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Carry On Carra

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Robbo Robson | 14:11 UK time, Thursday, 13 May 2010

Oops. Put the phone down, Wayne Bridge. Apparently John Terry's foot is going to be fine... Anyway, it looks like Fabio's only got three left-backs ahead of you, and every one of them could handle Aaron Lennon better than you could, mate.

Capello's no mug, mind. It looked like he was going to lose one creaking, one-paced and out-of-form centre-back but he's already drafted in an identikit replacement. Lucky old Jamie C.

Fabio takes his job seriously. It seems he's been knocking on doors and pointing his Capello Index Finger in the direction of blokes who have long since turned their backs on an England shirt. Carragher heads the list.

I have to say, this season Jamie's looked like he's done the national team a favour by retiring. Thing about him is - and I'm sure Cap likes this about him - he's mastered the art of stopping the attacker by any means necessary, but without the ref actually spotting it.
Jamie CarragherFor all you younger readers, this is what Carragher loks like in an England shirt
He's potentially as smart and cynical as a Samuel or a Puyol. Oh, and he's versatile, which is exactly why he boo-hoo-sob-sobbed into the wilderness in the first place. Too much playing right-back, my backside.

Capello's 30 nearly included Paul Scholes 'n all. The Ginger Ninja has settled into being the Gandalf of the United midfield this season - not too much running around, plenty of savvy distribution, and still the sudden shark-attack tackling.

But, like an MP whose accounts require some explanation, he wants to spend more time with his family. Not sure I could look the missus and the kids in the eye if I'd turned down a World Cup spot, but each to his own.

Clearly Il Gaffa has gone the extra mile to get what he wants. There was talk of Lazarus Hargreaves making it after 48 seconds of reacquainting himself with grass, but Barry must be better than we feared.

Ledley King goes, now he's played four games in 15 days. Good! (Although what he hasn't said is that he didn't get off the sofa once in between them games). He's going to be our Paul McGrath.

I can tell you now who's not going. Warnock, Parker, Bent, SWP, Upson...

Then there's the thorny issue of Joe Cole, but I don't think the Artful Dodger can be left behind. Which means one of Huddlestone and Carrick minding their respective WAGs for the summer. Me, I'd leave Carrick, although they're both in the gifted-but-fragile category.

Too often they turn from elegant sideboards into driftwood during important games, but Huddlestone's been the better player recently.

So that's leaves one more. I'm biased, me, but young Johnson has to go. He does more than stand on his left peg, he's made a place for himself amongst the Eastlands mercenaries, and he'll scare right-backs silly.

So at the mo I reckon I'm taking 24 if that's all right with Fifa. Twenty-five if you include poster boy Becks, who can spend his time modelling sarongs and mixing with the major 2018 decision-makers. Oh and teaching Lennon and Theo how to look up once in a while and cross a ball properly.

There'll be no Fulham representation, sadly. Wednesday night's defeat was very much in the 'brave failure' category. I feared for 'em, not least 'cos the Boro went on a similar journey a few years back and then Seville made marmalade of us in the final. No such disaster for the Cottagers.

Hodgson has made very, very, very good players out of lads you thought might never quite make it: Simon Davies, Clint Dempsey, Damien Not So Duff, and of course, one of the men of the season, young Bobby. I can vaguely remember a chant going up during his days of utter misfiring that went summat like: "Zamora, Zamora, we love you, Zamora, you're always a goal away."

Not anymore. I've pooh-poohed his England credentials, but frankly he goes up in my estimation having been utterly frank about his fitness for a month in South Africa.
It's a pleasing change from that quartet of disaster that Eriksson took to the last WC. Two crocks (Wayne Rooney and Michael Owen), an unproven tall lad and a very speedy lad getting time off from his paper round.

In the meantime, Diego Maradona (whose surname in Geordie means 'my mate's kebab') has left out the best least noticeable player in this season's Champs League - one Esteban Cambiasso.
Diego MaradonaWhat could possibly go wrong?
Seba Veron's in, mind. You remember him? Best 10-yard passer in world football? Proof positive that Fergie makes right old rickets in the transfer market? Looked like an extra from Pirates of the Caribbean? He's going to be there, tippy-tapping it back and forth like a Gooner's nightmare.

The fact that Diego's in charge is all the encouragement the other nations need. Man for man there still won't be a better squad out there - and yet the gaffer's about as predictable as a grizzly bear in a forest.

Of course, somehow I've managed to write this blog despite the fact that our country was ungoverned for half a bleeding week! I dunno, it seems that things are fine when them top bods are locked in rooms for days on end.

Still we have a Clam Government - or is it a Keg?

Good luck to 'em, mind. It's just I can't help thinking that you can't play them both in the same team. They could well be the Lampard and Gerrard of British politics.


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