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Capello rewards Davies toil

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Phil McNulty | 18:13 UK time, Monday, 4 October 2010

Kevin Davies can forget Jamaica - that is unless he is planning a holiday in the Caribbean's "Land Of Wood and Water".

Bolton's 33-year-old striker, after finally giving up hope of an England career following years of long and honest toil in the Premier League, jokingly suggested recently that he might focus his international aspirations on Jamaica via his half-brother.

Davies has flirted with England's squad during his time at The Reebok, and just when he thought his chance had gone Fabio Capello has turned that flirtation into a full-on embrace with his most eye-catching selection for the Euro 2012 qualifier against Montenegro at Wembley.

It is just reward for a career spent at the sharp end of English's football's combat zone, when too often Davies' status as the symbol of Bolton's direct style under Sam Allardyce disguised much of his natural ability from the public eye.

Of course Capello is indulging in blatant short-termism with his choice of Davies, rightly preferring him to Newcastle United's Andy Carroll to fill the gap left vacant by the absence of Jermain Defoe, Bobby Zamora and Gabriel Agbonlahor through injury and Emile Heskey's refusal to come out of international retirement.

While all the post-World Cup debacle talk of youth and building for the future is admirable, Capello needs players who can fulfil a purpose now and he clearly believes the evergreen Davies fits the bill.

Even though his selection may raise eyebrows among those who have trained their sights on what they regard as the more robust elements of Davies' approach - to which many a bruised defender can painfully testify - it is a perfectly practical choice by Capello.

Snobbery may cause some to be sniffy about his place in the squad, but if Heskey was celebrated by a succession of England coaches for his ability to aid the cause by holding the ball up, keeping defenders occupied by being a bit of a nuisance and chipping in with the occasional (make that very, very occasional) goal, then Davies is surely right up Capello's street.



Davies said in August that he had given up hope of earning an England call-up. Photograph: Getty

Davies is unlikely to be in the starting line-up, but as a fallback option he will provide Capello with muscle, guile, game experience and street wisdom should Montenegro prove durable opponents to break down. This is where his selection makes perfect sense.

One thing is certain, should Montenegro do some swift swatting up Davies via the odd dvd or two, they will know their Wembley experience will not be a comfortable one should he become involved in proceedings.

There is so much more than muscle to Davies, there is talent too. Whether this transmits itself comfortably to the England stage remains to be seen, but he should not feel out of place joining up with the squad.

And by picking Davies and ignoring Carroll's claims, Capello has made it clear he will not indulge flavours of the month in favour of the more pragmatic selection. As we have said before, the Italian makes his choices based on today not tomorrow.

Darren Bent appears to have won over Capello with his outstanding form for Sunderland and his first international goal in Switzerland. He has been talked up as an important figure in England's future, so he will hope to get the nod to start alongside Wayne Rooney, if he is fit.

Capello's squad contains plenty of intrigue elsewhere, not least with the recall of central defensive duo Rio Ferdinand and John Terry after injury. This presents a twim dilemma.

Everton's Phil Jagielka was a towering figure in the victories against Bulgaria at Wembley and in Switzerland. He has done all he could to be retained and Capello has made a point of singling him out more than once.

Jagielka should keep his place, meaning one of the old guard must miss out. Which brings us neatly on to the subject of whether Ferdinand will reclaim the captain's armband from Steven Gerrard.

In my opinion, as I stated after the win in Basle, Gerrard must stay as captain after impressing everybody on and off the field as a leader and spokesman.

Liverpool's appalling start to the season should not impact on Capello's choice. Ferdinand has yet to prove he can stay fit for the long haul and, as with Jagielka, the man who has done the job so well should stay in place.

If it is good enough for Sir Alex Ferguson to take the honour off Ferdinand at Manchester United because of his dubious fitness record, then surely it is good enough for Capello and England.

Joe Cole, and I am an ardent admirer of Liverpool's midfielder, can count himself hugely fortunate to win a recall having produced little worthy of merit since leaving Chelsea for Anfield.

West Ham goalkeeper Robert Green's rehabilitation after his World Cup blunder against the United States in Rustenburg continues with his recall, while Jack Wilshere's growing maturity is underlined by Capello including him in the full squad, even though he is also in England's party for the Under-21 Championship play-off first leg against Romania at Norwich on Friday.

Adam Johnson's form, despite Manchester City boss Roberto Mancini's alleged reservations about his lifestyle off the pitch, deserves to get him the vote to play with Theo Walcott injured and James Milner suspended.

Capello has options for the flanks with Aaron Lennon recalled and Joe Cole also able to fill in on the left. Shaun Wright-Phillips is again fortuitously selected, so he may figure also.

And the one thing these wide players, who also include Aston Villa's Ashley Young, know is that if they can deliver quality supply into the area, in the veteran Davies they have man who is more than capable of capitalising on it.

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Comments

Page 1 of 3

  • Comment number 1.

    I can't really argue with the selections, as there's no-one else out there who should be playing. However, they are as clear a sign as is possible of the lack of quality players available for selection. Decent as Bent and Davies are, should Rooney and A. Cole fall under a bus then our forwards, wide players and full backs looks second rate. Who in those positions would get near the Barcelona squad?

  • Comment number 2.

    We need to be preparing a squad for Euro 2012 and World Cup 2014. How does picking a player who is 33 working towards either of the next two major tournaments?

    International football comes round every two years. Considering how we threw in the towel this year, we need to start working towards the next tournament right now.


    Picking short-term squads is rather pointless?


    We need to start investing in the youth of out country, but that wont be ready for 2012, however, neither will Davies. All Capello can do is to work towards 2012, and this squad is not doing that.

  • Comment number 3.

    This whole article doesn't make a lick of sense, much like Capello's selection of both Kevin Davies and Shaun Wright-Phillips. You endorse Capello's short-termism, ignoring the obvious fact you'll be the first one to criticse his lack of forward planning in a year/two year's time.

    The biggest problem with Capello is that he's a big club snob - hence Wilshere being fast-tracked (and I'm an Arsenal fan); if he'd been at Wigan he'd have to wait until he's at least 23 to get in. This is why Andy Carroll hasn't been selected: 1) Capello over-trusts players in their 30s and seems unwilling to give younger players a go; 2) He's at Newcastle.

    These two points can be seen in Capello's insistence that 26 year old Darren Bent is one for the future. Bent would be a starter for Fabio if he were either 31 or at Man Utd. And that, however way you look at it, is wrong.

    Kevin Davies will give you little more against Montenegro than Andy Carroll would; the difference is, Carroll has another 12 years in the game and can develop into an even better player.

