Football: Hoddle's promotion for Parlour

AND THERE we all were thinking David Beckham was to blame for England's elimination. Glenn Hoddle's only enforced change to his squad for the opening European Championship qualifier in Sweden on Saturday week involved the omission yesterday of Les Ferdinand, who did not even play in France. So much for southern bias towards Tottenham.

Puzzling as it may be that Ferdinand can fall out of favour in effectively the space of just two games, it is no more puzzling that Ray Parlour should now be considered good enough to make the England coach's 25-man squad when just three months ago - or in other words two or three games ago - he was deemed unsuitable for a squad of 30.

There seemed to be a touch of the Michael Owens about that one, the England coach delaying unnecessarily the Arsenal midfielder's inclusion after his outstanding performance in last May's FA Cup final, which only confirmed what most people already knew. In fact, according to Hoddle, he has picked him somewhat prematurely. "I said to him at the time of the Switzerland game, which he missed through injury: `If you have another season like you've had then you're going to be in the forefront of my mind - very much so'."

After the start Spurs have made to the season, this must be all that Ferdinand needed to hear. It must have sent shivers down the spine of Sol Campbell and Darren Anderton, who were already concerned that Spurs' poor form might rub off on their own. Ian Walker, the keeper, has already slipped out of the frame.

Hoddle said he had spoken to Ferdinand and told him to set his sights on England's double header in October. "His form has dipped, but if he gets it back there's every chance he can return to the scene," Hoddle said.

Parlour is the only uncapped player as Hoddle, in the main, has stayed faithful to those who did England proud in France. David Beckham, of course, is missing through suspension, as is David Batty for the same reason, although in his case because of a six-match domestic ban. Gary Neville is the only other absentee from the World Cup squad, due to an injury.

Back, too, just two months short of his 35th birthday is Ian Wright, after injury kept him out of the World Cup. "I've gone on record as saying it's not a case of whether they're young enough, or old enough, but whether they're good enough," Hoddle said.

"Our coach came back with a gleaming report of Ian's first game for West Ham. I saw Trevor Sinclair play up front last week and I'd say he's learned something instantly from Wright about positional play. Tony Adams is fitter than he's ever been in his life and playing as well as ever. I've got players at the end of the age scale who I still feel can do a job over the next two years."

He had seen no evidence of mental exhaustion as a result of his players' World Cup exertions, despite comments to the contrary from Alex Ferguson with regards to Paul Scholes' condition, and in fact in terms of physical fitness he thought they looked sharper than the rest. "From my own experience of the player, I know that if there's mental tiredness after a championship it comes about November time."

The England coach refused to be drawn on the question of his England contract, which still has two years to run, or rumours linking him with a return to Spurs as coach. Nor did he bite when asked if "Eileen" would be on the plane for Sweden, a reference to his faith healing friend whom he recently admitted he made the mistake of leaving behind when England left for France. "My backroom staff will be the same as usual," he said. "Nice try."

ENGLAND SQUAD

European Championship qualifier v Sweden, Stockholm, 5 Sept

Seaman (Arsenal), Martyn (Leeds), Flowers (Blackburn), Adams (Arsenal), Campbell (Tottenham), Southgate (Aston Villa), Keown (Arsenal), R Ferdinand (West Ham), Hinchcliffe (Sheffield Wednesday), Anderton (Tottenham), Le Saux (Chelsea), P Neville (Manchester Utd), Parlour (Arsenal), Ince (Liverpool), Lee (Newcastle), McManaman (Liverpool), Butt (Manchester Utd), Merson (Middlesbrough), Redknapp (Liverpool), Scholes (Manchester Utd), Sheringham (Manchester Utd), Shearer (Newcastle), Owen (Liverpool), Wright (West Ham), Dublin (Coventry).

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Ashdown Group: Trainee Consultant - Surrey/ South West London

£22000 per annum + pension,bonus,career progression: Ashdown Group: An establi...

Ashdown Group: Trainee Consultant - Surrey / South West London

£22000 per annum + pension,bonus,career progression: Ashdown Group: An establi...

Ashdown Group: Recruitment Consultant / Account Manager - Surrey / SW London

£40000 per annum + realistic targets: Ashdown Group: A thriving recruitment co...

Ashdown Group: Part-time Payroll Officer - Yorkshire - Professional Services

£25000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A successful professional services firm is lo...

Day In a Page

Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

China's influence on fashion

At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

Rainbow shades

It's all bright on the night
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
Welcome to the world of Megagames

Welcome to the world of Megagames

300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

Vince Cable exclusive interview

Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

It's time for my close-up

Meet the man who films great whites for a living
Increasing numbers of homeless people in America keep their mobile phones on the streets

Homeless people keep mobile phones

A homeless person with a smartphone is a common sight in the US. And that's creating a network where the 'hobo' community can share information - and fight stigma - like never before