Some managers seem to have their “special” sort of player whose qualities only they seem to be able to understand, while the rest of the fan base questions what on Earth they are doing picking them. For England coach Fabio Capello, that man has to be Emile Heskey. After the World Cup, the Aston Villa striker graciously retired from international football, leaving most of the country wondering what he was doing there in the first place. Capello, however, doesn’t seem to take no for an answer, and has pleaded with him to return.

Thankfully (for most England fans), Heskey has declined, which shows that at least he has some sense. You would think Capello would be acting so desperate if all of England’s strikers were injured, but in fact it’s only Jermain Defoe that is on the injury list. Rooney, Crouch, Bent, Carlton Cole, Carrol – are all available and hoping for a chance, but the Italian specialist deems them so unworthy that he has to beg Heskey to come back.

It’s curious, though, that for his stature, Capello hasn’t been too successful in persuading players to come back. Heskey refused, Scholes refused, Carragher only accepted for the World Cup…and a number of players have retired before their time on his watch. His reputation really has taken a hit due to England’s failure this summer, and he’ll have to rebuild it the long and hard way. Sadly, he’ll have to do it without Emile Heskey.

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