Well, as ever, people have been having their say about Fabio Capello’s selection for South Africa. Was he right to leave Theo Walcott at home? Does Emile Heskey deserve his place in the squad? Why was Matthew Upson selected in favour of Michael Dawson? Norman Giller has been asking for your opinion.
Matt Lowry ponders: “I’m still wondering why Walcott was not picked. He is the type of player that can make something out of nothing with his insane speed. I also don’t understand why people are complaining about Heskey, who is great at holding the ball up and adds a different dimension to the squad.”
Rob Woolmer similarly states his contentment with regards to the Heskey situation: “Heskey brings the best out of our biggest goal threat – he has to be included.”
On the subject of Theo, however, Rob canvassed a differing opinion: “Pace does not win football matches as much as decent deliveries into the box. Everyone mentions that hat-trick against Croatia but Walcott is not renowned for his goal-scoring and he has also struggled to make the Arsenal first team this year like Shaun Wright-Phillips for City, the latter very possibly being down to the contract dispute. Apparently Capello was incensed with Walcott not following instructions in the recent friendlies…”
The inclusion of Matthew Upson before Michael Dawson has also been seen as a favourable choice. “At a World Cup it’s very important a squad has experienced players,” remarks Martin Lorentsen, “Dawson has been outstanding this season but he’s yet to get his England debut. Upson hasn’t been great this season, but he has international experience. It’s the same story with Jamie Carragher.”
“18 caps for the Hammer swung this one,” agrees Rob, “Dawson entered the fray a little too late. Such a shame he started the season injured.”
“Experience over youth has nearly always been the way with the World Cup, Rob,” Norman Giller reveals, “I remember 18-year-old Bobby Charlton being taken to the 1958 finals. He did not get a game … and they left behind hot shot Jimmy Greaves who was scoring goals galore for Chelsea. Even Pele and Garrincha in that tournament were considered too young until the older players petitioned the management to pick them for the later games. More recently of course there was Theo Walcott, selected but not played.”
Fabio Capello has indeed opted for wisdom over vitality. His England squad is the oldest England have ever assembled in their history.
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