Connect with us


The 7 Players Fabio Capello Should Drop From England's World Cup Squad

File photo of England's manager Capello looking on before their World Cup 2010 qualifying soccer match against Ukraine in Dnipropetrovsk

Well the 30 players named in Fabio Capello’s England squad have had multiple trainng sessions and two games to earn their place on the plane to South Africa.

Now is the time that this squad must be trimmed to 23 players, meaning that 7 players will soon receive the dreaded phone call ending their World Cup dreams for at least four years if not forever.

I have analysed the squad and named the squad I would name for the World Cup; based on form, formation and ability.

In my opinion the following players should not make it into the final England squad for the FIFA World Cup 2010.

Michael Dawson

Matthew Upson

Stephen Warnock

Gareth Barry

Tom Huddleston

Shaun Wright-Phillips

Emile Heskey

In an attempt to rationalise and justify my choices, the list below shows the 11 players that I would consider guaranteed a place in the squad.

100% On The Plane


With the goalkeeping spots decided by default, defence is the first area where a reduction in numbers needs to be made.

I will start by deciding who should definitely make the plane, due to the return from international retirement of Jamie Carragher, it can be deduced rightly that due to his versatility and experience, he cannot be left at home.

Alongside Carragher I would also include Ledley King in the squad, he has just about proved his form and fitness during a long and successful season with Tottenham.

With these decisions in mind, I think the first casualty of the squad reduction should be Matthew Upson, after playing consistently in one of the worse defences in the Premier League, he has shown little to warrant selection ahead of Ledley King or Michael Dawson.

I also think that Michael Dawson should be axed, as despite his solid form the inclusion of Jamie Carragher means that England already have four players that can play in the centre of defence.

The defensive quandaries are therefore reduced to deciding who should deputise for Ashley Cole at Left Back.

I would take Leighton Baines as a dependable back up option, with Stephen Warnock missing out in what feels like an unimportant coin flip between the two.


This is probably the hardest part of the decision process, as there are many players who have had flashes of brilliance, yet not shown enough to warrant automatic selection.

On the right there is a choice between Aaron Lennon, Theo Walcott and Shaun Wright Phillips. The guaranteed spot should go to Aarron Lennon who is stronger, more consistent and a better all round footballer than the other two. I would then include Theo Walcott as an impact player from the bench if required.

The other wide options would be made up of James Milner and Adam Johnson who have both excelled this season and can play on both wings.

In the centre, I would make my most controversial choice by omitting Gareth Barry, he is injured and therefore is unlikely to be at his best for the competition. England have had enough experience of playing with unfit players to know it is better to cut their losses on this occasion.

I would replace Gareth Barry with Scott Parker, one of the most underrated players qualified to play for England, there is a reason that he is the only West Ham player not for sale this summer.

Finally I would omit Tom Huddlestone from the squad, opting to include Joe Cole as he offers something creative which in limited Chelsea and England appearances he has shown this season.


Arguably England’s achilles heel, the partnership  options involving Wayne Rooney have not quite been resolved. Based on form Emile Heskey is the man to make way, having not scored since February and unable to hold down a regular starting berth at his club, it is time to accept that dispite his obvious qualities, he is not an international class striker.

Therefore Jermain Defoe, Darren Bent and Peter Crouch join Wayne Rooney as England’s striking options.

Overview of Preparations

The most worrying part of England’s preparation for the tournament has to be a lack of depth, with all the questions raised during the recent friendlies; I hope that Fabio Capello has more of a clue of his best 23 than I do.

The only comforter from recent performances is that very rarely are these true indicators of tournament performance.

Follow the World Cup with the EPL Talk Toolbar

200+ Channels With Sports & News
  • Starting price: $33/mo. for fubo Latino Package
  • Watch Premier League, World Cup, Euro 2024 & more
Live & On Demand TV Streaming
  • Price: $35/mo. for Sling Blue
  • Watch Premier League, World Cup & MLS
Many Sports & ESPN Originals
  • Price: $9.99/mo. (or get ESPN+, Hulu & Disney+ for $13.99/mo.)
  • Features Bundesliga, LaLiga, Championship, & more
2,000+ soccer games per year
  • Price: $4.99/mo
  • Features Champions League, Serie A, Europa League & NWSL
175 Premier League Games & PL TV
  • Starting price: $4.99/mo. for Peacock Premium
  • Watch 175 exclusive EPL games per season
110+ channels, live & on-demand
  • Price: $59.95/mo. for Plus Package
  • Includes FOX, FS1, ESPN, TUDN & more



  1. George Lee

    June 19, 2010 at 9:41 pm


  2. rat

    June 1, 2010 at 3:09 am

    Adam Johnson should be on the plane. He is a impact player that i have been very impressed with this season. Wallcott is terrible in comparisson

  3. Andy

    May 31, 2010 at 1:54 pm

    with a lack of an obvious world class forward to pair with rooney, i would play either a 4-5-1 formation, and take gareth barry as the holding man, or play a 4-3-3. the second option in my opinion would be better, as the majority of our english attacking talent is used to this system. arsenal, chelsea, and man utd have all played this formation this year, and i also believe it will get the best out of our attacking fullbacks, and give much needed support to the wings, while wayne rooney can do what he has done best this year, and put the crosses in the back of the net, with gerrard and lamps following up behind him.

  4. Kristian Downer

    May 31, 2010 at 11:54 am

    Hi randdino, I am not offended,thats what I get for writing when tired, your comments are spot on and will be noted.

