Almost every English footballer that has made it in the big time in the last 20 years is entitled to think that they are fulfilling their dreams by playing professional football for a living. This comes as no surprise when you constantly hear how they want to win trophies, play in the FA Cup final and last, but by no means least, play for England. Most go on about how they would be happy to do anything to play for their country but let’s face it; once you get the chance you want more of it. However, there are some that will always be remembered as “one cap wonders”. Here are ten of those players that have played for England once and, barring any astonishing selections by Fabio Capello in some cases, are never likely to play for their country again.
Michael Ricketts (Holland v England, 2002) – the former Bolton striker was given the chance to conquer Holland. He failed and, whether he had nightmares from that night or not, Ricketts found himself going down the leagues.
Steve Guppy (England v Belgium, 1999) – was said to be the second best crosser of the ball in the country behind a certain David Beckham at the time. He may played over 500 club games but once was enough for him in the national team.
David Unsworth (England v Japan, 1995) – “Rhino” was meant to be the next best thing when he was called up. Another veteran in club football, the game against Japan was an experimental team…how he missed the chance to shine then.
Neil Ruddock (England v Nigeria, 1994) – “Razor” had quite a career…off the field. Terry Venables should have pursued with him- he would have frightened the life out of opposition players! Must have realised he had more of a talent for reality TV shows.
Anthony Gardner (Sweden v England, 2004) – seemed to show a bit of class at Tottenham which obviously led to a call-up. A largely surprising selection and a largely quiet exit from the international scene after one substitute appearance.
Joey Barton (England v Spain, 2007) – so you write a book about your disapproval at some members of the England squad and then get the chance to play for your country alongside some of those names! Very clever selecting by Steve McClaren. Finds fighting random members of the public more interesting so let him stick to that.
Seth Johnson (Italy v England, 2000) – surely he is the first ever Seth to play for England? An average player but was probably noticed because he was apparently performing well for his club Derby County at the time.
Lee Bowyer (England v Portugal, 2002) – too many altercations on and off the pitch probably stopped his chance to show England what he can do.
Francis Jeffers (England v Australia, 2003) – amazingly labeled the “fox in the box” but failed to show that in a national kit. Held the record, along with Alan Shearer, for scoring 13 goals in 16 u21 games but at least he can say that he scored a goal in his only appearance for the senior side- an embarrassing home defeat to Australia.
David Nugent (Andorra v England, 2007) – another one with a 100% record for England- 1 goal, 1 game. However, he had the cheek to claim that goal by putting the finishing touch to a Jermain Defoe shot that was already on its way in. Perhaps he knew that this was to be his only chance, so why not take scoring a goal home with you?
Are there any players that people would like to add to this list? Should any of these guys mentioned have been given more chances?
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