man Citeh for the entire season this argument may have a different outcome. Johnson has a bright future but this may just be a step too far too early for the young man. Theo, oh Theo Theo Theo! As an Arsenal season ticket holder I’ve seen you in the flesh plenty of times, I join in the roar of encouragement as you pick up the ball and begin to move through your V12 like gears but I also groan as we realise you’ve left the ball behind. B was being generous to say you’re either exceptional or complete shite. The exceptional performances have been too few and far between. You’ll go as an impact player, not a winger but a striker. SWP will be the winger and you will be thrown upfront to win a game late on if needed. I have no doubt in your ability to do this but Wenger clearly wants you to learn ‘the Arsenal way’ on the wing before graduating to striker duties.
If the World Cup is going to be won on patriotism and passion, then England will be the favourites but the World Cup will be won on the pitch through a mix of tactical nous, skilled individuals, team spirit and passion. Can they produce the goods?
Tottz good points well made. A few points I would like to delve into. Firstly stop listening to Ian Dowie he’s as stupid as he is ugly! Secondly anyone who thinks England will fail to lift the World Cup due to the cars they drive or the headphones they wear around their head is insane, its like blaming the mirror for how you look. Finally Walcott v Johnson, you raise interesting points I just see the need for a natural left footer in the team. At the moment every single player that is selected there (except Barry, not sure he will even be play there) will be trying to cut in and use their right foot, it will become very very predictable. Johnson provides something different. I think he carry’s more weight in the squad than Theo would. Let’s see what Fabio thinks…
Peace and Love
I thought I would post my reply after going to the last night. Admittedly it wasn’t a spectacle and many questions remain unanswered about this England team. The second string team seemed very flat footed and almost tired. England’s danger in the first half only really came from set pieces however after scoring goals it was a pretty decent weapon. Mexico scored at the end of the first half after Carlos Vela had missed two sitters and then at the beginning of the second half, while I was enjoying my complimentary free beer in Club Wembley, England ‘defender’ Glen Johnson scored a great solo goal to effectively wrap up the game.
Mexico were better on the ball than England, the fringe players looked like, erm, well fringe players. Gerrard does not play well on that left hand side, his talent is wasted. Carrick is an average holding player, Crouch is effective but his height is a distraction and the team play so easily turns one dimensional if England struggle to win the ball back. Baines and Johnson love getting forward but my word they look flat footed when they’re under pressure. Theo Walcott, it was an all too familiar story. Positives were King, he’s on the plane. Crouch, he’s a threat but Enlgand can’t revert to the long ball game if plan A doesn’t work. Japan up next… a much more difficult task.
England have work to do but I’m sure most would prefer them hitting top form in June, rather than in warm up games.