Does Capello Know What He's Doing?
The England manager, Fabio Capello has just announced his England squad as follows:
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).
The notable exception is Michael Owen, which begs the question; is this move just to show he’s boss? It seems Steve McClarenesque; McClaren dropped Beckham to show everyone that he was his own man, and look what happened to him!
Leaving Owen out is a ludicrous move; he is the most prolific England striker in recent memory, and even when he is not 100% fit he still manages to score where other, less efficient, forwards would make a hash of it. This may come back to bite Capello on the backside.
David Beckham keeps his place; this continuation seems odd as Beckham is well past his best, and by 2010 it is unlikely that his fitness will allow him to play a full and active role in the World Cup. It also stops youngsters, who could be playing and gaining experience for the tournament, coming through the ranks.
Emile Heskey is another questionable choice; he seems to be at his best for England when he is working in tandem with Michael Owen, and that scenario is obviously not going to happen. Heskey has had a good solid career and he is a reliable workhorse, but is he up to the standard England expects?
By picking this squad Capello has put his neck on the line, and if England crash and burn he will be the only one accountable.