    We have a serious problem with our national team in that we only give youngsters a chance when there's a dearth of other options - the classic being Ashley Cole's elevation as a youngster. It's ridiculous how long Joe Hart had to wait to get his chance, Jagielka too.

    To my mind, although I don't think youngsters should be chucked into the team straight away, I don't see why we don't have an under-30s (minus keeper) policy when it comes to the bench. That way, if a game's going the wrong way, someone's injured or is simply fatigued, there's a guarantee that whoever comes on has the potential to play in the future for England. That's not true of 33 year old Kevin Davies.

  • Comment number 4.

    Wow, pretty much agree with everything you said. Never expected that!

  • Comment number 5.

    Whilst I am 100% behind the England team, I cannot fathom why Capello has left Michael Owen out of this squad. He is United's second top scorer this term and I would still prefer him 1 on 1 than any other English striker.

    I am also confused as to why Lennon and Cole have been recalled as although I may have picked them, they have been poor at best since the last England game and why does Capello now decide they have done enough to get in?

  • Comment number 6.

    To The Professor...you state Capello is a "a big club snob" and then criticise his selection of Bolton Wanderers striker Kevin Davies. Not sure that matches up with your argument.

  • Comment number 7.

    Has he called up Benson and Hedges also?

    Well I'm sure he will prove us wrong and be our best player in the next major tournament....yeah likely!

  • Comment number 8.

    @ The Professor

    I agree with most of your post and it made me laugh as well whether you intended it or not. But your point about Bent being picked if he was at United is one that grates. If he was at United he'd be a much better player than he is.

    Personally I really rate him and wouldn't mind seeing him in a United shirt though to be honest so you might as well just disregard this as I'm just contradicting myself.

  • Comment number 9.

    Let the Pessimism begin

  • Comment number 10.

    A good blog Phil.

    The only arguments that people seem to have against Kevin Davies' inclusion are his age and his disciplinary record.

    Age, I'll take that point- but should Capello be looking beyond 2012 at this point? This is qualifying for the 2012 Euros. We can all be idealistic and say we'd like to integrate the young players asap but if they are not ready, they are not ready.

    Andy Carroll has had a couple of good games. Nothing more yet. I like him and the potential is there, but he has a lot to work on to become Kevin Davies class at holding the ball up. He has also had a bust up with Pearce- not to mention several bust up's with Newcastle teammates. Maybe he needs to get his head down, get a couple of seasons under his belt at Newcastle, prove he can cut it at Premier League level- then he can be seriously discussed.

    Kevin Davies is one of the best target men in the country- outside the world class ala Drogba, Adebayor, Berbatov. The only weakness in his game is pace- but his game doesn't rely on pace. Thus why I'm positive at 35 during Euro 2012 he'll still be able to cut the mustard if needed.

    The point about his disciplinary record- and being too dirty for the international scene is ridiculous- did you all watch the World Cup final!?

    The fouls and yellow's he picks up are all around the opposition box.

    He has one red in his Bolton career. He clearly isn't dirty.

    The fouls he wins(as the MOST FOULED Premier League player 4 out of the last 5 years) are all around the opposition box and would give us the opportunity to score from free-kicks.

    The positives out weight the negatives and the romance of the 100% pro and hard worker finally getting his deserved England cap would be a great story.

  • Comment number 11.

    Phil..

    The way you are backing Capello and more admirably, Davies is kind, but come on. Seriously? You along with most other journalists after the World Cup were calling for youth to be readied for the future. Yet now, you're openly supporting the inclusion of a man (albeit in good form) who is 33 years old and taking up the space of a younger player such as Carroll or Sturridge, who would both benefit far more from the exposure that playing with England would bring! It's silly really. I'm aware that you're merely commenting and analysing a decision already made and over which you have no control, but pick a side. Are you of the opinion that we need to integrate the youth players like Germany will be, or that picking players well past their best just for a game or two is better than blooding and preparing our future stars.

    I'll end with a quote from a journalist in the aftermath of the World Cup...

    "The cry for England's youth to be given its chance is inevitable and understandable.." - Phil McNulty.

    How understandable can it be, when you champion it's antithesis.

  • Comment number 12.

    I think Kevin Davies has earned his call-up, just whether or not he will actually come on is another matter. He has played far better than Andy Carroll, and Carroll will definitely get his chance in the future. He didn't even start for Newcastle at the weekend, which shows he still has some way to go to make it into the England squad.

    I still have no idea why Wright-Phillips has been selected. He was woeful as a sub last time out for England. Why not pick Downing instead? At least plays regularly and consistently in the Premier League.

  • Comment number 13.

    While I applaud Capello's decision to pick Davies, I have to question an apparent contradiction in this article compared to your post-World Cup comments;

    "Capello gave a hint to his future thinking and who might now be allowed to bring fresh blood to this stale and ageing England squad, that looked jaded in a desperate World Cup campaign."

    If you believed the England squad to be "stale and ageing" in July, how can the inclusion of a 33 year old over that of the 21 year old Andy Carroll be seen as the correct decision?

    If your answer focuses on the "short termism" of the decision I would still be confused, we're playing Montenegro at home - not Spain away - if you can't stick youngsters on the bench, out of necessity, for games like this, when can you?

    Also, with regards to Jagielka, I hope Capello can overcome his "twim dilemma", they really are the worst kind.

  • Comment number 14.

    Yeah right.

  • Comment number 15.

    Sorry, but I can't agree with the selection of Kevin Davies, or Shaun Wright-Phillips (although it's hard to find a backer of SWP to argue with). Kevin Davies is marginally more useful than Carroll right now, but the future must be accounted for, and if we picked Carroll in the squad ahead of Davies then failed to beat Montenegro, that would be very unlikely to be the decisive factor.
    And as for Shaun Wright-Phillips, what is the point of picking him? He's useless now, and he will always be useless. It's hard to name superior alternatives, so spoilt for choice am I. Even Wayne Routledge would be a better selection. Hopefully Capello will deploy Johnson on the right and Young on the left, and let both wingers cut inside when it suits them.
    Defensively, I agree with retaining Jagielka, and Gerrard seems a solid choice as captain. I'd like to see Ferdinand picked ahead of Terry, to give us a quick centre-back pairing. It's also nice to see an England squad that excludes the hapless Matthew Upson, although a right-back to put pressure on Glen Johnson would be nice. Isn't Micah Richards still fit?

  • Comment number 16.

    Capello needs to resign right now for even considering bringing Heskey out of retirement. It's clear that absolutely no lessons have been learnt from the World Cup. For all the talk of blooding a new generation to look back to Heskey is a ridiculous decision. Davies deserved a chance a while ago but at 33 his time has probably been and gone. Watch Terry and Ferdinand waltz back into central defence. Absolute joke.

