FABIO CAPELLO produced a shocking England squad today – but provided clear leadership in a nation currently struggling to find a Prime Minister after a chaotic general election.
Capello rewarded SIX Tottenham players for their performances in qualifying for the Champions League for the first time this morning as he reeled off his 30 names. But he admits it will be “much more difficult” to trim the party to 23 on June 1.
Liverpool’s Jamie Carrager, who retired from international football in 2007 under former England boss Steve McClaren, is in and likely to add unexpectedly to his 34 caps.
Two uncapped players – former Middlesbrough winger Adam Johnson of Manchester City and Spurs centre-back Michael Dawson – both feature.
Ledley King, the Tottenham club captain who can play just once a week due to his knee problems, is also included, along with White Hart Lane midfielder Tom Huddlestone. Chelsea’s Joe Cole has sneaked in despite limited playing time at Chelsea but there is no room for veterans Garry Neville and Sol Campbell, despite impressive displays this season.
Injured Manchester City midfielder Gareth Barry joins the squad but West Ham’s Scott Parker is a surprise midfield selection if he doesn’t make it. Former Spurs striker Darren Bent, who scored 24 goals for lowly Sunderland, gets the nod with triple player of the season Wayne Rooney, Emile Heskey, Jermain Defoe and Peter Crouch up front.
Capello – known as Generalissimo for his iron-discipline – said: “It’s really important that some players put in the team understand the value of playing for England, as David Beckham did.
“I am happy with the 30. It’s not easy. It will be really difficult to decide the final 23. Every player is a really good player but I have to decide who will stay home.
“This is the really difficult time for me. If they are all playing well in training, it will be hard to send seven players home. The French manager is selecting 24, but I will select 30, because FIFA decided we have to do that.
“If we have injury, we don’t know. Wayne Rooney is good. I think he will be fit for next week when we start training.”
Goalkeepers: Joe Hart, David James, Robert Green.
Defenders: Leighton Baines, Jamie Carragher, Ashley Cole, Michael Dawson, Rio Ferdinand, Glen Johnson, Ledley King, John Terry, Matthew Upson, Stephen Warnock.
Midfielders: Gareth Barry, Michael Carrick, Joe Cole, , Tom Huddlestone, Adam Johnson, Frank Lampard, Aaron Lennon, James Milner, Scott Parker, Theo Walcott, Shaun Wright-Phillips.
Forwards: Darren Bent, Peter Crouch, Jermain Defoe, Emile Heskey, Wayne Rooney Steven Gerrard.