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Who will Capello bring next summer?

England begin Euro 2012 preparation

By | 11th October 2011

With England’s ticket to the 2012 European Championships now booked, Fabio Capello’s thoughts will be away from the colder temperature and focused on his 23 man squad selection for the tournament next summer.

The question of who to take, and who to leave out, always excites a media frenzy, with the age-old debates of club form, age, and experience brought out to trump up heroes or tear down villains.

With a new generation of English youth making their presence felt in this season’s Premier League to a great degree already, Capello will undoubtedly face a headache in picking just 23 players. Here, I give my personal selection, with reasoning for each player, in an effort to bring out the best in the Three Lions


Joe Hart, Manchester City, 24 (25 at Euro 2012)

The undoubted number one. The Manchester City stopper has taken the Premier League and the international stage by storm recently, and his FA Cup triumph with City has only inspired more confidence. The Shrewsbury Town product made the starting spot for England his own after the 2010 World Cup, and has not looked back. Could be a defining tournament for him.

Robert Green, West Ham, 31 (32 at Euro 2012)

Green’s England career looks destined to be defined by his traumatic World Cup opener gaffe against the USA, but the fact remains that he is the second-best keeper available for selection. Dempsey’s tame shot that somehow found the net killed his World Cup, and it looked as if Capello would never select him again. However, despite being relegated to the Championship with West Ham, Green has a deserved reputation for being a solid, conistent keeper, and is a solid deputy to Hart.

David Stockdale, Ipswich Town (on loan from Fulham), 26

One for the future. Whilst David James, Ben Foster, and Scott Carson are arguably more experienced, giving young Stockdale a chance to train and travel with the team will benefit him greatly in years to come. He has featured in squads recently, and looks set to take over from Mark Schwarzer at Craven Cottage sooner rather than later


Ashley Cole, Chelsea, 30 (31 at Euro 2012)

Still just 30, the Stepney-born left back has already amassed almost 100 senior caps for the national side, and is widely considered to be one of the premier left-sided fullbacks in the world. Whatever of his personal life, Cole has been a member of every England side that has qualified for a major tournament since the 2002 World Cup, and next summer should be no different.

John Terry, Chelsea, 30 (31 at Euro 2012)

Another mainstay of this generation, Terry has been a fantastic captain for Chelsea, and again holds the armband for England after losing it for almost a year during a scandal that saw him accused of an extra-marital affair. Terry has been one of Chelsea’s most consistent players in recent seasons, and is again turning in good performances so far this year. A likely starter in the centre of the pitch.

Phil Jones, Manchester United, 19 (20 at Euro 2012)

Perhaps the most meteoric rise in the national squad. The teenager was one of the lone bright spots for Blackburn Rovers last season, but even with the promise he showed then, few would have predicted how well his move to Old Trafford would have worked out. A genuine threat to Rio Ferdinand, at both club and country level, continued excellent domestic form for Jones could see him work his way into Capello’s starting eleven.

Leighton Baines, Everton, 26 (27 at Euro 2012)

If not for the presence of the magnificent Cole at left back, Baines would surely have many, many more caps to his name than the 5 he has earned thus far. Baines has been one of Everton’s most consistent players, with Bayern Munich and Arsenal continually linked with his services. A great all-around defender with a knack for set pieces, he could play a key role in Poland and Ukraine.

Chris Smalling, Manchester United, 21 (22 at Euro 2012)

With a story very similar to Jones, Smalling’s incredible form for Alex Ferguson’s side has seen him become a contender for a spot on the plane. He still has just 2 caps, but his ability to play right back, in which he has excelled for United, may seem him give Glen Johnson genuine competition for a starting spot. Will be given every chance to prove his worth.

Micah Richards, Manchester City, 23

Richards made his full England debut all the way back in 2006, and has since struggled for regular playing time, despite doing well at club level. With City now in the Champions League, Richards is playing against the best on a regular basis, and could provide cover for England at both right back and in the centre of defence. His versatility would likely see Glen Johnson left out, for me at least.

Gary Cahill, Bolton, 25 (26 at Euro 2012)

A prolonged period of impressive form for Bolton Wanderers saw the Sheffield native linked heavily with Arsenal, Spurs, and Chelsea, and the centre back looks likely to move from the Reebok in January. He scored a goal on his first competitive start for England, and is a great option for Capello.


Jack Wilshere, Arsenal, 19 (20)

The Arsenal wonder kid has been an absolute revelation for the Gunners, and has had an immediate impact on the England team as well. His injury problems this season mean he still has just 5 caps to his name, but a January return is on the cards and the deep-lying midfielder will be essential for any Arsenal success. Will play a crucial role both next summer and in the next ten years for his country.

Frank Lampard, Chelsea, 33 (34)

Potentially in his last major tournament with England, Lampard has been overlooked by Capello in recent matches, and regardless of what he does at Stamford Bridge, it looks as if he may have to settle for a spot on the bench to begin Euro 2012. But the former Hammer is a seasoned competitor, and can slot in deeper in the midfield, or in his preferred higher-up role. If not a starter, he definitely has enough quality to start on any given day.

