Date:Friday September 29 2006
Having been handed a glimmer of hope of England recalls these have been snatched away from David James and Sol Campbell as they have again been omitted from Steve McLaren's latest squad.
England face Macedonia and Croatia in their latest European Championship Qualifying ties, and after being offered what was thought a lifeline Steve McLaren has opted against restoring the two in form Pompey players to the squad.
With the quality England have in central defence now it was always going to be hard for Sol to regain his place, but not just saying this from a biased Pompey point of view he is playing as well, arguably better than most, John Terry aside. Jamie Carragher has made several uncharacteristic mistakes this season, Wes Brown isn't even in the United team and Ledley King has only recently returned from injury for Spurs so why couldn't he get a look in? Brown has probably been picked as a full-back option, and maybe King as a holding midfield option, which if so WHY? He's got Michael Carrick and Scott Parker for that!
David James, who has only conceded ONE GOAL all season on the other hand should without question have been in this squad, he should have never been left out really. It's good to give the younger members a chance but not sure that Chris Kirkland and Ben Foster are both ready for the squad yet, despite being quality goalkeepers, an experienced member in James is needed should anything happen to Paul Robinson, who in all honesty isn't in the greatest of form for Spurs this season anyway.
I can't see anyway back for either now as if they couldn't get in this time round I don't think they ever will. It is starting to appear that as with so many other previous England managers if you are not with a "fashionable" or "big club" you don't get in! Pompey despite their fine form and highflying Premiership position are clearly neither. I know Kirkland is with Wigan and Foster Watford, but these are only loans and in the record books they'll be known as Liverpool and United players respectively when picked here.
If you are McLaren's golden boy from Middlesbrough or you're English and play for Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester United or Tottenham you`re an almost certainty! Everton are coming back into fashion but that said I can't really argue with the players they've had included, and Newcastle's Scotty Parker is also having a fine season.
McLaren's got his own ideas, which is fair enough, and he wants to look to the future but it makes me laugh, he says people will get picked on current form but not many can match that of James and Campbell surely?
Plus Wes Brown, Wayne Bridge, Kieran Richardson, Shaun Wright-Phillips and to a degree Jermaine Defoe are not getting much, if any game time this season and they are in, Ledley King is not long back from injury and his golden boy Stewart Downing has been out injured himself recently!
Current form is clearly a deciding factor Steve...
Date:Friday September 29 2006
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