Thursday, May 29, 2008

Capello Announces Squad for Trinidad + Tobago Friendly

After yesterday's thumping of the US, which was very embarrassing for me as an American, Fabio Capello announced his squad for England's friendly against Trinidad & Tobago this Sunday.

The game had been in doubt recently due to a squabble concerning rental terms for T&T's national ground, Hasley Crawford Stadium, but everything has been resolved and the show will go on.

Capello dropped seven players from yesterday's team, all from Chelsea and Manchester United -- Joe Cole, John Terry, Ashley Cole, Frank Lampard, Wayne Rooney, Owen Hargreaves, and Wes Brown. The only remaining players on the squad from either of those two teams are Wayne Bridge, who barely played yesterday and hasn't gotten much time all season with Ashley Cole ahead of him at Stamford Bridge, and Rio Ferdinand.

Rumor has it that the rotating captain's armband could be worn for the second time by Ferdinand, but Aston Villa's Gareth Barry is in with a shout as well, at least to have it for part of the game. For me, Barry would be ideal; he is Villa's club captain and unlike Ferdinand, hasn't gotten a chance to lead England out yet.

Capello did the smart thing by not including the seven Chelsea and Manchester United players; those two teams had the longest seasons in Europe this year and there's no reason to bring them on another long flight, having just come back from Moscow, to a relatively meaningless friendly. Also by doing this, Capello will get a chance to take a look at some of his other, less experienced options, and that will breed competition heading into World Cup 2010 qualifiers this fall.

Here's the 22-man squad, immediately followed by my starting lineup:

GK (3): David James (Portsmouth), Joe Hart (Manchester City), Joe Lewis (Peterborough)

DEF (7): Wayne Bridge (Chelsea), Rio Ferdinand (Manchester United), Phil Jagielka (Everton), Glen Johnson (Portsmouth), Stephen Warnock (Blackburn), David Wheater (Middlesbrough), Jonathan Woodgate (Tottenham)

MID (7): Gareth Barry (Aston Villa), David Beckham (LA Galaxy), David Bentley (Blackburn), Stewart Downing (Middlesbrough), Steven Gerrard (Liverpool), Tom Huddlestone (Tottenham), Ashley Young (Aston Villa)

FWD (5): Theo Walcott (Arsenal), Gabriel Agbonlahor (Aston Villa), Dean Ashton (West Ham), Peter Crouch (Liverpool), Jermain Defoe (Portsmouth).

GK: Joe Hart
LB: Wayne Bridge
CB: Jonathan Woodgate
CB: Rio Ferdinand
RB: Glen Johnson
DMF: Gareth Barry
CMF: Steven Gerrard
LMF: Ashley Young
RMF: David Beckham
ST: Peter Crouch
ST: Gabriel Agbonlahor

Here's hoping my man Ashley Young gets the start!

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