  • Comment number 17.

    It'd be great to finally see Super Kev pull on an England shirt. Let's be honest he deserved a call-up a few years back when he was at his best but it didn't happen.
    I think what Capello is looking at here is a replacement for Heskey (personally I rate Davies higher than him but as a Wanderers fan I may be biased) and the physical presence and talents of Davies hit the spot. I also think he'd play well with Rooney. If things don't go to plan against Montenegro he'll be great to pull out of the bag to really have an effect on the game.
    Great choice, regardless of age or reputation and he'll give 100% if he gets to pull on that England shirt.

  • Comment number 18.

    As Steve McLaren proved, if you don't qualify for major competitions you can't shine at them. Admittedly you can't flop either but I think most of us (England fans) would like England to at least be at the party. If that means occasionally picking a few players who won't be playing in the finals due to injuries etc. fair enough. You never know who will be fit anyway, even if you pick all under 25s.

  • Comment number 19.

    I'm convinced that Capello doesn't really know what he's doing.

  • Comment number 20.

    philmcnultybbcsport wrote:

    To The Professor...you state Capello is a "a big club snob" and then criticise his selection of Bolton Wanderers striker Kevin Davies. Not sure that matches up with your argument.

    Read the article again Mr Pedantic

    Out of context, yes you do make seperate points sound contradictory !

    Heskey, there is talent too
    Shaun Wright-Philips, a towering figure
    Davies has flirted with Capello

    Ive taken all the above from your article. Are these your opinions Mr Mc Nutty ?

  • Comment number 21.

    @2 - It's all very well saying we have to pick a squad to prepare us for Euro 2012 or WC 2014, but we have to get there first. It has to be a balance between nurturing new talent and actually qualifying. And really, the nuturing needs to be done by the clubs bringing on the U-16 to U-19 talents and actually giving them a chance rather than just buying foreign players. Fabio and Stuart Pearce can only do so much with the full squad and the U-21s - they have to pick the best players playing now to enable us to qualify.

    Overall I think it is a good squad. I hope that he doesn't play Ferdinand though - he is one vastly overrated player and we never miss him when he's not there (nope he would not have made a difference against Germany!).

  • Comment number 22.

    2. nick wrote

    'Picking short-term squads is rather pointless?'

    ------
    Capellos job now is to get us qualified for Euro 12, he's even said he's stepping down so I'm not entirely sure why he should be too worried about choosing Kevin Davies and SWP. If they do the job against current surprise package Montenegro then I'm fine with whoever he picks.

    The job of preparing our players for WC's in the future is the F.A's and Trevor Brooking as our current crop of England players are way shot of other teams technically.

    Having my two penny's worth I think Davies is an excellent choice and agree absolutely Phil with your assertion that his talent and ability has been overlooked. Could well do a job if we're struggling to overcome Montenegro.

    My only question is why has it taken so long? In my opinion he's just as good at Heskey at link up play, if not better, and certainly has a better finishing rate.

    Whatever the reason I'm glad he's getting his chance now.

  • Comment number 23.



    If now isn't the time to blood younger players after taking six points from six - with one of those wins coming against arguably the strongest opposition in the group - then when is?

    I've no issue with Davies as a player and would have liked to have seen him given an oportunity when he was in his 20s. But his selection will seem even more pointless if, as expected, he warms the bench for most if not all the match. My prediction... a 10 to 15 minute cameo with England already two goals to the good and the match all but over.


  • Comment number 24.

    Kevin Davies is just the sort of player to get up foreign referees noses and for that very reason will struggle to achieve as much as he would in the Premier League. To my recollection he has not played in any game where he is likely to come up against foreign officials.
    Crouch often has problems with non English refs when he out jumps defenders who collapse in a heap out of desperation.
    Still Phil you are probably right that this is a good call for England because you were so right about Wayne in the summer. NOT

  • Comment number 25.

    kevin davies will play well for england
    and if i would bet id bet hed get in the next squad
    this man has been consistently playing man of the match performances and is finnaly getting a chance
    whether its the right desicion for the future i dont know but it certainly is the right desicion in my mind to give him atleast 1 game

    if i was coppello my starting XI


    DAVIES BENT
    GERRARD
    YOUNG WILSHERE A.JOHNSON
    COLE JAGEILKA FERDINAND G. JOHNSON
    HART



  • Comment number 26.

    England really need young players in their national team. The world cup made it painfully obvious that the old guard can no longer cut it. In my opinion the Germans did everything right. After unsuccessful international tournaments they shook up the whole structure of the national team, what they got was a group of young, hungry youngsters, few of which had been 'tested at the highest level'. The outstanding Ozil and Khedira played a superb tournament, and a virtually unknown young striker Thomas Muller ended up getting the golden boot. I say stop talking this nonsense about this ambiguous "top level" and get guys like Carroll in the team. His aerial ability and the way he brings his teammates into the game makes him the perfect companion for the likes of Rooney. This has nothing to do with "flavor of the month" we're talking about the future of English football.

  • Comment number 27.

    As a Blackburn supporter, and given what he did (or did not do) for us, showing any kind of "love" for Kevin Davies is not something that comes naturally. But he has been a pivotal player for Bolton over the last several seasons and arguably deserves this chance at international level. Those criticising his selection as "short-sighted" should consider the options we are missing. Would Davies be near the squad if Agbonlahor, Zamora or Defoe were fit? Of course not. So let's not go all "gung-ho" and start saying Capello is going to see Davies as a major player for the England team - if he plays at all, he will likely join another former Trotter in Michael Ricketts as a one-cap wonder.
    I do think though that, in this striker shortage, it coud have been one last chance to look at Michael Owen. As an earlier poster said, I don't think there's anyone I'd have more trust in one-on-one than him. As an option from the bench against a lower-ranked team in Montenegro, I think it could have been a good opportunity to look at him, especially since he's been playing more regularly for Man U recently. But I think Capello has made his mind up about him and there will be no way back under this manager.

  • Comment number 28.

    hello.

  • Comment number 29.

    @spurskingy
    To my recollection he has not played in any game where he is likely to come up against foreign officials.
    ***
    Playing in the UEFA cup springs to mind...

  • Comment number 30.

    As a Bolton fan it's fantastic to see Davo chosen, just reward for superb form over the last few seasons. Shame it's a few years too late! But the selection of Joe Cole, who has been so bad his new team are in the relegation zone, Aaron Lennon and Wright-Phillips, who can't even get a game for City. If he's going on form, then why isn't Albrighton being given an opportunity? SWP will never do a job for England so why select him?!

