Fabio Capello’s preliminary squad has been announced and we’re almost ready for the World Cup to kick off. England start thier campaign against USA on 12th June, bt here’s a look at 10 of the best players who definately won’t figure for England in South Africa.
The Blackburn ’keeper kept four clean sheets in five appearances at the 2006 World Cup but has been largely overlooked by England since. Robinson has produced some of the form which saw him collect 41 caps for England this season and has interestingly kept more clean sheets than any other English goalkeeper in the Premier League With Robert Green experiencing a difficult season at West Ham and David James having a reputation for the occasional costly mistake Capello could regret ignoring the calls to include Robinson in his squad should England be knocked out as a result of goalkeeping blunder.
9 – Carlton Cole – Hoped to join team-mates Upson and Green
A Regular in Fabio Capello’s side following his debut against Spain in February in 2009 and selected against Egypt in March, Cole will have believed he had a real chance of being on the plane to South Africa this summer after 10 goals in 30 games for the struggling Hammers this season in the Premier League and could have challenged Peter Crouch and Emile Heskey for the role of the ‘big man’ along side Wayne Rooney.
8 – Gabriel Agbonlahor – Disappointed to miss out
The Villa forward bagged 13 goals last season as Martin O’Neil’s side qualified for the Europa League and collected three caps to his name under the Italian but like teammate’s Ashley Young and Steward Downing failed to make the 30 man preliminary squad. Agbonlahor’s pace and finishing could have caused problems from the bench, a role which will most likely be filled by Jermain Defoe in South Africa. At just 23 years of age, Agbonlahor could hit his peak form for Villa in time to play a starring role at the 2012 European Championships in Poland and Ukraine.
7 – Phil Jagielka – Miserable Year for Jags
Over 12 months since his last England appearance. Jags missed the majority of the 2009/10 through a cruciate ligament injury which also saw the Everton centre-half miss the FA Cup Final last May. Returning to the Everton side in February making 11 starts but was unable to make the squad to face Egypt in March. Jamie Carragher’s international return could have cost Jagielka a place in the 30 man squad. Similar to Carragher, the versatile Everton defender can play across the back four, in midfield, and in emergency even in goal.
6 – Michael Owen – Never Capello’s man
A respectable 9 goals in 31 appearances for Manchester United in all competitions this season but only 3 of those came in the Premier League, after a season spent mostly as a substitute for Alex Ferguson’s side a call up under Capello was always unlikely. Injury in the League Cup final ended Owen’s season and with it any chance of making the World Cup. With a record of 40 goals in 89 England appearances his inability to play alongside Rooney and the impressive form of Jermaine Defoe at International level, along with his poor injury record would have prevented him being selected by the Italian this summer if fit.
5 – Ashley Young – Overshadowed at Villa
A key player in the Aston Villa side Young has 6 international caps, five under the under current boss. Young played 36 games for the Villains this season bagging five goals and creating a further 10. The impressive form of teammate James Milner at both club and international level has over shadowed the flying winger who will be disappointed to be overlooked by Fabio. Young ticks all the boxes for a dangerous winger, quick, deadly in the final third and hard working but the Villa man failed to impress the Italian gaffer enough to select him this summer.
4 – Bobby Zamora – Zero to Hero at Fulham
Zamora was on his way to Hull City last August after Phil Brown’s side had a £5million bid accepted but wisely rejected the move in favor of Europa League football with Fulham. Nine months later and Zamora had ended the season with an incredible 21 goals (16 more than his debut season) as Fulham reached the Europa League final. Only injury denied him a place in Fabio’s 30. Unproven at International level, the 29 year old’s chance of a major tournament may have passed him by now.
3 – Wayne Bridge – Forced into international exile
Left out of the squad at his own call after the John Terry scandal. The Manchester City left back was all but guaranteed a place in the squad as cover for Ashley Cole. Bridge felt his place in the squad could cause friction and he would be unable to play alongside Terry. With Ashley Cole only just back to fitness, and a scare that Terry could have missed the finals, Bridge may regret the chance to play at a third World Cup. Leighton Baines, Stephen Warnock and Jamie Carragher can all provide the cover for Cole but Bridge’s absence could be beneficial to the squad looking to concentrate on on-field matters.
2 – Owen Hargreaves – Star of Germany 2006
The Manchester United midfielder has been plagued with injuries since United paid £17m to sign the midfielder from Bayern Munich. Hargreaves played a starring role in in 2006 in Germany and was an outside tip to be selected by Capello in the his 30 man preliminary squad. The call up never came and Hargreaves was denied a third World Cup. Instead the Italian selected Gareth Barry and Hargreaves club team mate Michael Carrick as England’s holding midfielder with speculation Ledley King could also fill the role.
1 – David Beckham – Denied fourth World Cup
Injury to the former England captain cruelly denied him a place on the plane to South Africa and a fourth straight World Cup. The injury was picked up when the Milan loanee tore his left achilles tendon ruling him out for up to six months during his team’s game against Chievo. With Aaron Lennon, Shaun Wright-Phillips, Theo Walcott and James Milner all able to fill Beckham’s place on the right. Sadly no one will give England the pin point accuracy from set pieces and crosses like ‘Golden Balls’ but Becks will still be with the squad for support this summer.