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Capello’s World Cup selection highlights lack of depth

By | 3rd June 2010

The messy, rumor-driven way in which Fabio Capello’s final England squad was announced is perhaps typical of the current shambolic state of the FA.

Those glued to the TV or internet were hearing all sorts of rumors coming from various journalists, websites, and Twitter feeds about who was in and who was out.

It was a poor way for the news to emerge and everyone pretty much knew the names by the time the FA officially announced them at 4pm.

The omission of Walcott was the headline grabber, though he could hardly put up a strong case for inclusion after a poor twelve months.

However, I think the alarming thing about the selection is who is included rather than who isn’t. Walcott’s career has undoubtedly stood still since that magical night in Zagreb two years ago but has Shaun Wright-Phillips been any better? And has the Man City winger ever looked like turning in a performance like Walcott did in Croatia? I think not.

But Wright-Phillips isn’t alone in England’s sea of mediocrity. West Ham’s Matthew Upson has been included despite being consistently unconvincing at international level and, in my opinion, has only made the final cut because of the number of caps already under his belt. England’s World Cup 2010 betting suggests they will make the latter stages of the tournament, but could Upson really do a job against the likes of Brazil?

Michael Carrick is another who has had a poor year but is included on the proviso the he will somehow recapture his form of a few seasons ago. However, if his last performance is anything to go by we’d better hope Gareth Barry recovers in time.

The unluckiest drop out is Darren Bent. Despite bagging 24 goals last season he still missed out to Emile Heskey. However, Bent is a different kind of player to Heskey and so to see them as rivals for an England spot is unfair. Bent is much more like Rooney, although admittedly not as good. He is a goal-poacher rather than a selfless target man.

I would have liked to have seen Bent partnered with Heskey to see how he benefited from the Villa man’s donkey work. He then could have put up a convincing case to be included as Rooney’s deputy. The football betting odds wouldn’t have made Bent among the favorites to be top scorer, but he could still have popped up with some crucial goals.

I don’t mean to pour negativity over what should be an exciting time to be an England fan, but we better hope injuries don’t hit our first team. Capello’s fear about a dearth of English talent, which he spoke of three years ago, appears to have been realized and the backup players could struggle if called on.

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