Football: Injured Pallister out of England squad

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The Independent Online
A recurrence of Gary Pallister's back injury has ruled the Manchester United defender out of England's squad for Saturday's Wembley friendly against Cameroon. Alex Ferguson, the United manager, confirmed after the game at Highbury that he had withdrawn the central defender and that Teddy Sheringham, who has a knee injury, will join the party only against his wishes.

"Glenn Hoddle [the England coach] has insisted Teddy turns up," Ferguson said. "I don't think he'll be fit so there's no point, but maybe Glenn wants the whole squad there for a reason of his own. We would prefer it if he was getting treatment in Manchester."

Ferguson was not put in the best of moods by referee Martin Bodenham, who he branded "a master of not seeing anything" for failing to award a first-half penalty to United when Nigel Winterburn appeared to bring down Paul Scholes.

"We should have had the penalty kick," Ferguson said. "That was a clear penalty . That was a turning point for me. Usually in that situation you're hoping a good referee would see these things, but he's a master at not seeing anything."

Despite his criticism of Bodenham, Ferguson admitted that Arsenal had dominated after the break. "In fairness, I thought Arsenal were the better team in the second half, and I thought they deserved the victory. They put more into it in a sense that they seemed to have more running power. I have no complaints with the result."

David Platt was the second-half match-winner for the Gunners. The former England captain, who has spent much of the season on the substitutes' bench, headed in the winner seven minutes from time.

But Platt tempered his celebrations by underlining once more that he has all but given up hope of resurrecting his England career. "I think it's a long, long way off," he said. "I don't think you should ever say never, but I think my career at international level is over."

Arsene Wenger, the Arsenal manger, felt that his team were never under pressure after half-time. "I think United dropped their level in the second half," said said Wenger, who had high praise for Platt. "He scored a fantastic winning goal," he said. "He is a fantastic professional and he has shown it since the start of the season."