  5. ranndino

    May 31, 2010 at 10:36 am

    Overall, I agree. However, I would not drop SWP & Heskey.

    SWP is one of the very few dynamic players England has. One that can break defenses on his own. Theo Walcott is useless. I used to really like him when he first popped up on the scene, but I don’t understand what happened to him since. He’s a rare breed of player who actually managed to regress significantly since he was 18. As someone well put it already he’s a sprinter, not a footballer. He’s still very fast, but seems to not have the slightest clue what to do with the ball when he gets in good positions. The confidence he exhibited as an 18-year old has been completely sapped.

    As for Heskey someone above already outlined why he should be in the squad. People can say whatever they want about his inability to score himself, but there’s not doubt he makes others around him more effective.

    Lastly, don’t be offended, but I expect slightly better level of writing from this blog. This post was hard to digest stylistically. My 5th grade English teacher would’ve given it a C at best. Here’s the best example:

    “So with the goalkeeping decisions decided by default, there are a number of decisions to be made in this area”.

    Seriously? The same word 3 times in one sentence? C’mon man, use a thesaurus if you have to.

  6. issa

    May 31, 2010 at 5:02 am

    Capello should consider SWR brain power when when he has started or when from the bench ;his pace is moderate;he can shrine in any situation.
    DAWSON ;BENT;PAKER should be give a chance according to their recent form

  7. Derek

    May 31, 2010 at 4:14 am

    I agree that Scott Parker should replace Gareth Barry, but Capello seems to be in love with Barry. I just feel that although Barry will be healthy to play in the second match of the group stage, I don’t think he would be 100%. And Scott Parker can easily fill Barry’s position, and maybe even do it slightly better.

  8. Marshall Norbal

    May 31, 2010 at 2:34 am

    I agree with Gaz Hunt Heskey will go despite his goal scoring record.

    Dawson and Parker should have been given chances and are likely to be part of the 7 to get dropped

    Would also like to see Joe Cole play with Wayne Rooney up front, If it’s Gerrard and Lampard in the middle or play 4-3-3, I think a real key to England’s success is making sure Rooney leads the line and is not involved in ‘dropping deep’ like what he used to do so much for at United.

  9. Gaz Hunt

    May 30, 2010 at 11:51 pm

    There’s no way Heskey is getting dropped after featuring in most of England’s qualifying matches. Bent is to go.

    Also, Capello must have noticed that Wright-Phillips has looked a much more threatening off-the-bench option than Theo Walcott. Walcott has been given a few runs and failed to impress. I think Wright-Phillips will go and Walcott will stay.

    Otherwise, I generally agree.

  10. brn442

    May 30, 2010 at 11:31 pm

    Mr. Downer, you’re lucky It’s a holiday weekend and I’m in a good mood.

    • Kristian Downer

      May 31, 2010 at 5:58 am

      That sounds ominous, I have not killed any Polar bears today, I am a good environmentally friendly human being 🙂

  11. phil mcthomas

    May 30, 2010 at 9:00 pm

    Not sure if you think this is who *should* be selected or who will be.

    How can scott parker be in the squad? Did he get a minute on the pitch in these two friendlies? Dropped.

    I can’t seee carrick getting picked either. I’ll take Huddlestone over him.

  12. goke313

    May 30, 2010 at 8:59 pm

    Jamie Carragher aka Mrs.Drogba ……lmao he’ll get skinned alive if he’s in your back4….good luck LMAO

  13. Matt

    May 30, 2010 at 7:19 pm

    Theo Walcott.

    He will become the first sprinter to travel to World Cups if he goes.

    He’s certainly not a footballer.

  14. Kristian Downer

    May 30, 2010 at 5:03 pm

    I agree mw828 Dawson was one player that I would like to have seen given a chance, unless Capello already has the plan for him decided for good or bad.

  15. Woves in SC

    May 30, 2010 at 4:49 pm

    I think Heskey has been an integral part of England’s better performances in the past couple of years. He leads the line against big opposition and is the perfect foil for Rooney if Capello chooses to go 4-4-2. I understand how many goals Bent has scored in the Premier, but he’s not international class for me and should be the striker to miss out.

    If Barry is expected to be fit by the middle of June, it makes no sense to leave him out. The holding midfield spot is one of the most competitive only because there is no cast iron replacement for Barry. I didn’t think Huddlestone helped himself today. I think he may miss out as a result, although Carrick was equally disappointing on Monday.

    You’re probably right about Walcott. His extra pace may win him a spot even though he is very wasteful in the last third. I thought SWP did pretty well today, but may be left out.

    Upson seems certain to miss out. I feel worse for Dawson who seems to be the main victim of Carragher’s reinstatement and has had a terrific season.

  16. graham

    May 30, 2010 at 4:47 pm

    Hart looks like the form keeper, cole and johnson as full backs, neither terry or ferdinand have convinced for club or country this season, if they don’t buck they’re ideas up them bring in Carragher and king, lennon on the right ,Lampard and barry in the middle, adam johnson on the left and gerrard playing behind the lone rooney

  17. mw828

    May 30, 2010 at 4:42 pm

    i wish he would have given dawson at least a run out. he can’t drop carragher cuz he is the only backup for RB, so why not see what he’s got instead of putting carragher in the game for no reason.

  18. Phillip Badger

    May 30, 2010 at 3:39 pm

    not sure what Michael Carrick has done during the season or in the friendlies to force his inclusion instead of Huddlestone.

  19. Brett

    May 30, 2010 at 3:29 pm

    You can put in ‘Peter Crouch’ under Wayne Rooney’s name.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

More in General

Translate »