  • Comment number 31.

    @spurskingy
    Are you forgetting Bolton were in Europe a few years ago, knocking out Bayern Munich and Atletico Madrid. Davies didn't do too badly with foreign referees then... get your facts right before you write about teams you know nothing about, stupid one-eyed Spurs fans!

  • Comment number 32.

    20 - ZiggaZaggaZola:
    Out of context, yes you do make seperate points sound contradictory !

    Heskey, there is talent too
    Shaun Wright-Philips, a towering figure
    Davies has flirted with Capello
    ------------------------------------


    I cant see where Phil said any of those things. In fact he seems to be slating SWP, and not exactly championing the Heskey cause.

    On the whole Davies vs Carroll debate, I would just say this. Carroll has had 10 good games in the Premier League, Davies has had 10 good years.

  • Comment number 33.

    "While all the post-World Cup debacle talk of youth and building for the future is admirable, Capello needs players who can fulfil a purpose now and he clearly believes the evergreen Davies fits the bill."


    Mr McNulty, was this really you writing this? Are you not the same journalist who spent months talking about how Beckham's international career should be over because he would be too old for the next major tournament? That even if he does have a better delivery than all his potential replacements combined at this time, they should still take precedence so that they get the invaluable experience and a chance to develop?

    If so, how can you possibly jump from that to this article praising the decision to include a 33 year old debutant striker at the expense of younger prospects? Has there been a huge change in your attitude towards the criteria for England duty? If so, do you now think Beckham should be picked too?

  • Comment number 34.

    Fantastic news for KD. Of course he's not one for the long term but it's great recognition for the years of graft he's put in and I applaud Capello for giving it to him.

  • Comment number 35.

    I'm delighted for Kevin Davies, he thorougly deserves his call-up and hopefully he'll get on the pitch. He may be considered something of a throwback nowadays, but a more dedicated professional would be hard to find. He's had many years at the top level and defenders will testify there is no such thing as an easy game when marking him. A full cap would be a fitting (and long overdue) reward.

  • Comment number 36.

    @Jimbo- Elmavies: good comment, agree 100%

    could SWP be the player to bring the whole country together? I have never seen the posters on this (or any) board being so unanimous about a player. In fact, I am yet to speak to anyone who rates him (except for that chap with eye-liner that does the betting adverts).

  • Comment number 37.

    for England to progress the obvious move is to forget Man Utd . !

    they have no-one at this moment worthy of a place !! rooney is rubbish , rio is game over & the rest are 'rooneyfied' !

    but why include the unknown davies ?? hell ,my granny is not fit but she can handle 1 match !!!!!!!!!!

  • Comment number 38.

    @3 The Professor

    I'm going to have to take issue with your comments regarding Capello being a 'big club snob'. Davies is from Bolton, as Phil mentioned in response to your comment, so is Gary Cahill and Capello has selected him previously. I seem to remember prior to the Ramsey incident Shawcross was included in a Capello squad...are Stoke suddenly a big club? Scott Parker was in the provisional WC squad and Rob Green has been something of a fixture, are we to seriously consider the West Ham of today a big club now as well?
    Also, re: Joe Hart not being fast tracked. I'm sorry, but a keeper is unlike any other position. It's a role where experience and decision making are essential, and youthful mistakes mean conceeding goals. Hart has proven himself ready, but to describe the wait as ridiculous is frankly farcical. You do realise that if he had played in South Africa he'd have been the youngest keeper England have EVER fielded in a World Cup? You're right though, that's far too long to keep him waiting.
    Finally, holding up Jack Wilshire as an example of Capello's love of big club players is a bit of a flawed arguement really, isn't it? Almost universally hailed as one of the most talented English youngsters in recent years, but you're right...it's only because he's at Arsenal. I guess Adam Johnson must only be there because he's one of big spending City's players as well? The fact that they're two of the most exciting young players in the EPL has nothing to do with it.

  • Comment number 39.

    can't believe cole has been called up, he has been very poor for Liverpool recently, no question he has talent but I think he needs to just get his fame back with Liverpool before he plays for England again. not surprised Davies is called up, great player for Bolton but can he adjust to a different team with a totally different style, unfortunately I don't think he will get the chance and could be the only time he gets called up.
    what I can't believe is that caroll is even being mentioned, he hasn't even had a handful of good games in the top flight and there are an awful lot of strikers who merit a place ahead of him, it's typical media hype for a young English guy who has had a one hit wonder.

    glad to see huddlestone in there again, he really needs to be given a chance he has been outstanding for spurs and Lennon looks like he could be showing some form again. hopefully a Johnson will start, star in the making that kid, but as for SWP how many chances will he get, if he gets on ahead of say wilshere or johson it will be very baffling.

  • Comment number 40.

    I'm not too sure about the future...lets look at the players who are U25...

    Goalkeepers:
    Hart, Fielding

    Defenders:
    M.Richards, K.Gibbs, Shawcross, Cahill, Smalling, Phil Jones, Mancienne,

    Midfielders:
    Walcott, Lennon, A.Johnson, Wilshere, Milner, Huddlestone, Young, Albrighton, C.Gardner,

    Strikers: Sturridge, Carroll, Rooney, Welbeck, Conor Wickham

    Just some of the names I could think of. Some names in there has potential but I don't think it's enough. Will some of these names make it to international level? I'm not too sure. Wealth of talent in midfield and possibly up front. Defence...?

  • Comment number 41.

    I forgot Danny Rose from Spurs and the two Kyles from Spurs - Naughton and Walker.

  • Comment number 42.

    Not English but I do feel for English football fans... I can't believe that there is no talent available in England...

    A little story...There was this guy playing in small football clubs in a remote island in Portugal...got scouted out and ended up playing in the Portuguese second division...got scouted out and ended up playing in Spain and then France...retired from international football (2006) with the most goals ever scored for Portugal (ahead of Eusebio)...still a footballing legend at Bordeaux and Paris St.Germain...His name: Pauleta


    I cannot believe that with an infrastructure 10 times better than Portugal, certified coaches, sunday leagues, etc that there is no talent available... one of the two:

    a) you should retire completely from football because football is not in your genes or

    b)you are being conned by the media, FA, Capello and everyone else...

    and you should also decide if it is just enough to qualify for competitions or if you actually plan to win some...def not 2012 or 2014 at this rate...nothing learned from the last world cup, Speed is everything, possession is nothing...remember Germany?

    I blame it all on the bankers...short-termism, get the bonuses for qualifying (meeting targets) and then jump the boat...

