Theo Walcott will not be making the trip to South Africa for the England National team… although he is the bloke that made the goals that qualified them:
Walcott scored a memorable hat-trick as England secured a crucial 4-1 World Cup qualifying victory against Croatia in Zagreb, but that was back in September 2008 and he has struggled for form since.
Sunderland striker Darren Bent, Tottenham duo Michael Dawson and Tom Huddlestone, Manchester City winger Adam Johnson, Everton defender Leighton Baines and West Ham’s Scott Parker also missed out.
Shoulder, back, knee and hamstring problems restricted Walcott to just 15 starting appearances for Arsenal this term, but he was recalled to the England squad in March and looked to be back in Capello’s plans.
Walcott first hit the headlines four years ago when he was included in Sven Goran Eriksson’s World Cup squad despite never having played a Premier League game.
“I am very disappointed not to be included but completely respect Mr Capello’s decision. I would like to wish the team best of luck,” Walcott said.
Bent finished the season as the second highest scoring English striker in the Premier League, behind Wayne Rooney, but has failed to impress on the international stage during his limited opportunities.
At left back, Capello has surprisingly opted for Aston Villa’s Stephen Warnock to provide cover for Ashley Cole, ahead of Baines. Warnock has played just eight minutes for England, during a friendly against Trinidad and Tobago in 2008, while Baines featured against Egypt in March and against Mexico at Wembley.
Manchester City winger Johnson made a late run for selection following his January transfer to Eastlands from Championship side Middlesbrough, but only featured for five minutes against Mexico and Capello appears to have opted for experience in Joe Cole.
Dawson and Parker were both called up for England World Cup warm-up matches but didn’t get any playing time. Huddlestone was called up as cover for holding midfielder Gareth Barry, who looks set to take his place in the final 23 even though he will be sidelined for the opening match against USA, and is surplus to requirements.
Squad: Robert Green, Joe Hart, David James, Jamie Carragher, Ashley Cole, Rio Ferdinand, Glen Johnson, Ledley King, John Terry, Matthew Upson, Stephen Warnock, Gareth Barry, Michael Carrick, Joe Cole, Steven Gerrard, Frank Lampard, Aaron Lennon, James Milner, Shaun Wright-Phillips, Peter Crouch, Jermain Defoe, Emile Heskey, Wayne Rooney.
This is for the birds, and we can’t believe they would f*ckin do that to the lad!