Tuesday, 1 June 2010

Heskey in, Walcott and Bent out. Capello makes his England selection

YOU need to go no further than this to break out in an anxiety rash after England named their World Cup 23 in London today: Emile Heskey IN, Theo Walcott OUT.

Fabio Capello, who lands with his men in Johannesburg on Thursday, made the remarkable decision to axe Arsenal’s lightning-fast winger Walcott along with Sunderland’s free-scoring Darren Bent (behind Heskey in the picture above), Manchester City winger Adam Johnson, Everton full-back Leighton Baines, West Ham’s finest Scott Parker and Spurs pair Tom Huddlestone and Michael Dawson.

He did find room for unsettled pair Shaun Wright-Phillips of Manchester City and Chelsea’s Joe Cole.

Gareth Barry is on the plane despite a troublesome ankle injury while Ledley King is in despite recurrent knee problems. Both are expected to miss games during the campaign.

West Ham goalkeeper Rob Green, included in the 23, said: “It’s great for Gareth Barry (almost certainly out of the opening game against the USA on June 12) but it’s a difficult choice to make. The manager had a tough task.” Capello himself was not available for comment... he may not be available until the side arrives in Rustenburg on Thursday.

Sir Geoff Hurst, who scored a hat-trick when England last won the World Cup way back in 1966, said: “We’ve got seven games, we have a good squad, a strong management, the spirit is terrific. We’ve qualified well. We’re quite capable. I’ll be quite disappointed if we don’t get to the semi-finals.”

Walcott is quoted as saying: “I respect the decision of Fabio Capello but I am very disappointed.”

My video from Polokwane last night is one of YouTube’s most popular of the day: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XjzwzNhaeTM

England's 23-man World Cup squad:

Keepers: Joe Hart, David James, Robert Green.

Defenders: Jamie Carragher, Ashley Cole, Rio Ferdinand, Glen Johnson, Ledley King, John Terry, Matthew Upson, Stephen Warnock.

Midfielders: Gareth Barry, Michael Carrick, Joe Cole, Steven Gerrard, Frank Lampard, Aaron Lennon, James Milner, Shaun Wright-Phillips.

Strikers: Peter Crouch, Jermain Defoe, Emile Heskey, Wayne Rooney.


  1. Surprised that you are surprised that Walcott was left out. He has had a very average season. No doubt he's lightning fast, but he's not the greatest crosser of a ball.
    Bent is a good example of a player who can't make the step up to international football.
    No matter what sqaud is selected, there will be differences of opinion. Isn't that what makes it so exciting ?

  2. He needs to be lightning quick, just so he can get on the end of his awful touch!

  3. Iwasthere...still like to see Bent unsettle sides like Algeria... he'd do a better job than Heskey. Yes, Lennon is ahead of Walcott and yes, Mark, he does have a poor touch at times, but remember how his pace unsettled Barca when he came on for Arsenal in the home leg of the Champions League tie this season. Bloody frightening!

  4. That's the game where Arsenal came back from 2-0 down wasn't it ? Trouble is that he didn't do it often enough during the season.
    Rooney and Heskey will be a better combination than Rooney and Bent