But what about the likes of Adam Johnson, Michael Dawson, Tom Huddlestone and Darren Bent, who were all left out in favour of Shaun Wright-Phillips, Matthew Upson, Michael Carrick and Emile Heskey? Surely some of those players should feel hard done by?
For this article I will be making a case for Huddlestone, who I think is being wasted at international level and at least deserved to make the final 23-man squad off the back of an impressive season for Tottenham. The 23-year-old midfielder played in the majority of games in the Premier League for Harry Redknapp’s side and helped the north London club qualify for the Champions League after finishing the top four.
With his passing abilities Huddlestone has the ability to unlock a defence and if deployed in a three man midfield he could let the likes of Frank Lampard and Steven Gerrard (both are being wasted at international level in a laboured 442) do what they do best. It looks as though Gareth Barry will get over his recent injury troubles, so England can play this way if they still wished to. But why is Carrick going to South Africa?
Manchester United’s Carrick has had an awful season at Old Trafford and has spent far too much time on the bench, but he has still miraculously made his way into Capello’s squad. Admittedly Carrick is a good passer of the ball but he doesn’t offer a whole lot else in my opinion. Whereas, Huddlestone has been described by his manager Redknapp as the best passer of a ball at Tottenham and they have the likes of Croatia’s Luka Modric amongst their ranks. As well as having great passing ability and vision he also boasts a great physical presence, which Martin Samuel of the Daily Mail suggests makes him as imposing as any centre-back. Physicality is important and we don’t want to see players getting pushed off the ball, so our deep lying midfielders should have been Barry and Huddlestone, not Carrick. West Ham’s Scott Parker could also have done a good job for England as a tough tackling midfielder, but his lack of England caps counted against him in the same way as it went against Huddlestone.
Like many other England fans I have an opinion on Capello’s selection and the optimism is starting to wane a little for me. For me the whole day was farcical as we got updates every half an hour or so about the latest player who was/wasn’t going.
Oh well, Capello’s a good manager and it seems as though we are in winning ways (even if it is winning ugly) and the Three Lions have a good chance as long as the Italian keeps those troublesome WAGs away, we avoid any penalty shootouts and every other nation has a few bad days.
Tom Huddlestone screamer against Bolton:
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