Football Friends Online – When 90 Mins Is Not EnoughLast Chance Saloon for Capello, Anyone Else For a round? - Football Friends Online - When 90 Mins Is Not Enough Last Chance Saloon for Capello, Anyone Else For a round? - Football Friends Online - When 90 Mins Is Not Enough

Last Chance Saloon for Capello, Anyone Else For a round?

Euro 2012 is Fabio Capello’s England Swansong, after the collapse in Bloemfontein, the embarrassments in qualifying for Euro 2012 and the captaincy debacle, the Italian general is on his way out soon. Which fringe players and hopefuls will be joining him in his last hurrah though?

Injury permitting then, regulars Wayne Rooney, John Terry, Steven Gerrard, Joe Hart, Frank Lampard and Ashley Cole will be certain of travelling to the tournament. On the flip side though there is a contingent of players who will be fighting this season to stand a chance of making the flight to Eastern Europe.

Prior to the World Cup in South Africa and all the headlines centred on whether Man City anchor-man Gareth Barry would be fit. He was seen as the integral cog allowing Steven Gerrard and Frank Lampard to play to their strengths in midfield. Barry played and ended up thoroughly disappointing fans and Capello, who had a lot of faith in the ex Villain. His international career is in doubt now with the young talents of Jack Wilshere, Jordan Henderson and Lee Cattermole breathing down his neck. His club form in the past season has suffered, and he has even lost his guaranteed starting place under Mancini, with the Italian preferring Dutch enforcer Nigel De Jong and the versatility of James Milner in the heart of his midfield. Barry will need to impress on the training ground and at the Ethiad stadium if he is to be stand any chance of gaining a place in the Euro 2012 squad.

Another ex-Villain Stewart Downing who managed to wrangle a £20m move away from Villa Park is challenging for a place on the plane. The width he provides will be integral to Daglish’s new Liverpool and Downing will be hoping that his impressive performances against Ghana and in other England fixtures will put him firmly in Capello’s eye for selection. Competition for places at Liverpool will be fierce, but if the Middlesbrough trainee can break into the first team and stay there he should definitely be a contender for the squad at next summer’s tournament.

Downing will be competing for a place on the flanks with a number of other talented English wide men. One of these is Arsenal’s Theo Walcott, who could count himself unlucky to miss out on the World Cup squad and who has had his most impressive season at the Emirates yet; providing 13 goals and 8 assists in all competitions before being sidelined by injury. Walcott has youth on his side at only 22 and already is the proud owner of 17 full England caps. He is another that if injury free and with a good season at Aresnal behind him will be pushing for a place on the plane.

Tom Huddlestone had a fantastic season for the Lilywhites in the 2009-2010 campaign, which saw Harry Redknapp’s men qualify for Champions league football. But his 2010-2011 was marred by injury and this absence at club level has left him in the international doldrums. Huddlestone though brings a good balance to any team and provides a steady stream of goals from midfield as well as some of the most pinpoint passing in England. With an injury free season he could look to add to his 3 full caps and really challenge for a place in Capello’s final squad.



One more of Tottenham’s lost international stars is Aaron Lennon, who after a fantastic season in the Premier League last time of asking will be itching to get back on the England radar and add to his 19 caps. Lennon’s pace and eye for goal are a real addition to any England squad and Capello is an admirer so maybe a re-call for the Lilywhite winger is in order?

One more winger is on the list of will they won’t they’s as far as the Euro 2012 squad goes and that is another ex-Middlesborough trainee, Manchester City man Adam Johnson. Johnson impressed on his debut by scoring and went on to score once more  in his next appearance, however injuries last season meant that he had to forfeit a place on the England flanks. At club level Johnson is a firm favourite of fans and manager alike, but with the severe competition for places at City at the moment will Johnson get an extended run in the first team or be relegated to cameo appearances from the bench? With a run in the first team Johnson looks certain to be on the plane next summer; much will depend though on how this season at City goes.

Jordan Henderson made his international debut in an ill-fated loss to France which saw a youthful England side given a thorough hiding by more organised, ruthless and efficient opposition. Still a promising start to the season last term has resulted in a multi-million pound move for the Sunderland youngster. Henderson also appeared in England’s ill-fated under 21’s European Championship squad, where they managed to be knocked out in the group stages. Henderson was played far too deep to be effective and consequently looked way out of his depth. Daglish though surely knows where Henderson’s talents are; otherwise he wouldn’t have paid so over the odds for him. As an attacking midfielder or wide man is where the boy’s talents are and if they can be suitably unlocked he could be in for a re-call to the England squad.

Finally we have striker Daniel Sturridge. At Manchester City he saw his options of first team football as increasingly low due to the big bucks available. Which paved a move to Chelsea, where now with the arrival of Fernando Torres he could again be set for a move on loan to a Premier League club. If he can repeat his successes at Bolton though and show the clinical edge that England have often lacked of late then this boy’s international future could be in for an early jump-start.

While this may only be a handful of hopefuls there are numerous others hoping for places? £35m Andy Carroll may make the cut, Everton youngster Jack Rodwell has bags of potential and with a first team run may surprise Capello, Gary Cahill is consistent as ever and only 25. At Liverpool there is abundance of talent at full back, with Martin Kelly, John Flanagan and Paul Robinson all pushing Glen Johnson for a place and that is still forgetting surprise package at the under 21’s, Tottenham full back Kyle Walker.

Capello’s final selections will be scrutinised intensely, and is he puts a foot wrong and brings the wrong players it’s likely one of the above 10-15 names that will be quoted in red on the front of the tabloids.


John Fernandez @JohnFernandez1


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