Earlier this week Fabio Capello picked his England team for the friendly on Saturday against Slovakia at Wembley and the World Cup Qualifier against Ukraine on Wednesday, again at Wembley. The team basically picked itself, Ashley Young and Gabby Agbonlahor of Aston Villa were take out after their exclusion in the Spain friendly, most possibly because of their poor form in the Premier League. Ben Foster’s penalty shoot-out heroics in the Carling Cup final have given him the opportunity to show the Italian what he’s made of even if he doesn’t get any game time. Steven Gerrard and Wayne Rooney are back, having not played since the last World Cup Qualifier in Belarus when Rooney scored 2 and Gerrard scored 1.

The most interesting choice was the shock pick of Ledley King, Tottenham’s injury hampered centre back. Due to King’s chronic knee problem he’s unable to play more than one game a week and he also has to limit his training. His appearances are basically rationed for Spurs and when Harry Redknapp spoke of his disapproval in seeing King being picked for England saying “I’d love to see him play for England. But he simply cannot play two games in a week…I had the Spurs physios on the phone, panicking, when Ledley was picked for the England squad”. The England physios then looked at King’s knee, which apparently swells up to 3 times it’s normal size after a match, and advised Capello to withdraw Ledley from the squad which he duly did.

This will no doubt be a great dent in King’s morale which must have been hard to build up over the course of the last few years due to his injury problems but hopefully he can overcome these problems and play for England again, the Spurs manager added “I don’t want Ledley to retire from international football but him playing next week wouldn’t have helped him at all.” England currently lie 1st in World Cup Qualifying Group 6 with 4 wins out of 4 games and are 5 points clear of 2nd placed Croatia, who’ve also played 4 games. A win on Wednesday would almost certainly see England assured of at least a runners-up place.


Leave a Reply