Thursday, 31 January 2008

New Cap, Tight Belt

Matthew Upson has been one of the big beneficiaries of the new England shake-up after being called up for Fabio Capello's first England squad. On a sour note, Robert Green and Dean Ashton have been overlooked once again. The Hammers defender, who has four caps to his name has been included in the provisional 30-man squad for the friendly against Switzerland next week. The only two new caps in what is a surprisingly unadventurous selection are Aston Villa's Curtis Davies and Gabriel Agbonlahor.

Other inclusions of interest are Villa winger Ashley Young, who made his England debut against Austria in November, and Blackburn's David Bentley, who profits from Beckham's absence. Capello said: "I know there has been a lot of discussion about David Beckham. The reason that David is not in the squad is because he has not had any real match practice since playing in November. When I spoke with David on the phone yesterday I advised him that he is still part of my plans and once he is playing regularly in America we will look closely at him again."

He added: "I have selected a squad of 30 players as I think it is important that all the players are equal from the beginning. There are a lot of games before we join up and I think it is better that we are prepared for any injuries. This way we are not expecting to call players up as late replacements when I name a 23-man squad on Saturday evening. Franco Baldini and I have been watching many games since we arrived in England and we have tried to see as many English players as possible before deciding on the squad. There were a number of players that we already knew about but there are many we have seen playing live for the first time. We will use the time between now and our first World Cup qualifying match in September to look at the players and find the best formula for the England team. I will also look at players who have not been included in the squad this time."

Capello said he had worked closely with Stuart Pearce on squad selection, noting that "there are some players like Joe Hart, Aaron Lennon, Theo Walcott and David Wheater who are with the Under-21s this time because they have a very important qualification game against Ireland on Tuesday." Mark Noble is included in that group after he was named in Stuart Pearce's squad. Nine-times-capped Noble, who has scored three goals for the under 21s, was the only Hammer named in the squad for the European Under-21 qualifier, which is being played at Southampton's St Mary's Stadium.

In other news, according to an article by Andrew Dillon in today's Sun, West Ham United have been forced to abandon plans for a new £10million training complex amid a cash squeeze at the club. It is claimed Bjorgolfur Gudmundsson has ordered a massive belt-tightening from top to bottom after boss Alan Curbishley was allowed to lash out £40million in the last 13 months. Curbishley had overseen proposals to move the first-team squad to Rush Green in Barking, site of the old Ford Utd FC. But, claims Dillon, he may now have to stay put at the club’s cramped Chadwell Heath HQ. A West Ham spokesman said: "There were one or two issues with that site. But other options are being investigated."

No comments:


Copyright 2007 ID Media Inc, All Right Reserved. Crafted by Nurudin Jauhari