September 18, 2019

Capello dropped a bomb and the squad is decided

Posted on June 1, 2010 by in England

No more tinkering from Fabio Capello. The England squad for the football World Cup in South Africa has been confirmed. Gareth Barry’s ankle injury hasn’t ruined his chances of playing. He’s in. Theo Walcott hasn’t made it. Not surprising, perhaps, as he has only had 15 starts for Arsenal in the last season. Walcott had plenty of chances to show that he could improve over the last year but, his collection of injury woes probably made this difficult

Fabio Capello said after the Japan match that not a lot has changed for the selection of the 23 man squad for the World Cup. As a result Allan Shearer writing over on the BBC website speculated that it would end in disappointment for Joe Cole, because he was not getting enough first team football… not so. Joe Cole has made the squad. Heskey has been left on the bench a couple of times recently but he has made the squad as well. Let’s look at how the performances against Japan might have shaped Capello’s final decision.

First here’s who is going to South Africa, in no particular order.

Goalkeepers: Robert Green (West Ham United), David James (Portsmouth), Joe Hart (Manchester City).

Defenders: Matthew Upson (West Ham United), Jamie Carragher (Liverpool), Glen Johnson (Liverpool), Ashley Cole (Chelsea), Rio Ferdinand (Manchester United), John Terry (Chelsea), Stephen Warnock (Aston Villa), Ledley King (Tottenham Hotspur).

Midfielders: Gareth Barry (Manchester City), Joe Cole (Chelsea), Steven Gerrard (Liverpool), Michael Carrick (Manchester United), Frank Lampard (Chelsea), James Milner (Aston Villa), Shaun Wright-Phillips (Manchester City), Aaron Lennon (Tottenham Hotspur).

Forwards: Jermain Defoe (Tottenham Hotspur), Peter Crouch (Tottenham Hotspur), Wayne Rooney (Manchester United), Emile Heskey (Aston Villa).

Against Japan Fabio Capello made five changes at half time. Something the man is well known for doing, so expect game changes substitutions at half time during the tournament. Amongst others he brought on Joe Cole, Gerrard and Wright-Phillips.

The half time substitutions proved to be a shrewd move. Cole and Wright-Phillips gave the game width and Gerrard brought more control to midfield. Emile Heskey missed a great opportunity to score a goal from a Gerrard cross. Heskey has scored 7 goals in 57 caps so that isn’t that surprising perhaps.

Tom Huddleston made some unforgivable mistakes in the first half. Some fluffed back passes to John Terry, Rio Ferdinand, and knocked the ball out of play with a failed pass.

Ok, so we know Barry will be playing, but, when? The ankle injury isn’t fully recovered. So they’ll be a major change in midfield part way through the group stages. Until Barry enters the fray it’ll be the Lampard and Gerrard show. A partnership that no other manager has made work: they are just incompatible. Or are they. Gareth Southgate mentioned on the post match chat on the BBC that it’s just down to brains. If one has made an attacking run around the opponents penalty area the other should sit back, and vice versa. What has happened previously, viz, during the doomed Euro 2004 attempt for example, is that they both play an attacking role creating weakness in midfield. Time will tell. Most likely as soon as Barry returns Gerrard will be going back out on the left.

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