Which of the Six Spurs Stars Will make Capello’s Final Cut?

The news that six of our stars from the past season, Ledley King, Tom Huddlestone, Aaron Lennon, Peter Crouch, Jermaine Defoe and, at long last, Michael Dawson made Fabio Capello’s provisional 30 man England squad for this summer’s World Cup finals in South Africa reflects well on the club in what has been an outstanding season.

England’s chances are reckoned to be good too. Betting exchange trading over the past few months has seen England emerge as clear third favourites behind Spain and Brazil and there is little doubt, barring another injury to one of our key players, England will take a strong 23 man squad on the plane down to South Africa in a few weeks time.

However will all six Spurs stars make the final cut? Let’s examine their chances...

Ledley King - Fabio Capello watched a few critical Tottenham games over the last few weeks of the season and he cannot have failed to have been impressed by King. Imperious as ever and with his knees standing up to the rigours of 3 games in 10 days, King is now a nailed on certainty to travel. Behind Terry and Ferdinand, he remains England’s firm third choice centre back and King’s form has been better than both Terry’s and Ferdinand’s for most of the season. So long as his knee holds out, King will easily make the squad and if Ferdinand and Terry’s form doesn’t improve, I would not be too surprised to see him make the team, especially after his performance against Mexico.

Michael Dawson - It seems like Fabio Capello may take four centre backs with him to South Africa and with Terry, Ferdinand and King all seemingly certain to go, Dawson faces a tussle with Jamie Carragher and Matthew Upson for the final slot. Form wise, Dawson’s the obvious pick. He has had a great season, especially when compared to Carragher and Upson. The downside is his lack of England experience. Carragher could well go due to his versatility (interestingly, Capello has no obvious right back cover for Glen Johnson) and if Carragher goes as Johnson’s back up, a spot could well open up for Dawson.

Aaron Lennon - I feel confident in asserting that Aaron Lennon is a nailed on certainty to travel to South Africa this summer. Even given his injury problems in 2010, Lennon has been the most productive right sided player for England over the past 18 months or so. Walcott and Wright-Phillips have had their chance but have not taken it as well as Aaron has. His return to fitness comes at an ideal time for Capello and it would be a huge shock, not to mention a terrible mistake, if Capello overlooked the winger.

Tom Huddlestone - Midfield is the area of the England team where places are perhaps up for grabs. Barry, Gerrard, Lennon and Lampard are certainties to go barring injury and it seems likely that James Milner, due to his versatility and performances this season, will earn a place. That does leave however 2-3 places up for grabs. Huddlestone faces direct competition from Scott Parker and Michael Carrick for a spot in the squad and much will depend on Barry’s fitness. If the Man City man doesn’t make it, Huddlestone’s chances of making the plane increase hugely as he is Barry’s most natural replacement ahead of the somewhat one dimensional Carrick, however if Barry makes the team, Tom may just miss out this time around. Also, how bad was Carrick against Mexico? What has happened to the lad?

Peter Crouch - Crouchy is guaranteed a seat on the plane barring injury. Quite simply, his goalscoring record for England is second only to Wayne Rooney in the current squad and he actually has a better goalscoring ratio for England than the United man. Heskey will make the squad because he is the ‘battering ram’ striker Capello favours to bring the best from Rooney, but he isn’t going to score you goals. Crouch is the only other option to Heskey and is a far better player technically and has a far superior goalscoring record. Quite simply, Crouch is a certainty to go and he can bring a few tubes of Pringles with him!

Jermain Defoe - Surely Defoe won't miss out on another World Cup at the last minute? My real concerns are that he may. Defoe’s chances increase greatly if Capello takes five strikers, but if the Italian opts for four, as seems likely, and with Rooney, Crouch and Heskey certainties, then it is a straight tussle between Defoe and Bent for the final spot on the plane. Defoe has the shirt at the moment thanks mainly to his England form over the past 12 months or so, but Bent is in form. A couple of goals in the forthcoming friendlies should cement Defoe’s place in the squad, but if Bent takes his chances instead, I really feel Jermain could miss out. However Defoe is made of stronger stuff these days, he has already seen off the challenges of the likes of Man Utd misfit Dimitar Berbatov, Robbie Keane and Roman Pavlyuchenko to earn his starting place in the Tottenham first team, I’m sure he will do the same over the next two games with England.

Capello’s Final 23 : A Prediction:

Goalkeepers: Joe Hart, David James, Robert Green

Defenders: Glen Johnson, Jamie Carragher, Rio Ferdinand, John Terry, Ledley King, Michael Dawson, Ashley Cole, Leighton Baines

Midfielders: Aaron Lennon, Steven Gerrard, Frank Lampard, Gareth Barry (if not fit: Tom Huddlestone), James Milner, Theo Walcott, Adam Johnson, Joe Cole

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




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