Twenty “Three Lions” Headed To South Africa

Gareth Barry passes the fitness test and here are Fabio Capello’s twenty-two other selections for World Cup 2010.

Gareth Barry

More fit than thought?

Robert Green, Joe Hart, David James

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

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

Peter Crouch, Jermain Defoe, Emile Heskey, Wayne Rooney


• No Theo Walcott who appears to lose out to the experience of Shaun Wright-Phillips. Few would have predicted that earlier this year.

• Tom Huddlestone and Scott Parker’s departure from the 30-man suggest that Gareth Barry is progressing well. Michael Carrick is the only “true” cover for Barry. Both Huddlestone and Parker are just too slow for the international game.

• No Adam Johnson. With Lampard, Gerrard, and Milner able to play on the left-t0-mid flank it suggests England’s formation will look very similar to the how the States lined up on Saturday. *Joe Cole, will be Dempsey-like (and perhaps more dangerous) in-cutting from that left side if he gets the shot. Milner is a lefty.

• Ledley King is that good.  Warnock proves steady and Leighton Baines ripped up his ticket against Mexico. Jamie Carragher was not coming out of retirement to get cut.

• There is no truth to the rumor that Capello hastily tried to nationalize Manuel Almunia before naming his keepers. (Kidding)

31 responses to this post.

  1. Joe Cole is in the 23.


    • Posted by matthewsf on 2010/06/01 at 8:43 AM

      I am slipping…precipitiously.


      • Posted by sfshwebb on 2010/06/01 at 8:47 AM

        Surprisingly, the major problem area for England was keeping but I thought all three keepers played very well in the two friendlies. I actually have no idea who you choose for June 12th. Robert Green had an excellent half against Mexico. David James played very well and was not at all at fault for the Japanese goal and I thought Joe Hart was very good in the two times he had a chance to prove.


    • Posted by GeorgeCross on 2010/06/01 at 8:59 AM

      I am very happy about Joe Cole’s inclusion. Not sure he will start, but he will probably be the first offensive substitution made, if a game is tight.

      I was *gutted* that SWP was even in the 30 over Young or Downing. And I fell over when I saw he was in the 23.

      My only other incorrect pick was Warnock over Baines – but I guess when Baines did a Bornstein against Mexico, that sealed his fate.

      Shaun: I think Green was the only keeper who actually excelled. Hart and James weren’t really tested (if you think about their contribution, it was really bread and butter stuff).


      • Posted by kaya on 2010/06/01 at 1:40 PM

        I didn’t get to watch the england/japan game (st00pid espn3 didn’t have it), but I thought Green’s stops were overhyped in the game against Mexico. My memory has rapidly faded of that game, but I thought Mexico shot more or less straight at Green and having the impression that Hart’s positioning looked better regardless of the better defense in the 2nd half.
        I like Walcott, too bad, but I can see why he lost his ticket.
        I’m looking forward to seeing how the 3 kittehs shape up!


        • Posted by GeorgeCross on 2010/06/01 at 2:08 PM

          He made them look easy because his positioning was good, cut the angle down, and didn’t go to ground too easily. I do rate Hart, and he will definitely be there or there abouts for Euro’12.

          I still think Walcott would be a better impact sub that SWP. And I am still in shock! And I’ve spent a bloody fortune SMSing mates at home…


  2. England’s biggest worry has to be the fitness of Gareth Barry. To me his inclusion is more about the lack of a suitable back-up than his fitness. I would think there’s a good chance that he’s not starting the first couple matches but Capello knows he’ll need him to stand a chance in the knockout rounds. Holding him back until the final group stage game gives him a couple of extra weeks.


    • Posted by GeorgeCross on 2010/06/01 at 9:05 AM

      I have to agree wholeheartedly with this statement. Capello has clearly made an exception to his “fitness” rule to include Barry, but his injury must mean that he is almost there.
      With respect, I think England should be OK in the group stage, but against a team with a world class (true) False Nine, we might struggle.


      • Posted by matthewsf on 2010/06/01 at 9:24 AM

        Welcome to our past Saturday George.


        • Posted by GeorgeCross on 2010/06/01 at 9:36 AM

          I am sort of glad that Beckham is injured, as he probably would have made the 23. That means that even less pace from the bench…


    George wrote this and I’m taking the liberty of moving it here:

    “No – my 23 was the same except Walcott vs. SWP and Baines vs. Warnock.

    I cannot believe it Tuesday. Seriously. I can understand Lennon getting the nod over Walcott to *start*. But I cannot fathom SWP taking Walcott’s place in the 23. I know I am biased towards Walcott, but I still believe he is “one pass away” from being unplayable for 90 minutes (meaning you can double up on him etc. but he *will* *create* *something* during the course of the game). Even Adam Johnson would have been a better inclusion for me. All I can say is that Capello and his coaching staff have had them at close quarters for 2 weeks so they have obviously seen something.

    On form, I probably would have started with Lennon. But I am gobsmacked – not necessarily because of Walcott’s exclusion, but because of SWP inclusion. I hope I am so wrong!”

