Football: End is nigh for Gascoigne

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The Independent Online
PAUL GASCOIGNES'S days as an international player are over if the England squad announced yesterday is any indication.

The Middlesbrough player's name was not among the 29 called by Glenn Hoddle for two days' early preparations for the first Euro 2000 qualifying game, against Sweden next month.

Although Hoddle said last night that `the door is not shut for him' it would probably take a dramatic rediscovery of form and fitness for Gascoigne to earn a recall. The get-together, between 16 to 18 August, shows Hoddle's vision for the future rests in youth.

Liverpool and Arsenal players are unavailable due to club duties, but even without Tony Adams, David Seaman, Ray Parlour, Martin Keown, Michael Owen, Steve McManaman, Jamie Redknapp, Paul Ince and Dominic Matteo, there is still no place for Gascoigne. At the age of 31, there seems little time left for a reconciliation between the playmaker and the coach who dropped him from his France 98 squad. Gascoigne's advisor, Mel Stein, said yesterday: "The England manager picks the squad and the England players available for selection have to respect his decision."

International experience still has its place in his Hoddle's plans with Ian Wright and Andy Hinchcliffe both back in the fold. Seven young uncapped players are also included, including Leicester's striker, Emile Heskey, and Coventry's forward, Darren Huckerby.

The only notable absentee due to injury is the Newcastle midfielder David Batty, who would have been likely to have been included had he been fit.

ENGLAND SQUAD (preparation for Euro 2000): T Flowers (Blackburn), N Martyn (Leeds), I Walker (Tottenham), R Wright (Ipswich), S Campbell (Tottenham), W Quinn (Sheffield United), C Serrant (Newcastle), K Dyer (Ipswich), D Huckerby (Coventry), R Ferdinand (West Ham), G Southgate (Aston Villa), G Neville (Manchester United), P Neville (Manchester United), D Anderton (Tottenham), D Beckham (Manchester United), G Le Saux (Chelsea), A Hinchcliffe (Sheffield Wednesday), N Butt (Manchester United), R Lee (Newcastle), D Eadie (Norwich), E Heskey (Leicester), P Merson (Middlesbrough), P Scholes (Manchester United), L Ferdinand (Tottenham), A Shearer (Newcastle), T Sheringham (Manchester United), D Dublin (Coventry), I Wright (West Ham), A Cole (Manchester United).