2008 was a successfull year for England under Fabio Capello. From EURO 2008 failures to top of their qualification group, people are now tempted to put a bet on England to win the World Cup!
England’s first game of 2009 will be in Spain on the 11th February. It will be a further chance for Capello to experiment with his squad and perhaps take a look at some of England’s younger players with one eye on South Africa 2010.
With that in mind Tom Mallows takes a look at some uncapped youngsters whose recent performances may have forced themselves into Capello’s thoughts.....
An attacking full-back, Baines’ form at Wigan earned him a big money move to Everton in 2007. But he struggled in his early Everton career and soon found himself out of the team. However he has found himself back into contention recently and has played his part in Everton’s defensive resurgence.
The Bradford born youngster has established himself in the Leeds team this season and has earned a reputation as a creative attacking midfielder with an eye for goal. He has already been linked with a move to the Premier League and the football odds suggest he will eventually make a big money transfer. Capello may want to have a closer look at him.
The Chelsea youngster’s form while on loan to Wolves earned him a call up to Capello’s squad for the friendly in Germany last year. He has since been recalled by the Londoners and if he can match his form for Wolves for his parent club, a first cap will not be far away.
A regular for the under 21s he has played a key role in Wigan’s surge up the Premier League table since signing from Middlesbrough last sumer summer. England is blessed with central midfielders though so he may have to be patient and wait for his chance.
Is this the year Milner finally gets that first cap? Since making his Leeds debut aged 16 Milner has racked up over 200 first team appearances and is England Under-21s most capped player. Named by Fabio Capello as one for the future and in sparkling form for high flying Aston Villa, he is almost certain of a call-up next month.
Newcastle defender Taylor has remained a consistent and loyal figure in the Magpies team despite their slide down the Premier League table. He captained the Under 21 side at the European Chaminships in 2007 and has made an appearance for the England B team. He can’t be far away from a full call up - Newcastle fans will hope he is still a Magpies player when he does get the nod.
Spurs midfielder O’Hara only made his Under 21 debut early last year but he has since become a regular in the both the Under 21 side and the Spurs squad ever since. As well as central midfield O’Hara can play at left back or left midfield - His versatility may tempt Capello to call him up.
Do you agree with Tom? Who else should be in Capello's squad? Please leave your comments below.