  • Comment number 43.

    Picking 'players on form'?

    'New generation of young England players'?

    Capello seems to pay lip service to one conviction, and then do something completely different.

    What astounds me more is his insistence to use the SAME OLD TACTICS that failed him at the World Cup; play Heskey with Rooney, and if not Heskey, then the next best thing: Kevin Davies.

    And astonishingly turning to the same players that don't show up for England.

    And then there is SWP.

  • Comment number 44.

    Me being cynical: Capello must be getting desperate. Davies to barge opposing keeper out of the way in set pieces.

    Joking aside, I realistically don't think Davies should be in the team. He doesn't have the required physical presence of Heskey of holding up the ball.

  • Comment number 45.

    I have to say that i think Fabio has made a great pick in Kevin Davies, what worries me the most is the people (you know who you are) who are crowing about him not being a player for the euro's and the next world cup.
    ********NEWSFLASH*********************
    we have to qualify first- or had you forgotten? if we are working on the small minded way of thinking lets drop and forget about Terry, Ferdinand, Gerrard, Lampard and Barry!! Come on people, think about it and get a grip we cannot drop everyone over the age of 30, the players we need to drop are the ones out of form, we all know who that would be! So if i was Mr Capello then Davo and Bent would be given the nod!


  • Comment number 46.

    Part of me just likes to see these unfashionable players called up just for the fun of it. It's like stepping back in time.

    Anyway, why shouldn't Kevin Davies get a cap? He's made Johan Elmander look good (well, partially. Johan's done a pretty good job himself recently.) holding up the ball, committing all those fouls, winning all those free kicks, heading the ball. He can do it all.

    If we want a 'log' of a man up front to bounce balls off in the vicinity of Darren Bent, there's no better than Kevin Davies. He's been consistently overlooked, yet he plays the 'traditional' Heskey role better than Heskey himself (as if there's any science to it!) and his self-esteem doesn't seem to be teetering perpetually on a knife-edge.

    I know it's a competitive international, but after the World Cup I'd rather see a new face even if it's not the particularly fresh-faced 33 year old Kevin Davies. There a whole bunch of kids but we all know Capello isn't going to pick the likes of Wickham or Sturridge so we better get used to seeing some Premier League stalwarts warming the Wembley bench.

    There's limited space in the squad, yet there's still enough space for SWP and an injured, out of form Wayne Rooney so surely a spot can be given to the very antithesis of a 'fantasy player'.

    What were the genuine alternatives to Davies? Carroll, who's gone off the boil and there's no reason to include him (although that seems to work for SWP), groveling to Emile Heskey or calling up another midfielder.

    What does it matter anyway? Capello could have taken a chance as it's Montenegro at home but hey, this is what Capello does. The real games start in 2012. Until then it seems completely pointless taking it all too seriously and criticising Capello's selection policy as all his rhetoric is nonsense and it's unlikely to change.

    I wonder what odds you could get on SWP going to Euro 2012?

  • Comment number 47.

    The way to winning a world cup is to get in the habit of winning, preparing all that can be prepared (learning English, practising with the correct ball?), and building a squad that works well regardless of who is on the pitch at any time. Clive Woodward did this in 2003, Fabio Capello did not in 2010.

    Kevin Davies has earned a chance. At this stage, the important thing is to start winning games, ugly if necessary.

    Once qualification is close to assured, we can start looking at the squad for the finals. By widening the pool of players tried out now, based on current form, we avoid the silliness of Theo Walcott picked in 2006 having no experience.

    Besides, how old was Roger Milla for Cameroon in 1990?

  • Comment number 48.

    Wow, shocker of a blog. Rambling and Bias in parts, plain arrogant in others. Who are you to tell Capello what he " should be doing " with the captaincy? I think you'l find that he can do what he wants with it McNulty...

    Capello is the finest football coach on the planet and we should all support him for the next 20 months, it all goes down hill after that believe me. Anyone ho thinks Redknapp, Pearce or Big Sam can manage England are smoking something.

  • Comment number 49.

    @matt 48:

    "Capello is the finest football coach on the planet"

    You win the "Coffee spit of the year award" for the above comment. Thank you Sir. :)

  • Comment number 50.

    I think the real shambles will be if Jagielka doesn't keep his place in the team.

    I would say Davies deserves a chance but some of the other selections are beyond belief. If Jack Wilshire is called up based on game time and form then Albrighton should certainly be picked over SWP. Downing should also be picked J oe Cole who has done nothing for Liverpool so of note. Also how was Lescott picked over Cahill or Shawcross? Two players doing the business for their club.

    This is where the problems start. We get to tournaments with good players with little experience because we rely on the same old players who just don't do it.

    Glad Hudds got a deserved call up though

  • Comment number 51.

    Hi,
    I am not from England, but I am following English football for last 12 years, and I don't think Capello got his selection wrong.
    When you are talking about youth policy for the future of the National team, English Fa is not helping the cause.
    While they introduced that 25 players rule. There was no penalty for not playing lesser English players.

    While Germany had a youth policy when Jürgen Klinsmann was in charge of the national team he made sure that teams in the bundesliga are playing more German players than from the other nations. While here the English Fa is busy in forking out millions for TV rights they want to see better players from outside England to play more in the league to make it more attractive to viewers world wide however this is limiting the opportunities for English players.
    For best example lets speak about Arsenal for a minute, We all say Arsenal play fantastic football and we also say that they got an excellent youth policy but how many English players are there in Arsenal first eleven? (wilshere, Walcott, may be sometimes Kieran Gibbs)
    another example last years champion Chelsea only play three or four English players (John Terry, Lampard, A.Cole, J.Cole (till last season)and all of these are older than )and rest of the team was full of players from different nationality.
    where as club as Manchester city are having English players but they are not preferred over the other options available.
    and where as Everton are having 8 (Tony Hibbert, Leighton Baines, Phil Jagielka, Phil Neville, Leon Osman, Jack Rodwell, Mikel Arteta, Jermaine Beckford) and they are not doing bad either.

    Point is this if you don't give enough chance to these youngsters now, how can you expect them to perform well. English Fa needs to think hard about this and have to make necessary adjustment other wise you wont be able to name decent 25 players from few years of time.


    Tanmay Barhale

  • Comment number 52.

    I always thought Kevin Davies was a better option than Heskey as the 'Hold up' front man glad to see he's got a chance in the squad after all this time!

  • Comment number 53.

    short-termism at its best. But Phil why don't we accept that we need to lay a foundation for the future. Surely I expect the same performance as the disastrous one in WOZA 2010, should we qualify for the finals anyway. And what a start would be for the new manager after Don Fabio departs? No any hope for 2014 really. Someone should tell him to give young stars a chance!