    I’m a little bit shocked myself. I suspect Capello had seen enough when Japan did as I suggested and simply dropped off him and let him receive the ball and run at them with it. Time and again he gave the ball away. He’s simply not good running with the ball, is dispossessed way too easily and doesn’t have a consistent final ball. That’s 3 strikes.

    The thing about SWP is he’s genuinely two-footed and can play either flank as a true winger. This gives Capello tactical options. Walcott really only offers one thing, which is entirely duplicated by Lennon, who offers similar speed but is a much more complete player, especially if he’s returning to form. That said, I think Boca will be better able to deal with Lennon’s footballing over Walcott’s simple running with speed.


    • Posted by GeorgeCross on 2010/06/01 at 9:16 AM

      Thanks for moving my comment!

      The thing with Walcott is he gets into the position – I feel it’s his final ball that needs to improve. I also concede that perhaps decision making, in terms of being selfish could be better (confidence).

      As for SWP, I feel that he is more of a one-trick pony than Walcott. Walcott’s weakness of not being confident enough and passing when he should go it alone, is the mirror image of SWP’s – he goes it alone rather than passing! How many times over the past 2 seasons have you seen SWP’s try to shoot and see the defender just step-up and get a block in? Like i said, even Adam Johnson would have been a better inclusion for me – especially if you’re talking about tactical flexibility.

      I pray that Lennon doesn’t get injured.


  4. In that vein of thought, the American Outlaws need to requisition the Joe Cole song for Clint Dempsey:
    “He’s here, he’s there, Yanks aren’t allowed to swear, DEMPSEY! DEMPSEY!”


  5. Posted by matthewsf on 2010/06/01 at 9:22 AM


    I harken back to 2006 when Rooney wasn’t yet at his fittest or finest and England had two plans of attack.

    Give to Lennon.
    Beckham over the top to Crouch to distribute.

    I am certainly surprised not to see Walcott on here, but I agree on SWP … he does have those two quick moves that get him loose once a game..maybe that is what Capello’s banking on.

    Getting back to 2006, I think England is–rightfully/wrongfully–pining with someone world class “something” – Walcott has that on pace, but that’s about it. I think you’ll see England create more collective chances this time around.

    However even is versatility was the SWP selection, wouldn’t you rather have taken Ashley Young, put him on the left side if there was a Lennon injury and then flipped Cole or other over to the right?

    Both with the States and the Lions, I wish we got to witness practice (foreboding a forthcoming column).


    • Posted by GeorgeCross on 2010/06/01 at 9:29 AM

      I honestly think that SWP is a good EPL player, but I have always said that he gets more attention because of who his old man is. The fact that Chelsea bought him from City (GBP.25M) and sold him back at a loss (GBP. 9M), says it all…

      Once my heart beat gets back to it’s resting rate, I will stop bitching and get behind the whole squad and support each and every one of them.


  6. I think it came down to Capello deciding to take a flyer on the unfit Barry over the one-dimensionally Walcott. SWP for Lennon is like for like, even with the step down in quality. I doubt we’ll see SWP feature much at all.


  7. Posted by dude on 2010/06/01 at 10:11 AM

    Quite happy that he went with Shaun Wright Phillips over Walcott, pretty sure he’s a better matchup for Boca in terms of speed. Of course, Lennon will be tough if he plays over there, but what the heck. I look at this lineup and I see possibilities.

    ps. we might be screwed if King starts, because Terry-Ferdinand looks vulnerable, and King is in scary form.


  8. Posted by Colin on 2010/06/01 at 10:31 AM

    It may be because I like Chelsea and City to a degree, but I have always been quite fond of SWP.

    Really, all I want to see is a Peter Crouch goal assisted by SWP at some point in the world cup and the ensuing hug…to see if the cameraman can get them both in the same shot….Or to see how they cram “WRIGHT-PHILLIPS” onto the back of the smallest shirt on the pitch.


  9. Posted by Colin on 2010/06/01 at 11:10 AM

    This sorta has to do with the England squad…so I will put it here:

    saw that when I was home for lunch today….its from Thomas Paine’s “The American Crisis”. It was read to the Continental Army just a few days before US victory at the Battle of Trenton (the one after Washington crossed the Delaware River on Christmas)

    Coincidentally, the commercial went live just a few days before the US victory at the Rumble in Rustenburg.


  10. DIE Rossi doesn’t make Italy team, won’t be eligible for their roster until he hits the mid 30s…


  11. Posted by Stu on 2010/06/11 at 8:27 AM


    In the Rumble At Rustenburg sidebar image you have the British flag pictured. England use the St Georges Cross. I understand it’s confusing because for years English fans for some reason carried Union Jacks and still sing the UK anthem rather than get their own anthem (something that is very annoying for everyone in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland) – however it’s still the wrong flag completely.

    Nice blog though!


    • Posted by matthewsf on 2010/06/11 at 8:31 AM

      Thanks Stu — we know — we’ll have a good image shortly for our preview.

      Apologies, don’t mean to offend.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 257 other followers

%d bloggers like this: