After days of speculation, combined with lurid details about the player’s injury history and well founded fears that the manager would fall out with the coach of the player in question if he was selected, Stephen Warnock has made the England squad for the Brazil friendly in Doha. The other Stevie, of whom little has been said in the press or on the airwaves recently, won’t go but may play for Liverpool against Birmingham City tonight anyway. Here’s a quick look through the press reaction to the squad:
Fabio Capello does listen to managers after all, says The Guardian. The absence of Joe Cole from the squad is bad news for the Chelsea playmaker, according to The Telegraph. Michael Owen’s chances of a World Cup place are also in more doubt than ever if we are to believe The Times. Capello had already made his mind up about Owen even before the striker’s seven minute run out against Chelsea, says The Daily Mail. And even though he failed to show up at the Croatia game, seemingly spurning an invitation from Capello himself, Darren Bent is back as a possible lone target man. At least that’s what The Daily Mirror believes.
And in other World Cup news, while describing it as ‘war’ is over-dramatic, this website has done a good job of summarising what lies ahead as the last nine World Cup places are settled over the next nine days.