Early Doors thought about just copying and pasting The Sun's
splenetic back page lead in full today, so bizarre and entertaining is it.
Basically, the story revolves around the selection of the
England Under-21 squad to play Portugal
in a European Championship qualifier next Friday.
It's an important game, so thank goodness Jack Wilshere and
Andy Carroll are in there, right?
Wrong. Their selection for the U21s means they have
effectively been left out of Fabio Capello's senior side to play Bulgaria on the
And this, says The Sun, is reason enough to Photoshop some
donkey ears on Capello and unleash some world class outrage courtesy of Shaun
Capello has stuck a hoof into England's
brave new world - after just one game.
"The gormless Italian vowed to rebuild after our World Cup
debacle by bringing in young players.
"But the silly ass has ruled Arsenal whizkid Jack Wilshere,
18, out of next month's vital Euro qualifiers.
"Wilshere made his Three Lions debut in the friendly victory
and also won rave reviews in the Gunners' first two games this season - but is
now dumped back into the Under-21 squad.
"There will also be no place for Newcastle's Andy Carroll, 21, when the squad
is announced on Sunday - despite a hat-trick against Aston Villa.
"The only hopeful news is that Arsenal's Kieran
Gibbs, 20, was not named in the U21s, so is now expected to join up with the
It is remarkably venomous stuff, and totally unjustified.
Wilshere has not won rave reviews for his performances this season
at all. He could very well have been sent off against Liverpool, and he was
easily Arsenal's worst midfielder against Blackpool.
(Check out the 'best' of Wilshere in this video).
That's OK. He's young, and will improve. He is undoubtedly a
What he is not is an automatic pick for the full England team,
whose omission deserves such a staggering level of scorn.
Likewise Carroll, who certainly has started the season well. We're
talking about a player with less than 20 Premier League appearances under his
belt, and who clearly has some rough edges.
Again, that's not a problem. At 21, Carroll is already a real
handful and will get better - or at least he will if he gets competitive action
with the U21s instead of warming the bench for the senior side.
Is Carroll better than Bobby Zamora, Peter Crouch or Carlton Cole?
No, no, and... well, yes.
Even more bizarre is Custis's mention of Gibbs. His inclusion in
the squad is irrelevant. Why? Because he isn't as good as Ashley Cole, and probably
never will be.
Certainly not if he stays at Arsenal, where his path to the first
team is barred by 25-year-old Gael Clichy.
Picking a team of children is not going to qualify England
for Euro 2012.
Bad as they were in South Africa, England's World Cup FlopsTM
qualified with almost insulting ease, winning their first eight games and only
slipping up after they had already qualified - not that it mattered as the
Ukraine game was the one shown on a pay-per-view web stream therefore not seen
It may be tempting to look past 2012 towards the next World
Cup but surely, as manager of the England football team, Fabio Capello's
job is to win the next match.
And the much maligned likes of Frank Lampard, Steven Gerrard
and even Wayne Rooney have shown they are rather good at qualifying for big
Most ridiculous of all is that this 'controversy' comes just
a fortnight after Capello was roundly criticised for saying David Beckham is
"a little bit old".
So, he's being implored to look to the future (to the
obvious detriment of the present), but dare to drop a 35-year-old and he's a
national hate figure.
As Jim White pointed out last fortnight, everything Capello
does is used as a stick with which to beat the Italian.
Today's Mirror gets in on the act, gleefully repeating
quotes from Jose Mourinho criticising Capello, accompanied by a photo of The
Special One flicking a V-sign.
It doesn't matter if the tabloids completely contradict themselves
- they just want him out, and they will condemn his every move until he is forced out.
Just imagine the storm of fury if Capello picks Mikel
Arteta. Or, indeed, if he doesn't.
Is it any surprise that, under such pressure, scrutiny and criticism, England managers tend to lose the plot?
- - -
QUOTE OF THE DAY: Jose Mourinho on Fabio Capello: "The problem is the
manager. He has a one-track relationship with players. Ask anyone here at Real
Madrid. He can't change. You cannot go around just shouting at players. They
need to feel special. It is clear.
Capello will not work for England.
He does not know the players. They are frightened of him and they can't play
for him. For me, it is a mess for England. Players need clear
tactics. They cannot be confused about what they have to do. It is the
manager's fault. And it is a big shame." No wonder the British press love him
FOREIGN VIEW: Police in north eastern Brazil are searching for a referee
after a player was stabbed to death during an amateur football match in
Barreira in Ceara state.
A spokesman for the
Ceara state military police said referee Francisco Chaves had killed Jose da
Silva, 35, and injured his brother Francisco in a fight, after whistling for a
foul against the visiting Boa-Fe (good faith) team from Redencao (redemption),
and then fled the scene.
COMING UP: Tottenham take on Young Boys at White Hart Lane in
their Champions League play-off second leg - follow it live with us from 19.45 UK time. And we've got all the action from the Carling Cup, too - that also kicks off at
- Fabio Capello
- Jack Wilshere
- Andy Carroll