Betfair blogger Louise Moran is delighted to see an England manager prepared to make a stand.
Fabio Capello just keeps going further and further up in my estimation.
England have improved dramatically under his tenure and now he is flexing his
muscles against the might of the Premiership clubs.
Faced with a large number of withdrawals from the England squad for the
friendly against Germany in Berlin, Liverpool's announcement that Steven
Gerrard wouldn't be available seems to have tipped Capello over the edge.
Gerrard played the whole game against Bolton on Saturday as Liverpool continue
to shorten their Premiership
odds. His club's announcement that a groin problem would prevent him
joining up with England didn't go down well with the Italian, who demanded the
midfielder should travel to England's headquarters where his injury would be
You've got to admire his stance. Gerrard's injury was proved serious enough
to prevent him playing but Capello's made his position clear. Whether this
friendly is a pointless moneymaking exercise is not the issue. If players are
called up to the England squad, they should join up with the England squad.
Wayne Rooney and Rio Ferdinand weren't asked to join up because Manchester
United had previously informed Capello they weren't playing against Stoke and
wouldn't be available for England. Gerrard did play at the weekend and
Liverpool then made their announcement.
Of course I can understand clubs not wanting to risk top players in
international action, whether in meaningless friendlies or World Cup
qualifiers, and Rafa Benitez was recently burned when Fernando Torres picked up
his injury playing for Spain. We've also got the latest injury to Theo Walcott,
which could rule him out for anything up to three months.
But clubs shouldn't dictate when fit and available players can or can't join
up with their national teams. If not, what is the point of these friendlies?
The FA may as well bring back the England B team. It's good to see a strong
England manager making a stand, and long may it continue.