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Widening the circle

1 Jun 10 | Re: Squad selection

Today Fabio Capello announced the final England squad for the World Cup. Poor old Tom Huddlestone and Michael Dawson never really had a chance I don’t think, but you can’t have absolutely everything. It’s a good squad. And I’m happy to see a bit more balance than usual among the teams represented.

I generally tend to think that players at the top clubs have an unfair advantage when it comes to getting picked for England. Not that, say, Nicky Butt or Wes Brown are bad footballers, but would they have had the same chances if they’d been playing as well for Fulham or Stoke? You can argue about that until the cows are on the plane home, but what is certain is that this time round only eleven of the squad are from the big four English teams, compared with thirteen under Sven, plus Beckham and Hargreaves who were both playing for giants of foreign leagues, which only left eight places for outsiders of whom three were goalies. One chance that could have gone to a deserving mid-table man was even handed to Theo Walcott, who apparently had done such a good job warming the bench for Arsenal that Sven decided he should do the same thing internationally.

So this time there are eleven from the top four (notably, none at all from Arsenal). Then there are nine from what you’d call second tier clubs - Man City, Villa and Liverpool - two from West Ham and good old David James from Championship side Portsmouth. That’s not exactly an eccentric selection, but it does show that Capello has at least taken the time to get himself Premiership Plus instead of making do with just the Champions League.

Forza Capello. Forza Bianchi. E forza Huddlestone, la prossima volta.

Posted by MR RUSHWORTH at 20:59

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