There was no great fanfare to the announcement of England’s 23 man squad tasked with ending 34 years of hurt. Instead, the identities of the unlucky seven to be dropped from the provisional squad were disclosed in farcical fashion via Twitter.
The final 23 was subject to much speculation and rumours over the past week but as the situation became clearer it emerged that Fabio Capello had named the oldest ever England squad for a World Cup finals.
The most deliberated action of the day was the omission of Arsenal winger Theo Walcott. Capello’s decision to leave out Walcott came as a surprise despite Walcott’s indifferent season for Arsenal. The 21 year old, who was surprisingly included in the 2006 squad was devastated to learn that he would not be making the trip to South Africa. In a statement released after the announcement he said, “I am very disappointed not to be included in the squad going out to South Africa, but completely respect Mr Capello’s decision. I would like to wish the team the best of luck and hope they have a really successful tournament.”
Elsewhere, Ledley King trumped his Tottenham colleague Michael Dawson for the final defensive berth. While Stephen Warnock got the better of Leighton Baines in the struggle to be Ashley Cole’s understudy.
The squad in full:
Goalkeepers: Robert Green (West Ham United), Joe Hart (Manchester City), David James (Portsmouth)
Defenders: Rio Ferdinand (Manchester United), John Terry (Chelsea), Ashley Cole (Chelsea), Glen Johnson (Liverpool), Jamie Carragher (Liverpool), Stephen Warnock (Aston Villa), Ledley King (Tottenham Hotspur), Matthew Upson (West Ham United)
Midfielders: Frank Lampard (Chelsea), Steven Gerrard (Liverpool), Aaron Lennon (Tottenham Hotspur), Michael Carrick (Manchester United), Gareth Barry (Manchester City), Joe Cole (Chelsea), Shaun Wright-Phillips (Manchester City), James Milner (Aston Villa)
Strikers: Wayne Rooney (Manchester United), Jermain Defoe (Tottenham Hotspur), Peter Crouch (Tottenham Hotspur), Emile Heskey (Aston Villa)
Posted in Uncategorized
Tagged 2010, 23, Algeria, Bent, Capello, Carragher, Crouch, Defoe, England, Ferdinand, FIFA, Heskey, Rooney, Slovenia, South Africa, Squad, Terry, Three Lions, USA, Walcott, World Cup, Wright-Philips
The World Cup is regarded as the pinnacle of achievement for professional footballers. For some of the world’s biggest names, the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa looks a distant goal. Boards.ie’s Peabutler takes a look at some prominent examples.
When Ronaldinho took home the FIFA World Player Of The Year Award for 2006 not many could imagine a Brazil without him. Four years on and everything has changed, Ronaldinho is set to be nothing more than a spectator as his country attempt to lift the World Cup trophy yet again in South Africa 2010. The king of samba skills has failed to make the grade internationally and despite some glittering form for AC Milan, the Brazilian management insist he is too inconsistent and not fit enough to be considered for selection.
Ronaldinho isn’t the only marquee name player that might miss out, fellow Brazilian Ronaldo is almost a certain absentee. Meanwhile Spain’s all time top international goal scorer Raul looks set to be overlooked. Raul has failed to carve a place in the team amongst Madrid’s Galacticos Mark 2 and will not be brought along for the ride unless he can get some game time. Raul has not played for Spain in almost 4 years now and although unlikely Del Bosque will recall him now the 32 year old has refused to rule out the possibility recently saying “ If I am number 1 at Madrid I will go to South Africa I think”.
Raul and Ronaldinho both look set to miss out on selection but what of those whose dreams have been curtailed by injury? The most high profile case is of course England’s David Beckham, enjoying the twilight of his career, Beckham injured his left Achilles tendon while on loan at AC Milan and, unfortunately, is sure to miss out on one last chance on the biggest stage of them all.
But he is not the only high profile player set to miss out, Portugese convert Pepe of Real Madrid is a likely omission as is Chelsea and Ghana star Michael Essien, both injuries would appear to dent any ambitions the respective national sides harboured. Essien is battling hard to get back in time for the World Cup but was recently forced to concede he may not make it. As for Pepe, a knee injury in December has kept him out and doubts surround his ability to recover and regain fitness in time for the World Cup.
All 32 nations are expected to announce their squads within the coming weeks, look out for those mentioned above, will they make it or be just excluded, we will soon see.
Posted in Uncategorized
Tagged AC Milan, Beckham, Brazil, England, Essien, Ghana, Pepe, Portugal, Real Madrid, Ronaldinho, Ronaldo, South Africa, Squad, World Cup