I must admit to being very surprised when I heard of Theo Walcotts omission from Fabio Capello’s 23 man squad for the World Cup.
I thought he was a certainty, and at the start of the day I was sure in my own mind that I wanted him there.
I do think that it is very fine lines that such calls are made on. Thinking back to the game against Mexico and in around the 25th minute Theo skipped past a defender looked up and with another back peddling defender to beat on the edge his area, he unexplicably passed to Wayne Rooney, who was two yards off side and not expecting the pass.
Had Theo gone round the last defender (which I’m sure he could off such was his momentum), and then smashed the ball past the keeper, then he would probably be on the plane tomorrow.
The look on Rooney’s face after receiving the pass said it all, I don’t think his thoughts would have been printable.
It just summed up my theory on Walcott, that he is badly lacking in confidence. A confident Theo would surely have finished that chance off himself.
All the recent criticism from ex-players such as Chris Waddle and Paul Merson (to name a couple) must be having an effect on him.
Thats part of the reason to why I’m coming round to thinking that dropping Theo isn’t such a bad move afterall. Yes, I would have taken him, but is Theo lacking in confidence going to be a better option than Shaun Wright-Phillips? Probably not, I suppose.
I’ll give Capello the benefit of the doubt on this selection.
That wasn’t the only surprise sprung by Capello. Despite not playing in any of the warm up games, Stephen Warnock makes the squad at the expense of Leighton Baines. Baines, like Walcott, would appear to have played himself out of the squad.
I was also disappointed not to see Adam Johnson in the squad, England have been crying out for a wide left player for years, so when they get one they don’t pick him.
Don’t see why an extra attacking option like Johnson couldn’t have been selected in place of Michael Carrick, or a defender, with Carragher able to cover all the backline.
I believe Michael Carrick to be a very lucky boy, he is another one who could easily have played his way out of contention. He is lucky that Huddlestone didn’t take his chance. Gareth Barry’s fitness could be another reason why Carrick survived.
Was pleased to see Joe Cole included, there was a few scare stories around over the last seven days that he wasn’t going to make it, to leave him out as well would have been madness.
In the end Capello took the safe option and went with the two players for every position squad.
Not wishing to FA bash, as I’m not one of these people who blames them for everything. But, at 1pm this afternoon the word was out that Theo had been dropped, and at 2.30 it was common knowledge who the seven players to miss out where.
Then we had a statement released from Walcott announcing how disappointed he was not to be included, and a Tweet on Man City’s Twitter page announcing Shaun Wright-Phillips was in the squad, all before the FA officially announced it.
Ok, maybe they were trying to contact players personally before announcing it, but did it really take over 3 hours to ring up all 30 men? I find that hard to believe. The constant drip feed of information didn’t look good.
All thats in the past now, and its time to look forward to the football. Fabio has so far proved himself up to the task, but now the real work starts.
For me, it will be interesting to see how he approaches this tournament. Capello, and Italian managers in general have a habit of being very negative and defensive, history has shown this dosen’t really suit the English style.
It’s now time to find out if we have yet to see the real Capello in action.