  • Comment number 54.

    A bad decision by Capello to call Davies.

  • Comment number 55.

    davies should've been selected some time ago if capello was fixed on the idea of 4-4-2 and having a big man up front.

    considering how big and powerful he is, heskey has always been alarmingly easy to knock over and his goalscoring record in recent years speaks for itself. with davies you'll get the things you are supposed to get from heskey, his head won't drop and he scores every now and again.

  • Comment number 56.

    Capello seems to like a big awkward sod upfront to hold up play and with all the other candidates either having broken legs, not playing well or having retired then Kevin Davies is a logical choice to come into the squad and good luck to him. He's certainly put a shift in over the past 10 years or so and deserves his call up in my opinion.

    As for those that question how this is planning for the future, you have to create that future to plan for and sticking kids like Carroll in isn't necessarily going to work and could actually backfire completely.

    You have to trust Don Fabio, he knows what he's doing. It's idiotic to think any of us knows better when you think about it. We all have an opinion but it isn't based on much fact or insider knowledge.

  • Comment number 57.

    @Tanmay Barhale

    You patently don't understand how European Law works. Clubs CANNOT be forced to play x amount of English players. The sole reason Germany has more native born Germans in their club teams is because the wages there aren't enough to attract players that can go to England.

  • Comment number 58.

    32. At 10:49pm on 04 Oct 2010, northernsuperspur wrote:

    On the whole Davies vs Carroll debate, I would just say this. Carroll has had 10 good games in the Premier League, Davies has had 10 good years.
    ------------------------------------

    What nonsense! Davies has had 10 GOOD years has he? In the early part of this 'Good 10 years' he yielded an average of about 4 goals a season for the mighty Southampton and Millwall. Then he went to Bolton, where for 5 of the last 7 years he's been a lump up front. And in the last year a half we've seen that he's a decent footballer. So, that's your 10 'good' years Vs a decent year and a half. Get a grip mate.

    You could put it like this. Carroll has more to gain as he'll be playing Premiership football for the next 14 years. Kevin Davies will not be anywhere near the England set up in 14 weeks.

  • Comment number 59.

    well done kevin davies on ur call up.......

  • Comment number 60.

    It's one man for one squad (maybe 2) and he may not even make the pitch. I really don't see what the fuss is all about. The real issues with this squad are - No RB cover again, SWP, Rob Green and Joe Cole doing nothing to earn a place. Everyone else in the squad has valid reason, either through club form or from previous internationals to be picked.

    Having seen Davies at his best (Chesterfield vs Middlesboro, FA Cup Semi, cheated!!) this is long overdue. And let's face it - we aren't playing Brazil or Spain. Davies plays against and troubles better defenders week in week out.

  • Comment number 61.

    The only problems I have with this squad are the inclusions of Joe Cole & Wright-Phillips. I can't see how either is worth a place in front of Downing.

    The most interesting thing will be the central partnership. I would go for Ferdinand & Jageilka based on the fact that whilst Terry is a fabulous reader of the game, he's too slow to get into position without their being 2 defensive midfielders in front of him.

    Good for Kevin Davies - he deserves it. I just wish he'd called up Scott Parker as well

  • Comment number 62.

    54. At 08:00am on 05 Oct 2010, Ahad Shaukat wrote:
    A bad decision by Capello to call Davies.

    ________________________________________________________________________


    Thanks for that in-depth argument.



    43. At 00:05am on 05 Oct 2010, West London Blues wrote:

    What astounds me more is his insistence to use the SAME OLD TACTICS that failed him at the World Cup; play Heskey with Rooney, and if not Heskey, then the next best thing: Kevin Davies.

    ____________________________________________________________________

    Where has anyone stated that Davies is going to a) start or b) play alongside Rooney?

  • Comment number 63.

    Happy to see KD get a call up as he has been a great player for Bolton for years. His hold up play is much better than Hesley and I feel he is a more intelligent player to for bringing others into the game. Also, unlike Crouch and Heskey, he really knows how to head a ball.

    My team would be:

    Hart
    Anyone but Glenn Johnson,Jagielka, Terry, Cole
    Adam Johnson,Parker, Gerrard, Downing
    Wilshire
    Bent

    Selection based on form!

    Also, a lot of the comments have been people arguing between picking either Andy Carroll or Kevin Davies. I tho0ught the future of English football was going to be based on a new philosophy where players are interchangeable and skill, touch and possession are key. Surley the old style of the big holding player up front to lob the ball at goes against this?

  • Comment number 64.

    Don't play Rooney... he is 'injured'!

  • Comment number 65.

    Good article, big fan of Kevin Davies, only criticism would be as some others have said that it is a shame he wasn't given a chance when he was younger, hope he does well as he has worked hard enough to get his chance

  • Comment number 66.

    Phil, Ferdinand is still United's captain! Vidic is vice captain! You're supposed to be a journalist!

  • Comment number 67.

    As an Albion fan,does someone want to explain to me the absence of Scott Carson from the England Squad.

    Capello called him up to the last squad and his form has IMPROVED since then,the best form he's been in since joining the club in my humble opinion,yet is dropped for Robert Green?

    "Capello has made it clear he will not indulge flavours of the month in favour of the more pragmatic selection"

    This is obviously not the truth as Green has had one good game,which was against Spurs recently,so I beg to differ on Capello not picking flavours of the month.Carson is a much superior keeper to Green yet is ignored because 1)He plays for us and 2)West Ham seem to be the media darling,they won the world cup don't you know!

    And what has Wright-Phillips done to be in the England Squad? Capello said he would pick on form not reputation,neither of which Wright-Phillips has.And I'm a fan of Joe Cole but he's done nothing that makes him deserving of an England Call-up.As much as it pains me to say,Matt Jarvis or even our own Jerome Thomas are more deserving of the place.

  • Comment number 68.

    apologies phil, that story completely bypassed me.

  • Comment number 69.

    Kapnag,

    Hate to break it to you mate, but Vidic is our first-choice captain. Fergie's said so.

  • Comment number 70.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 71.

    # 11. Yiddo84
    Good post.

    While there is something nice and admirable about Davies's hard work finally paying off at the age of 33, I have to go for the give-youth-a-chance -camp on this one.

    How many can find any comfort from England's fantastic qualifying campaign for the previous World Cup, when the tournament itself was a disaster?

    How many will find any comfort from a possibly fantastic qualifying campaign for Euro 2012, if Germany's (or any other team's) youngsters outplay England's youngsters and indeed the whole team once again?

