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England announce 23 member squad for the World Cup

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theo_walcott.jpgFabio Capello named his 23 member squad traveling to South Africa on Tuesday. The Italian saw his team garner unconvincing wins over Mexico and Japan and had enough time to ponder over the perfect blend that will help him win the FIFA World Cup trophy in Johannesburg on July the 11th. They are one of the many favourites to win this edition of the World Cup and a lot of media attention has been surrounding the announcement of who is excluded and who is included in the English squad.

Recent performances from the Three Lions have been far from noteworthy and hence, the world was eagerly awaiting who the audacious Italian Fabio Capello was ready to boot out of the team. Most of the irregular players in the provisional squad were coming off great domestic campaigns and dropping them would seem harsh. The Italian had to carefully weigh his options considering form, blend, requirement, age and injury before making those 7 deadly phone calls to the players who were not going to fulfill their dream of playing at the grandest stage in the sport for the next four years of their careers for sure.

As predicted Tom Huddlestone and Darren Bent were deemed surplus to the English requirements in South Africa. Both players had disappointing outings against Japan and looked set to get the phone call from the Italian boss. Gareth Barry was given the green light two hours before the announcement of the squad and Capello preferred to take on board a partially fit Barry than a completely fit Huddlestone who clearly isn't ready to make the international stage his own. Bent scored 25 goals for mid table team Sunderland and his domestic achievements compelled Capello to consider the striker. He spurned crucial chances against Japan and one would think that that is something the Italian isn't willing to risk when it comes to the biggest stage of them all.

Theo Walcott was shown the door as well by Fabio Capello after his half-decent performances at international level. His tussle with injuries and lack of consistency may be a characteristic of youth but the former Real Madrid boss will not be encouraged to take hasty decisions on such trivial considerations. Walcott had recently come out and spoken about how he was lucky to have made it to the 2006 World Cup squad and now it seems the Arsenal winger's luck has left him stranded in neverland.

Adam Johnson was also given the boot by Fabio Capello and one would think that his lack of experience at the highest level led to his ousting. Johnson impressed at Manchester City by making his way straight into the first team with some stellar performances since his move from Middlesborough. A place in the squad could have been too big a step this early in his career.

Scott Parker and Michael Dawson also failed to book their tickets to South Africa. With the return of Jamie Carragher from retirement and a number of centre halves ahead of him in the pecking order, the Tottenham defender's chances weren't too bright in the first place. Stephen Warnock has been given the nod by Capello over Leighton Baines and he will act as Ashley Cole's back up at this year's World Cup. Warnock's inclusion comes as a surprise due to his lack of experience though media reports had already predicted this twist in the morning.

England will not be playing anymore preparatory games as they head straight to World Cup. They have USA, Algeria and Slovenia as their competitors in the group stage. They will face off against USA in their opening game of the tournament which takes place on the 12th of June.

England's final 23-man squad for World Cup 2010:

Goalkeepers: Joe Hart, David James, Robert Green.

Defenders: Jamie Carragher, Ashley Cole, Rio Ferdinand, Glen Johnson, Ledley King, John Terry, Matthew Upson, Stephen Warnock.

Midfielders: Gareth Barry, Michael Carrick, Joe Cole, Steven Gerrard, Frank Lampard, Aaron Lennon, James Milner, Shaun Wright-Phillips.

Forwards: Peter Crouch, Jermain Defoe, Emile Heskey, Wayne Rooney.

Read more about the team and its opponents

Also Read: Algeria, Slovenia, USA

Group Preview: Group C Preview

File Photograph Copyright: Shaun Brooks

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