Sunday, May 11, 2008

England 31-Man Provisional Squad Announced

Fabio Capello has announced a provisional 31-man roster for England's upcoming friendlies against the United States on May 28 at Wembley and at Trinidad & Tobago on June 1, likely in Port of Spain.

He didn't give any of his big guns a break after the long, grueling Premiership campaign -- Steven Gerrard, Rio Ferdinand, John Terry, and Wayne Rooney were all picked. However, there's also a few relatively inexperienced players and several young up-and-comers in the squad, so Capello wisely opted for a nice mix in this group before he trims it down closer to the end of the month.

Here's the full roster:

Goalkeepers: David James (Portsmouth), Chris Kirkland (Wigan), Joe Hart (Manchester City)

Defenders: John Terry, Wayne Bridge, and Ashley Cole (Chelsea), Rio Ferdinand and Wes Brown (Manchester United), Glen Johnson (Portsmouth), Stephen Warnock (Blackburn), David Wheater (Middlesbrough), Jonathan Woodgate (Tottenham)

Midfielders: Steven Gerrard (Liverpool), Gareth Barry and Ashley Young (Aston Villa), Theo Walcott (Arsenal), David Beckham (LA Galaxy), Stewart Downing (Middlesbrough), Joe Cole and Frank Lampard (Chelsea), Owen Hargreaves (Manchester United), David Bentley (Blackburn), Tom Huddlestone and Jermaine Jenas (Tottenham), Phil Jagielka (Everton)

Forwards: Gabriel Agbonlahor (Aston Villa), Peter Crouch (Liverpool), Michael Owen (Newcastle), Wayne Rooney (Manchester United), Dean Ashton (West Ham), Jermain Defoe (Portsmouth)

If it was up to me, I'd drop seven players from this group of 31 -- Bridge, Kirkland, Wheater, Downing, Jagielka, Jenas, and Ashton. Recognizing Ashton and Jagielka, in particular, and their contributions to their respective clubs this year was a great move by Capello, but I just don't think they have a place in the full England team right now.

I was pleased to see Joe Hart on this roster; he's had a fantastic first season in the Premiership. Glen Johnson's inclusion was much deserved, and of course, my man Ashley Young is in the team as well and that was good to see.

This is certainly a formidable squad, one that should come away with two wins in these friendlies. With that said, the US certainly won't be a pushover and I could see an exciting draw in that game, maybe 2-2.


Kartik said...

As an American am I supposed to be fearful of this squad?

Anonymous said...

Every single player on this squad would be the best player on the US or T&T squad.

Two easy victories.

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