Squad for South Africa contains a few surprises.
England coach Fabio Capello has made several surprise selections in his preliminary 30-man World Cup squad.
Uncapped duo Adam Johnson and Michael Dawson both feature along with Dawson’s Tottenham team-mate Tom Huddlestone.
Jamie Carragher comes out of international retirement, while fellow defender Ledley King and the injured Gareth Barry have also been picked.
Stephen Warnock, Scott Parker and Darren Bent are chosen, with the final 23-man squad to be announced by 1 June.
Under Fifa regulations, Capello is permitted to bring players into his 23-man squad who were not included in the preliminary party.
But that would be an unusual move, meaning the final party he takes to this summer’s finals in South Africa is likely to come from the one he has already named.
England play Mexico at Wembley on 24 May and Japan in Austria six days later as part of a pre-tournament training camp.
That will provide Capello with time to work with a much-changed squad and put the finishing touches to his preparations.
The Italian has included 23-year-old Joe Hart among his three goalkeepers after the Manchester City player enjoyed an outstanding season on loan at Birmingham.
Like Hart, left-backs Leighton Baines of Everton and Aston Villa’s Warnock have one senior cap to their names and are graduates of the England Under-21 side.
There was plenty of speculation over whether Chelsea midfielder Joe Cole would be selected but the 28-year-old has bounced back impressively from cruciate knee ligament damage and a poor run of form.
“I followed Joe Cole for a long time when he was injured and when he started to play he was not so good,” Capello admitted. “But now he’s fit and every game he has played with us he has always been good.”
Capello’s other wide options include fit-again Aaron Lennon of Tottenham, Arsenal’s Theo Walcott and Shaun Wright-Phillips of Manchester City.
He was reportedly set to omit Barry because of the ankle injury that will keep him out until the start of June but the Manchester City midfielder, who has won 20 of his 36 caps under Capello and played in eight of England’s 10 World Cup qualifiers, has been included and will have a fitness check on 24 May.
Capello revealed he tried to persuade Manchester United midfielder Paul Scholes to come out of international retirement, but failed.
“We tried to convince him to return but he said no, he’d prefer to stay with his family,” revealed the former Real Madrid and AC Milan manager.
There were rumours England might turn to Owen Hargreaves, the man Barry replaced in the team in September 2007, but a knee problem has restricted the Manchester United midfielder to only one minute of first-team football in 19 months.
Manchester City’s Johnson, Huddlestone, West Ham’s Parker and Villa’s James Milner are also rewarded for fine seasons.
“I met with Hargreaves twice in Manchester but he’s not fit to play and hasn’t played in 18 months,” said Capello. “I trusted him but the last decision was his. I hope he’ll be fit for the European Championship qualifiers in the autumn.”
Fulham’s Bobby Zamora and West Ham’s Carlton Cole both missed out on a striking berth, with Sunderland’s 25-goal frontman Bent, Peter Crouch and Jermain Defoe of Spurs joining Villa’s Emile Heskey and prolific Manchester United forward Wayne Rooney.
“Zamora was a really important player but we spoke with him and he has a big problem with his Achilles,” Capello added. “He said he can’t play because he can’t train every day.”
The World Cup runs from 11 June to 11 July and England open their Group C campaign against the United States in Rustenburg on 12 June before facing Algeria on 16 June and Slovenia on 23 June.
England’s 30-man provisional squad for the World Cup finals:
Goalkeepers: Joe Hart (Manchester City), David James (Portsmouth), Robert Green (West Ham).
Defenders: Leighton Baines (Everton), Jamie Carragher (Liverpool), Ashley Cole (Chelsea), Michael Dawson (Tottenham), 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), Tom Huddlestone (Tottenham), Adam Johnson (Manchester City), Frank Lampard (Chelsea), Aaron Lennon (Tottenham), James Milner (Aston Villa), Scott Parker (West Ham), Theo Walcott (Arsenal), Shaun Wright-Phillips (Manchester City).
Forwards: Darren Bent (Sunderland), Peter Crouch (Tottenham), Jermain Defoe (Tottenham), Emile Heskey (Aston Villa), Wayne Rooney (Manchester United). (BBC Sport)
Fabio Capello has pulled a few surprises with his 30 man squad and its good to see players rewarded for their efforts over a long hard season with inclusion in the provisional World Cup party.
Anyone you think should have been picked? I have to say I am happy to see Adam Johnson in the set up as he has looked excellent for Man City since his move from Middlesbrough and is the kind of unknown quantity who could do well in South Africa.
Also good to see Tottenham centre back pair Ledley King and Michael Dawson getting the nod. We all knew Jamie Carragher would be selected and that seems like a clever move by the England boss. More surprising maybe is the fact that Scott Parker made it, which is not to say he isn’t a quality midfielder, but its not as though he has had a great season, last term for instance he was in fabulous form, not so much in this relegation threatened campaign.
Other surprises include Stephen Warnock, Shaun Wright-Phillips and Joe Cole. However this is a 30 man set up so seven of these will not be heading to the World Cup anyway, but getting a nod from Capello will stand those seven in good stead for the European Championship qualifiers.
What do you think about the 30?