  • Comment number 72.

    Though at 33 I find it hard to begrudge him a final England cap I can't help but feel Davies selection is all wrong.

    It's not just that he's too old and I'd prefer Carroll. It's more the implication that Capello is imcapable of imagining and England squad without a big lump in it for knocking about the opposition, even if the only option in this department is a 33 year old un-capped player or a 21 year old largely untried in the top flight.

    There's nothing wrong with players in this mould but I can't help but notice that World Cup winners Spain didn't have one in their squad, nor did other big teams in the tornament like Holland, Brazil or Uraguay. Sure they all had strikers big enough to handle centre backs but none who's only job appears to be to do that, pull them out of position and hold the ball up.

    At the end of the day Wayne Rooney, Darren Bent and Peter Crouch are all big enough guys to occupy the minds of fall backs. A fourth place should have gone to Agbonlahor who out scored Davies last season, or even Cameron Jerome who equalled him for scoring last term and is a decade younger. If other teams don't have to rely on big lumps then I don't see why England should, the suggestion that Capello should bring on Davies should we be struggling against Montenagro is almost as depressing as the sight of Heskey being subbed on in the last match of the World Cup and just as futile.

  • Comment number 73.

    Nothing against Kevin Davies as a Bolton player - he always gives his all and his bustling style is effective - one of those players you hate in the opposition line-up but would love in your own..a bit like Roy Keane. He's also a red-card waiting to happen playing like he does on the international stage.

    His call-up may be rewarding for the work he's put in over the years but it is also baffling. Selecting a 33 year old striker goes against all the promises of looking to the future, building an identifiable style (he's hardly a direct replace for Defoe is he?), encouraging more technically accomplished players etc. Phils' arguement for his inclusion that he'll 'do the job now' doesn't hold any water as he'll only make the bench anyway. Surely Carroll would have benefited England by gaining some longer term experience in that role? Capello is conning the fans..even recalling World Cup flops like Green and sticking to tried and tested players like Joe Cole and Aaron Lennon. Thought we were supposed to be moving on...sems things are going backwards again.

  • Comment number 74.

    10 million quid and thats the best he can come up with, I guess imagination is not his strong point, I sussed him when we were down against Germany and he brings on Heskey, Cole and Phillips. How many of you are conviced about England even though they are winning, I rekcon that like in Africa soon as a real team turns up we are in for another kicking, we have some great young players but hes to chicken to play them and lose, better to lose fighting than win in the dodgey way they do now. Should play Carrol its a great chance to try someone out, its a good job that the Germans dont think like Cappelo!

  • Comment number 75.

    I don't like this squad at all, it reeks of short termism. Fabio was making all the right noises after the WC about refreshing the squad but this hasn't materialised. The only names I see that weren't in the set up beforehand are Jagielka, Wilshire and Davis.

    I would have been happy with Davis in the squad 4 years ago (instead of Heskey) but at 33 he is hardly a long term option. I congratulate him on his call up however I am disappointed that he has been.

  • Comment number 76.

    To Yiddo84...I am all for youth being given its chance, but only if it is merited. Wilshere deserves inclusion, Adam Johnson deserves inclusion, Jack Rodwell is another coming through but he is injured. Theo Walcott would have been included had he been fit.

    I have yet to see concrete evidence that Andy Carroll is England class, maybe someone can enlighten me as I have not seen too much of him in the flesh.

    Kevin Davies has served his apprenticeship - and many, many more years besides - and I have no problem whatsoever with his inclusion.

    There is no point in selecting young players for the sake of it, and if you throw them in when they are not ready then it could do more harm than good.

    To Kapnag...apology accepted.

  • Comment number 77.

    Crodechild, RE England's Under 25 talents of the future:

    J Rodwell
    D Gosling
    M Johnson (city)
    P Muamba (bolton)
    C Smalling
    V Moses

    etc etc, the future is pretty bright I think.

  • Comment number 78.

    Congratulations to Kevin, long overdue.

  • Comment number 79.

    Very pleased for Kevin, seems like a nice fella and I hope that he takes his chance and gets one on the board, something to tell his grandkids about.

    Not sure what it say about Engerland, actually I am. We have problems.

    Good luck Super Kev.

  • Comment number 80.

    No-one except Stuart Bennett (5#) has picked up on the fact that all the fuss generated by Davies' (not undeserved) call up has masked the fact that Capello has once again neglected to call up Michael Owen - who I believe would play well with Davies, as he famously did with Heskey.
    This time around Owen is fit, scoring and confident - everything Wayne Rooney is not at the present time. Also he is still the best finisher we have, bar none.
    I can only think that Capello has something personal against him, as his previous reasons (form, fitness, playing for his club) for not selecting Owen do not apply this time - plus, he picked a number of players lacking form and fitness for South Africa.

  • Comment number 81.

    Made up that Big Kev has got the belated nod, he can certainly do a job. Yes he's perhaps a little limited at the highest level but what he does, he does very well and gives defenders nightmares.
    Cahill should be in though, maybe the 'big club snobbery' prevents two Bolton players making the same squad. He's good enough now and will only improve with experience.
    Just a thought... Can you imagine the reaction if an over-enthusiastic Davies solves the centre half dilemma in training ahead of the game?

  • Comment number 82.

    # 76, Phil

    "There is no point in selecting young players for the sake of it, and if you throw them in when they are not ready then it could do more harm than good."

    It's a good and valid point, might be just the right path to take.

    But.
    On the evidence of the World Cup, I am wondering whether it's enough for England in their current situation. Wilshere, Johnson, Walcott, Rodwell, yes, they should definately be there as they really seem ready to embrace the challenge.

    But when indeed the last experience of a major tournament is as bad as the WC was, is it enough to bring in only those young players who certainly seem ready (if there are not too many of them)?

    I am in the opinion that now it's time to take a chance or two, bring in a young player or two of whom you cannot be sure that they will rise up to the occasion. It might lead into a few poor performances - individual or collective - but it might also lead into England performing hugely better in Euro '12 and in Brazil '14, thanks to a wider range of choice of players who already are tried and tested in the national team.

  • Comment number 83.

    I've been saying for years that Kevin Davies should have been in the England squad.

    The problem I have is that it's 13 years too late! He should have been on the fringes of the squad back in 1997 when he was playing for Southampton, he was a handful back then!

    I wish the guy all the best in the current England squad but I feel sorry for him as he should have been given the opportunity much earlier. Now he's towards the end of his career and England have missed his best years.

  • Comment number 84.

