Early Doors

No decision time for Capello

Early Doors

View photo

There will be no flashy press conference in central London when the England squad is announced today. We will learn who Fabio Capello has chosen to make up his 23-man World Cup party via a functional, straightforward news release on the FA website.

It reflects Capello's management style - the man is all business. That's what the FA thought they were getting in Sven-Goran Eriksson, although by the time of the corresponding glitzy ceremony in 2006 the Swedish boss had become just as showbiz and tabloid as any player or WAG.

The assembled hacks at that squad announcement were then caused to splutter "Walcott?" in unison, the most amusing expression of collective press befuddlement since "Romeo?" when David Beckham announced the birth of his second son four years earlier.

Making the announcement in such a way also means Capello can avoid being questioned by the media about his choices before England fly out to South Africa tomorrow.

Capello is unlikely to have a Walcott moment with his selection today. The biggest questions surrounding the squad are over the fitness of Gareth Barry, whether Joe Cole has done enough to regain his place and which left-back he will take. All very humdrum, really.

John Terry has thrown his support behind Chelsea team-mate Cole's inclusion, naturally.

"Joe did very well. Towards the end of the season, when we needed big players, Joe proved to be one of them at Chelsea. He scored a massive goal for us at Old Trafford and did really well. The manager will take that into account when he makes his final decision but he's seen enough of Joe, what he's done in the last 10 days and against Japan, to know what he can do."

The manager confirmed before the Japan friendly that he knew for certain 20 of those who would fill his squad, so 'decision time' is more likely to be just making his choices official.

The fact that Scott Parker, Michael Dawson and Stephen Warnock were all denied a run-out means none of them will be at all surprised to get the call from the boss today, consigning them to watching Big Brother instead of Bafana Bafana this summer, although one newspaper seems convinced that Warnock will sneak into the squad despite Leighton Baines getting the nod against Mexico last week.

Darren Bent has again suffered from not being able to make an instant impact on one of his few sporadic appearances, while young Adam Johnson has years of disappointment in an England shirt still to look forward to.

Shaun Wright-Phillips is set to fall foul of two Italian managers in a year, while Tom Huddlestone's lack of international experience may see him nudged out by Michael Carrick.

With all that in mind, here is the squad Early Doors would take if it were England manager. Which it isn't:

Goalkeepers: David James, Robert Green, Joe Hart.

Defenders: Rio Ferdinand, John Terry, Ledley King, Jamie Carragher, Glen Johnson, Ashley Cole, Leighton Baines, Matthew Upson.

Midfielders: Steven Gerrard, Frank Lampard, Aaron Lennon, Theo Walcott, Joe Cole, Gareth Barry, Michael Carrick, James Milner.

Forwards: Wayne Rooney, Emile Heskey, Jermain Defoe, Peter Crouch.

Out: Michael Dawson, Stephen Warnock, Adam Johnson, Scott Parker, Tom Huddlestone (stand-by if Barry not fit), Shaun Wright-Phillips, Darren Bent.

Agree or disagree?

- - -

A welcome side effect of avoiding the media with his squad announcement is that Capello will also not be required to answer any questions about his future in the England job.

Talks with Club England chief Sir Dave Richards regarding the removal of the post-tournament get-out clause in his contract are said to be going well, in the face of interest from Internazionale.

A source said: "Fabio was honoured to have been linked with such a great club like Inter Milan but won't move. He will stay in England because he is really enjoying the job." Which is, on the face of it is good news, especially for Capello.

If the clause remains and England do well, he would be in a strong position to listen to the offer from Inter after the World Cup, when his stock would be sky high. If however, it is removed as planned, then what happens if England do badly?

- - -

QUOTE OF THE DAY: "There was nothing special last season for me to think back about. The season was normal - even pitiful." - Andrei Arshavin is just saying what he sees after another trophyless campaign at Arsenal.

FOREIGN VIEW: "I want to thank the board for hiring me and I promise I will not change. I am Jose Mourinho and I arrive here with all my qualities and my defects." - Real Madrid's new manager introduces himself to his new employers.

FLOP OF THE SEASON: Lukas Podolski has been voted the Bundesliga's flop of the season by his fellow professionals. Wouldn't it be great if they did that in the Premier League?

COMING UP: Coverage of more World Cup warm-up action is coming your way. Follow live commentary of Netherlands v Ghana (19:30) and Portugal v Cameroon (19:30), while there is also live scoring of Switzerland v Costa Rica and Australia v Denmark.

Plus there is full live coverage of all the latest from the French Open. You can also watch it live on British Eurosport (Sky 410 / Virgin 521), Eurosport HD (Sky 412 / Virgin 522) & on the Eurosport Player.                   

View comments (0)