Ashley Young, Manchester United, 26

Anyone who doubted Young’s talent during his time with Aston Villa has been forced to eat their words after his amazing start to his Manchester United career. Young has thrived at the higher level, capable of contributing in a side challenging for multiple trophies, and his England chances have been increased thanks to his good form for United. A terror on either wing, will play a big role in England’s tournament next summer.

Theo Walcott, Arsenal, 22 (23)

After his shock inclusion for the 2006 World Cup, Walcott was a surprise exclusion from the 2010 group that went to South Africa. Though he has had some publicized differences of opinion with the manager, Walcott’s searing pace, and ability to play both on the wing and through the middle, means he will likely see some action next summer, probably off the bench. Could be an impact substitute.

Scott Parker, Tottenham Hotspur, 30 (31)

It seems that Parker has only made the breakthrough for England recently, gaining 6 of his 9 caps in 2011. Despite impressing for doomed West Ham, a move to another Premier League side was essential for his England career, and fellow London side Tottenham look much improved with the energetic Parker patrolling the midfield. A potential partnership with Wilshere could have been a reality at another north London club, but it could well prove to work with England too.

Adam Johnson, Manchester City, 24

Though not featuring as much as he would like under Roberto Mancini, the former Middlesbrough star has shown glimpses of brilliance on the left wing, and it is my thinking that he just needs more of a chance for England. His 2 goals in 2 matches for England in the September round of qualifiers strengthened his claims, and he seems to have more talent and ability than Stewart Downing of Liverpool, and hence beats him out to a spot in the squad.

Steven Gerrard, Liverpool, 31 (32)

Another symbol of a generation who is likely in his last go-round for England. Gerrard has been a talisman for Liverpool and England over the years, but injuries have hampered him this season. His form upon return to full fitness for Liverpool will be crucial, but either way he should make the squad if healthy. Another great option, but one who has struggled to work well with players like Lampard.

Tom Cleverley, Manchester United, 22

Another of the young bunch from Old Trafford, Cleverley looks as if he may be the ideal replacement for Paul Scholes. His season-long loan to Wigan last season did him the world of good, and Cleverley looks set to gain his first cap for England in the very near future. Regular game time for United will be crucial though.


Wayne Rooney, Manchester United, 25 (26)

For now, all the focus on the controversial frontman will relate to his sending off against Montenegro, which will result in a ban of some sort. People have questioned if Capello is able to “trust” him, but his 28 goals for England at just 25 speak for themselves. Rooney is far and way the best striker England have got, and if they are to do well at Euro 2012 he will be the main goalscorer.

Danny Welbeck, Manchester United, 20 (21)

Here is yet another United starlet who has been thrown into contention for England due to his spectacular club form. It was rumoured that Ghana were pulling out all the stops to get him to play for the land of his parents, but his appearance against Montenegro has ended any thoughts of that, and he appears committed to England anyway. A second-half loan spell with Sunderland saw him mature greatly as a player, and now he routinely keeps Dimitar Berbatov, Javier Hernandez, and Michael Owen on the bench behind him. A potential breakout player.
Darren Bent, Aston Villa, 27 (28)

Although he has appeared just 11 times for England, he has notched 4 goals, and generally impressed. Although his club is not one of the giants of the Premier League, Bent can be consistently relied on to score 15 league goals and is good in the air. A physical presence that England need.

Daniel Sturridge, Chelsea, 22

Yet another example of how effective loan spells can be. Mired behind Drobga, Anelka, Torres, and Kalou last year, Sturridge went to Bolton on loan and promptly scored 8 times in 12 matches. This year, he has feature for Chelsea on a consistent basis. He has played and scored for England at every level up to U21, and it is about time he be given a chance at senior level.

Peter Crouch, Stoke City, 30 (31)

“Good for a big man” is often what you’ll get when Peter Crouch is brought up, and it is true that the well-travelled giant is far from Messi or David Villa technically. But Crouch has managed to score for England a stunning 22 times in 42 caps, better than a goal every other game, and with his stature is surely worth a spot based on niche talent alone.

Will Fabio Capello’s England squad for Euro 2012 look similar to the one picked by Andrew. What do YOU think about the picks above?


Reader Comments

The below views are those of our readers and do not reflect the opinions of Premiership Talk or its employees.
  1. both defoe and dawson almost made it for me, maybe dawson in front of richards

  2. Andy says:

    Think defoe should be in there, and walker, given their form already this season. As a biased spurs fan I would make a case for Lennon or Dawson as well, but unfortunately even I know they’ve been crap recently so don’t merit a place in the squad. agree about carrol, even tho he’s terrible, Capello will bow to the pressure and take him along

  3. Lion Heart says:

    England’s striking department is very weak, only Rooney is world class rest all are average players. Where is Andy Carroll, he is certainly going to Euros.

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