So it’s England time again and boss Fabio Capello has again showed with his latest squad selection that he isn’t afraid to make controversial decisions.
That controversial decision being the selection of Spurs’ injury plagued centre-half Ledley King. King’s talent has never been in question, don’t forget he won his first England cap five years ago, but chronic knee problems mean he can only manage one game a week for Spurs and he barely trains in between.
You can’t really see him coping with the cut and thrust of a major tournament, with a match coming every three days or so. But as Fabio has said, he only picks players who are in form, so if Ledley helps England to two wins in their next two games, it is job done as far as Capello is concerned.
Another new call-up is Everton’s Leighton Baines (who I tipped for a call-up on this site earlier in the year I might add). It may be a surprise for some, but not for Everton fans who have seen the former Wigan man hit a great patch of form in recent weeks alongside Joleon Lescott and Phil Jagielka, who also received call-ups.
We don’t seem to be blessed with a great deal of left-backs. Ashley Cole is the obvious number one but with Wayne Bridge injured, Baines is far and away the most logical choice behind them.
Another one of my previous blogs on this site discussed the goalkeeping situation, which I think is Fabio Capello’s greatest challenge ahead of the World Cup next year. Many people have seen Ben Foster as the man with the potential to take that number one jersey, with only injury and lack of first-team action preventing him from adding to his sole England cap.
But after his heroics in the Carling Cup final earlier in the month he has been given another chance and I fancy him to start the friendly against Slovakia next Saturday. With David James and Edwin Van Der Sar both approaching 40, I reckon Foster may soon find himself number one for both club and country.