There were a couple of shocks in the England squad Fabio Capello named for the World Cup qualifiers and there’s no room for Newcastle captain Michael Owen, while Fulham midfielder Jimmy Bullard is included for the first time.
Michael Owen – omitted from England squad
Bullard has played well for Fulham and it’s not really a surprise for Jimmy, and we think it’s a well deserved call-up and he wouldn’t be a bad player for Newcastle either, but this will now raise his transfer price.
We’re surprised that Michael Owen didn’t make the squad, although it could be that Capello considers him not match fit at the moment.
The 29 year-old Bullard has had an excellent start to the season, and Capello has proved again he will pick the men in form, and that’s not a bad strategy for an England manager, and different to that of former unsuccessful manager Steve McLaren.
Capello was at the Emirates Stadium yesterday, when Newcastle were taken apart by Arsenal, and it was a difficult game for Michael, because Newcastle were not often on the attack, although Michael could still have had a couple of goals.
Capello had given a hint that Owen may not be selected earlier in the week.
“Owen is a good player and always scores a lot of goals for England,” “But he has not played and at this moment, we need fit players.”
We think there’s not much need for concern for Michael because if he keeps playing for Newcastle the way he has been recently it will be very difficult for Capello to leave him out of future England squads, and we’re sure Owen will take this as a challenge, because he’s never taken anything for granted in football, to his credit.
Capello has kept the four strikers from the squad that earned only mixed reviews at best, for their performance in the draw against the Czech Republic at Wembley on August 20. We didn’t think England looked too good in that game and were rather lucky to get the draw.
With Manchester City keeper Joe Hart back to England Under-21 duty, and Jonathan Woodgate injured, Robert Green and Joleon Lescott have been recalled, and we must say Green has earned his inclusion, with some great displays for West Ham United.
The England squad to play Andorra and Croatia:
Robinson (Blackburn), James (Portsmouth), Green (West Ham); Lescott (Everton), Bridge (Chelsea), A Cole (Chelsea), Terry (Chelsea), Brown (Manchester United), Ferdinand (Manchester United), Johnson (Portsmouth), Upson (West Ham); Barry (Aston Villa), J Cole (Chelsea), Lampard (Chelsea), Bullard (Fulham), Beckham (Los Angeles Galaxy), Downing (Middlesbrough), Bentley (Tottenham), Jenas (Tottenham); Walcott (Arsenal), Rooney (Manchester United), Defoe (Portsmouth), Heskey (Wigan).