Fabio Capello makes some odd selection decisions.
England boss Fabio Capello has made Cardiff striker Jay Bothroyd one of four new additions to his squad for Wednesday’s friendly against France.
Also called up for the first time are Newcastle striker Andy Carroll, Jordan Henderson of Sunderland, and Manchester United defender Chris Smalling.
The quartet’s opportunity comes as part of a much-changed squad.
Carroll and Henderson had been widely tipped to feature, but the inclusion of Bothroyd and Smalling is a surprise.
Capello has made a total of nine changes to the squad initially announced for last month’s Euro 2012 qualifier against Montenegro.
Manchester City full-back Micah Richards, who has never previously featured under the Italian, is included alongside Arsenal duo Jack Wilshere and Kieran Gibbs.
Arguably the most notable omission is Kevin Davies, who could be forgiven for feeling hard done by after scoring twice in front of Capello for Bolton in their recent 4-2 win over Tottenham.
Liverpool duo Joe Cole and Glen Johnson are overlooked, although the latter has only just recovered from a groin injury.
The Cardiff striker, who has previously played for Coventry, Charlton and Wolves, and also had a short spell in Italy with Perugia, has scored 15 goals already this season.
A double at Scunthorpe on Saturday means Bothroyd, who is the first Cardiff City player to receive an England call-up in the club’s 111-year history, has now scored in seven consecutive games for the Bluebirds.
Even so, his case has undoubtedly been helped by the absence through injury of fellow strikers Wayne Rooney, Darren Bent, Jermain Defoe and Bobby Zamora.
England squad for the international friendly against France at Wembley on Wednesday, November 17:
Foster (Birmingham), Hart (Man City), Green (West Ham); Gibbs (Arsenal), Cole (Chelsea), Terry (Chelsea), Jagielka (Everton), Lescott (Man City), Richards (Man City), Ferdinand (Man Utd), Smalling (Man Utd); Walcott (Arsenal), Wilshere (Arsenal), Young (Aston Villa), Gerrard (Liverpool), Barry (Man City), Johnson (Man City), Milner (Man City), Henderson (Sunderland); Agbonlahor (Aston Villa), Bothroyd (Cardiff), Carroll (Newcastle), Crouch (Tottenham). (BBC Sport)
Bizarre. Whilst there is no doubting the fact that many England strikers are out with injury, can someone explain to me the wisdom in selecting Cardiff City striker Jay Bothroyd? If he were a youngster it may just about make sense, but we are talking about a player who is 28 years old and has never succeeded in the top tier of English football. If the rationale is that he is a player in form then it is surely worth noting that his goals are at Championship level and the jump up to an England friendly with France is quite some leap of faith.
If Capello goes on to then not select the former Arsenal man then what was the purpose of selecting him and given that he will surely not be selected for a competitive match what is the purpose of testing him in a Wembley friendly? Quite how Kevin Davies found himself axed makes little or no sense. The Bolton man was picked for the last match and has been in a rich run of form since, so why drop him?
The inclusion of the three other uncapped players makes far more sense but either way England will be fielding a rather soft attack when they take on the French on Wednesday.