Capello - Only fit will travel
Fabio Capello has reiterated he will only be selecting players who are fully-fit for the World Cup.
By Richard Bailey
Last Updated: 08/11/09 11:09am
Fabio Capello has reiterated that he will only be selecting players who are fully-fit when he names his squad for the World Cup finals in South Africa.
The England manager is adamant that the same rules will apply to everyone including first-choice defender Rio Ferdinand.
The Manchester United centre-half has missed the champions' last three games with a calf strain with rumours suggesting that the problem could now be linked with the 31-year-old's long standing back complaint.
United boss Sir Alex Ferguson has already publically voiced concerns over Ferdinand's place at the finals next summer if he cannot string together a run of games at club level.
England have been guilty of selecting injured players for tournaments before having taken David Beckham to the World Cup in 2002 and Wayne Rooney to the Germany four years later after both had suffered with metatarsal injuries.
"The players with us in South Africa will be all fit," Capello said. "It's impossible to wait for one player. Little things are okay, but bigger problems and they will not be there.
"If you have to recover someone it's no good. When we go it will not be the warm season, when it's easier to recover. It will be cold in South Africa.
"If Rio plays the games before the last squad, for me he is fit and will go to the World Cup. In that situation he can stay."
However Capello highlighted that Ledley King's inability to train between matches due to a knee problem would count against his chances of making the squad.
"We spoke about King and it is impossible for him to stay with us. Sometimes he trains Friday to play Saturday," he added.
Portsmouth goalkeeper David James is another who struggles to train immediately after games as a result of a knee injury but the Italian seems calm over the goalkeeping situation.
"He's playing well but his problem is he can't train for two days [after] each game," he pointed out.
"It's one problem we have to decide. I'm happy because [Ben] Foster played well, [Robert] Green plays well.
"And James has this problem and we have to decide what we'll do. I'm happy with the keepers, no problem."
Despite an injury to West Ham striker Carlton Cole, ruling him out of the squad to face Brazil next week in Qatar, Michael Owen looks set to miss out on an England recall once more with Capello confirming: "He is in the provisional squad."
Sunderland's in-form striker Darren Bent could be the man to take Cole's place in the squad after the England chief noted an improvement in his performances this year.
"He's playing very well and scoring goals," he stated. "He's improved a lot this year. Sometimes it's very important for a player to play."
Joe Cole has impressed for Chelsea since recently returning from a long lay-off because of a knee injury and he could be included for the Brazil game.
Needs more time
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger believes left-back Kieran Gibbs has an outside chance of making the World Cup squad but Capello says the youngster needs more games in the Under 21s before he can be considered.
"Gibbs is a really good player, he's very interesting for the future of the England team," he said.
"But he's young and now he has to play in a really important game for the Under 21s against Portugal at Wembley."
Despite some Premier League managers criticising the choice of destination for the Brazil game, just before the busy Christmas schedule, Capello insists the match will help him learn a lot about his side.
"I think it will be important for us to understand where we are," he highlighted. "It is very important to note the different style that they play.
"Also we are playing against players at a very high level. This is very, very important. The same problems we will have to face at the World Cup.
"Brazil play like a team now, not waiting for a stroke of genius from one player."