Gabby Agbonlahor is now an English squaddie
Gabriel Agbonlahor’s inclusion in the England squad is cause for celebration. He has been a stand out for Villa and his combination of blistering pace, damaging crosses, and timely headers should make for a more potent England offense which looked toothless in the Euro qualifiers. His equally dangerous bookend Ashley Young also received a call along with three other Villa players.
Michael Owen got a reputation call. Capello probably settled with a bag of chips and some Peroni, saw some old 1998 World Cup footage and Liverpool’s 2001 FA final against Arsenal and decided that the more portly and damaged Owen had some legs left in him.
Capello had no room for Beckham who surely must be ruing his move to the MLS as Capello abundantly made clear that his lack of match practice was at the heart of his exclusion. The MLS season gets over in December. At stake is a personal milestone of a 100 caps. The training at Arsenal did not help Beckham. In fact, Arsenal’s contribution remained a dismal zero as Walcott was singled out for praise and not for selection. Spurs got in Woodgate, Jenas, and Ledley King.
So begins the Capello reign. England take on Switzerland in a friendly next Wednesday. Under the new rules, friendlies are considered akin to trench warfare. This match should be a good indicator of the England squad’s newly minted aggressive psyche.