Capello has made several surprise choices in his preliminary 30-man World Cup squad. Seeing Carragher come out of retirement is a great shout, he’s always so consistent. Slightly more concerning is the inclusion of Ledley King who can’t play more than 1 game a week, and the injured Gareth Barry. It’s nice to see the uncapped duo of Adam Johnson and Michael Dawson.
His final World Cup squad of 23 is likely to come from these 30 men, and with England playing Mexico at Wembley on 24 May and Japan in Austria six days later as part of a pre-tournament training camp he’ll have plenty of chances to develop the team.
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” he revealed. 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. “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 surprsingly missed out on a spot, 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.”
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).