    @ TeniPurist

    Not serious are you? Michael Johnson will get nowhere near the England squad. Yes he has talent, but the constant lengthy injuries coupled with his personal problems means that it'll be unlikely he'll play for City in the Premiership again never mind playing for England.

  • Comment number 85.

    Why does everyone seem to think Carroll is such an amazing player all of a sudden? He did well in the Championship last year and has put in a few decent performances for England U21s & U19s, but a hat-trick against a completely vacant Villa side and suddenly he's worthy of an England place. He would undoubtedly be considered a 'young english talent' but in my opinion he's done nowhere near enough to warrant the 6 week fanfare backing him for England recently; not to mention he has attitude problems.

  • Comment number 86.

    Gerrard and J. Cole? They're in relegation zone, they don't deserve a place in England team.

  • Comment number 87.

    Capello is the England manager but cannot single-handedly build the future of the england team by picking youngsters. His aim is to get results, and he can only pick from the players available. The future of english football relies on academies producing enough young talent, with support from the FA, premier league and all stakeholders (did anyone see Lineker's documentary "Can England Win the World Cup"?) Then we can critisize the manager for not giving youngsters a chance.

  • Comment number 88.

    I'm astounded by Rob Green's re-selection. I gather he made a save the other week, but is he really anywhere near the best we've got? I'm not jumping on the bandwagon after his USA cock-up - I always said he was rubbish. But someone please tell me what Capello sees in him. Are we really that hard up?

  • Comment number 89.

    No problem at all with Davies's inclusion in the squad. Yes he's 33, but he's playing every week in the premier league and has done for many years, and also he's playing well. In addition, with the amount of injuries that are currently around to England strikers i can understand why he's been called up as someone was needed in the short term.

    What I do have a problem with though is in central defence. We have lots of fit younger players who are playing regularly, yet Rio Ferdinand has been recalled despite only playing 2 games - and that spread out. How has he justfied his inclusion? Why recall Terry too for that matter? Jagielka, Cahill, Shawcross should instead be getting the game time, but no and I'm thinking it's yet again going to be ferdinand and terry lining up for england which benefits no-one.

    And like everyother poster, how on earth has SWP gotten in again? Has he even played this season? And Joe Cole has done nothing at all, yet is recalled? And even as a Spurs fan I can't see what Lennon's done to deserve a recall either - Downing should certainly be in there.

    However, good to see that the below par and not playing regularly carrick has been dropped for huddlestone - although strangely carrick has actually started a couple of games recently, when in the previous squad's he'd been named despite not starting once.

    Strange squad.

  • Comment number 90.

    You all keep moaning about choosing players in form, well, Kevin Davies is in form, yeah!!!!! So he's older, so what? You all say how great Germany is but they had Klose in their starting line up and he is about 35 and lets not forget, Germany DID NOT WIN the World Cup, Spain did, and they didn't win it with kids.

  • Comment number 91.

    Capello wants a strong target man in the squad to be at his disposal against a team England SHOULD beat for a tournament 21 months away. It's not a big deal Davies was picked.

  • Comment number 92.

    I think Davies deserves his England call-up. He's done really well for Bolton over the past few years and should have been called up a lot earlier. Also, I think Adam Johnson should be starting every game for City. He's such an amazing player for them and for England that he should be unplayable in a few years. I don't think Rooney and Ferdinand should start. Rooney is plagued with personal problems and Jagielka has done far too good to be replaced.

    My team: Hart; G Johnson, Terry, Jagielka, A Cole; Young, Gerrard, Barry, A Johnson; Bent, Crouch.

  • Comment number 93.

    Davies is great choice: brains, guts, good in the air, un-fussed, can hold-up the ball and can finish.

  • Comment number 94.

    89. At 10:53am on 05 Oct 2010, mtrenners wrote:


    What I do have a problem with though is in central defence. We have lots of fit younger players who are playing regularly, yet Rio Ferdinand has been recalled despite only playing 2 games - and that spread out. How has he justfied his inclusion?

    _______________________________________________________________________

    He's played 4 games and kept clean sheets in 3 of them. One of them away to the top team in Spain, where he was brilliant.

  • Comment number 95.

    For the guy who was looking at Under 25's for the future, you missed out Fraser Forster? Walked into the Celtic first team and was loved by Norwich fans last year and considered a huge prospect for Newcastle.

  • Comment number 96.

    Also included by Capello are John Terry, Rio Ferdinand, Joe Cole, Aaron Lennon and goalkeeper Rob Green.

    -------------

    Laughable.

    Capello needs to go now. He has obviously learned nothing!



  • Comment number 97.

    Davies consistently effects games.

    He is so committed and hardworking he will put the others to shame..Any one who has watched him for Bolton(rather than the usual 5 mins on MOTD)will know the strengths he brings to an attack.

    Heskey has been the poor mans Kevin Davies for years.

    Just hope Capello has the guts to unleash him next week..

  • Comment number 98.

    It's all well and good saying we need to blood young players and bringing out the "look at how well Germany did" quotes, but our youth players are woefully inferior to the Germans. Andy Carroll has shown glimpses of quality but to suggest he is as good as the "virtually unknown" (well yeah if you never watch or read about European football) is nonsense. Mueller, Ozil, Khedira and co all played for top Bundesliga teams and were in the first team. Carroll starts reasonably regularly for Newcastle and hasn't done enough in the Prem to prove himself yet. We do have some promising youth in players such as Wilshere and Sturridge and they should get chances but I also think Davies deserves a chance, he could do a job for qualification and maybe even the next tournament.

  • Comment number 99.

    @77 tenipurist. You wrote that
    J Rodwell
    D Gosling
    M Johnson (city)
    P Muamba (bolton)
    C Smalling
    V Moses

    are talents for the future. Rodwell may well be. Gosling I have yet to see England talent from (he does look good though), M Johnson is good on the ball but theres little reason to think he'll make it really, Muamba - nope, Smalling - he's got a loooong way to go but United is a good place to learn, Moses - nooooope!! H elooks distinctly average, I'd even say poor. Maybe prem quality ina few years.

  • Comment number 100.

    Personally not that bothered about Kevin Davies being selected he is a good player and think he should have been selected over Heskey years ago. Although I know we need to win but would it should not really harm us to try a youngster we are playing Montenegro after all.
    My big issue is the continued selection of players that go against Capello’s claim that he will pick player on form and who are fit!!
    Glen Johnson, Joe Cole, SWP are not in any sort of form and do not look like internationals.
    Ferdinand is clearly not yet fit.
    Maybe it is down to not having adequate replacements?
    Despite this I think the future can be bright for England , Rodwell, Wilshire and Adam Johnson have the potential to be world class if looked after by their clubs and country

 

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