Sunday, 30 May 2010

Capello Experiments

England team to face Japan:
David James, Glen Johnson, John Terry, Rio Ferdinand, Ashley Cole, Theo Walcott, Tom Huddlestone, Frank Lampard, Aaron Lennon, Wayne Rooney, Darren Bent

England coach Fabio Capello has rung the changes for their final friendly before the World Cup, handing starts to Tom Huddlestone and Darren Bent.

Tottenham midfielder Huddlestone and Sunderland striker Bent will hope to impress against Japan on Sunday.

Chelsea trio John Terry, Ashley Cole and Frank Lampard return but there is no place for club-mate Joe Cole.

Capello, who revealed he already knows 20 of his 23-man party, will trim his squad from 30 to 23 on Tuesday.

There had been concern regarding the fitness of Steven Gerrard after the Mexico game but the Liverpool captain will be a substitute against Japan and Capello insisted he is not worried about the midfielder.

"He is fit. He was tired after the game against Mexico," said Capello. "He won't play the first half against Japan but probably the second half. I know him very well and just want to get to know the other players."

England's line-up for the friendly in Austria has a slightly experimental look with Tottenham's Aaron Lennon operating in an unaccustomed left-wing role while Arsenal's Theo Walcott will start on the right wing.

But when asked whether the team that starts the game against Japan will be his same starting 11 for England's opening game of the World Cup against the United States on the 12 June, Capello replied: "no, absolutely not."

Portsmouth goalkeeper David James will come into the side as he aims to establish himself as England's number one ahead of West Ham's Robert Green, who impressed against Mexico, and Joe Hart of Manchester City.

But Capello admitted he has "more or less" decided who will start in goal.

Bent, who missed the game against Mexico with a hamstring injury, will start as Capello tries another strike partner with Manchester United talisman Wayne Rooney.

The pair scored 50 Premier League goals between them this season but Bent has Peter Crouch, Jermain Defoe, and Emile Heskey to battle with for a place on the plane to South Africa.

Captain Rio Ferdinand will lead the side out, while Glen Johnson continues at right-back.

Unless Capello makes any late changes to his starting line-up for the game against Japan there will be seven players yet to feature in England's two World Cup warm-up games, either starting or as a substitute.

However, the seven of Chelsea's Joe Cole, Tottenham's Michael Dawson, West Ham's Matthew Upson and Scott Parker, Manchester City's Shaun Wright-Phillips and Aston Villa's Stephen Warnock and Emile Heskey could still come off the bench on Sunday.
I can't say I'm happy to see Lennon on the left, I'd rather have seen Adam Johnson or Joe Cole out there, with Lennon in his usual right hand position, but I have not doubt Capello knows what he needs to see in England's last friendly before the World Cup.

It'll be good to see Huddlestone get a start although I'm unsure whether he's ready to play at a World Cup, his mobility would worry me against the better sides in the tournament, and based on the fact Rooney & Crouch are probably assured of a place I'm wondering if Bent is competing with Heskey or Defoe for the final striker spot?



CFCBOSS said...

i think defoe is definitely on the plane, like i said before, bent doesn't make the cut, in my opinion, it's either him or heskey & capello prefers heskey.
i'd love to see j.cole to get some game time.

Bradley said...

Capello should definitely keep this Own Goal guy on the squad because without him England would've been screwed.

Lampard's picked a bad time to lose his PK taking mojo. At least this effort was on target, unlike the one in the FA Cup.

Bradley said...

In non-England news Luka Modric has signed a new 6-year contract with Spurs. I'm pretty sure I can hear AM cheering from across the Atlantic.

Ian Sanderson said...

So who will be in the 23 man squad?

I have no idea what Mr Capello is going to do.

So, Heskey or Bent, is Barry fit, Lennon, Walcott or SWP (or all three).

Here's my prediction.

3 goal-keepers:- James/Green/Hart

7 defenders:- Johnson/Terry/Ferdinand/Cole/Carragher/Baines/King

8 midfielders:- Cole/Gerrard/Lampard/Lennon/Milner/Walcott/Johnson/SWP/Barry

5 forwards:- Rooney/Crouch/Defoe/Bent

Ian Sanderson said...

oops, bit of a deliberate mistake above.

ToffeeDave said...

Ian I dont see Johnson, SWP or Bent going. SWP and Johnson haven't played nearly enough to justify going in front of Carrick especially. I miss fantasy debates already :(

Ian Sanderson said...

I think it's a straight choice between Heskey or Bent; Capello may prefer Heskey but form says Bent.
I think I'm a bit top heavy in my midfield, but that's where the options are needed to change games. Pretty sure Johnson will go, but you may be right with SWP making way for Carrick or Upson.

Bojan said...

Capello dont know his starting 11 and tat is much bigger problem that who will go to South Africa...T

Btw, Upson,warnock,dawson,SWP,Bent,T Hudd and parker will be dropped

joshtottenham said...

Bojan...I bet he does. Japan game was experiments for plan C or D I reckon, and possibly last chances for a few players to change his mind. He said straight after the game he knew who was staying and who was going; doesnt sound like he was still mulling over players performances. That said if theo on the right is first choice over lennon....

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Bojan said...

@josh - who will play in starting 11, iyo? Gerrard,Lampard,Barry and Lennon in midfield?

Who will be GK, and if 1st choice GK has shaky performance will he be dropped after first game...

Ian Sanderson said...

I agree with Josh.
Of course he knows his starting 11, but needs to look atall options. His starting 11 could be different depending on the opposition too.
Plus good news, seems Walcott is not going.

Bradley said...

And the answer is

GKs: Hart, James, Green.

DFs: Carragher, A. Cole, Ferdinand, G. Johnson, King, Terry, Upson, Warnock

MFs: Barry, Carrick, J. Cole, Gerrard, Lampard, Lennon, Milner, SWP

Strikers: Crouch, Defoe, Heskey, Rooney

Let the second guessing begin.

Bojan said...

team to start against USA:


Johnson Rio Terry Cole

Lennon Barry Lampard Gerrard

Crouch Rooney

Ian Sanderson said...

Don't think Barry will be fit enough for USA.

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