Fabio Capello has picked his England squad for the upcoming qualifiers against the super-powers that are Andorra and Croatia, and the Italian has produced a couple of surprises. It had appeared that the latest man to solve ‘The English Problem’ was reverting back to the ways of his predecessor, making John Terry the permanent captain and restoring the brand that is David Beckham to the squad. However, he’s been pretty ruthless as far as this player is concerned.
The BBC report that Michael Owen has been left out of the 23-man squad for the two World Cup qualifiers, which will be a massive blow to a man who played 89 internationals for England, scoring 40 goals. While it doesn’t necessarily represent the end of the road for the Newcastle striker, he might be puzzled to note some of the players that have been selected ahead of him.
Fulham midfielder Jimmy Bullard has been included in the England squad for the first time for the World Cup qualifiers away to Andorra and Croatia.
The 29-year-old gets his chance with Steven Gerrard, Owen Hargreaves and Michael Carrick all out injured.
Newcastle striker Michael Owen and Jonathan Woodgate of Spurs miss out, along with Portsmouth’s Peter Crouch.
England squad to play Andorra and Croatia:
Robinson (Blackburn), James (Portsmouth), Green (West Ham); Lescott (Everton), Bridge (Chelsea), A Cole (Chelsea), Terry (Chelsea), Brown (Manchester United), Ferdinand (Manchester United), Johnson (Portsmouth), Upson (West Ham); Barry (Aston Villa), J Cole (Chelsea), Lampard (Chelsea), Bullard (Fulham), Beckham (Los Angeles Galaxy), Downing (Middlesbrough), Bentley (Tottenham), Jenas (Tottenham); Walcott (Arsenal), Rooney (Manchester United), Defoe (Portsmouth), Heskey (Wigan).
While Bullard almost certainly deserves his place in the 23, it’s questionable as to whether Theo Walcott should have been included, a winger / forward who remains on the fringes of the Arsenal first team. Many will also argue that Woodgate is more deserving of a place than Upson, while Peter Crouch has always been a reliable servant for England.
What’s your take on the 23-man squad that Capello has picked? Was the Italian right not to pick Michael Owen?