Fabio Capello has confirmed his 23-man England squad for the World Cup. The exclusion of Arsenal’s Theo Walcott who started both of England’s recent friendlies against Mexico and Japan was the biggest surprise. Others who miss out include Darren Bent, Adam Johnson, Scott Parker, Michael Dawson, Leighton Baines and Tom Huddlestone.
Last world cup, Walcott had been the surprise inclusion in England’s world cup squad. The then 17-year old had never played in a single premier league game and the then England manager (the current Ivory Coast manager) Sven Goran Eriksson had been widely criticized for his selection of a player whom cynics claimed he had seen only in training.
Since 2006, Theo Walcott has earned 11 caps for England and scored 3 international goals, all of them in England’s crucial 4-1 qualifying win against Croatia. Unfortunately the 21-year-old’s season has been injury riddled with back, shoulder, knee and hamstring problems restricting him to only 15 starts with Arsenal this season, with his form suffering as a result.
Walcott said in statement,”I am very disappointed not to be included in the squad going out to South Africa, but completely respect Mr Capello’s decision. I would like to wish the team the best of luck and hope they have a really successful tournament.”
Fabio Capello had announced a long time back when he had taken over as England manager that he would only select those players who were playing regularly for their clubs and were in form.
Darren Bent who has been in form for Sunderland and was the third-highest scorer with 23 goals in the 2009-2010 season would be justifiably disappointed to have missed out. Tom Huddlestone is another such casualty despite the midfielder being very impressive all season for Tottenham and helping them finish fourth in the Premier League.
It seems Fabio Capello wants to take only tried and tested players to South Africa which explains his inclusion of players like Joe Cole, Emile Heskey, Gareth Barry and Leadly King, all of whom have been struggling with injuries and not been in the greatest of form for their respective clubs. All of them, however have played in Capello’s squad and formation explaining why the Italian chose them over the others.
Fabio Capello contacted each of the players who missed out by telephone. The rest of the squad will fly out to South Africa tomorrow to start the preparations for the tournament. As usual, it seems England will look to Frank Lampard, Wayne Rooney and Steven Gerrard to provide goals. Aaron Lennon’s creativity and pace could be the key to England’s goal scoring.
The World Cup starts on June 11, and England’s first game is on June 12 against the United States in Rustenburg.
England’s 23-man squad for the World Cup finals:
Goalkeepers: Joe Hart (Manchester City), David James (Portsmouth), Robert Green (West Ham).
Defenders: Jamie Carragher (Liverpool), Ashley Cole (Chelsea), 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), Frank Lampard (Chelsea), Aaron Lennon (Tottenham), James Milner (Aston Villa), Shaun Wright-Phillips (Manchester City).
Forwards: Peter Crouch (Tottenham), Jermain Defoe (Tottenham), Emile Heskey (Aston Villa), Wayne Rooney (Manchester United).
Article first published as Theo Walcott Left Out of the England Squad for World Cup 2010 on Technorati.