Football: Why Hoddle cannot turn a blind eye to McManaman

If the England coach, Glenn Hoddle, leaves Steve McManaman out of his squad today for the crucial World Cup tie in Rome on Saturday week it can only be for reasons other than form, insists Glenn Moore. By the same token, he says, there should be no place this time around for Stan Collymore who barely merits a place in Aston Villa's team.

In the days before the fragmentation of the fixture list, the explosion of television coverage and invention of video recorders, the England coach was dependent on the eyes and ears of others. At best he would personally attend three matches a week and catch snatches of action on Match of the Day and The Big Match. Inevitably, some players were picked when playing like drains while the form of others went unrewarded.

Now Glenn Hoddle can see half-a-dozen games in the flesh and twice the number live on television or later on tape. The last European week, for example, all seven English clubs were shown live and on Tuesday Hoddle sat channel-hopping between Arsenal, Leicester, Aston Villa and Liverpool. There are now no excuses for not knowing who is in form and who is not.

Thus, if Steve McManaman is not in this morning's England squad for next month's crucial World Cup tie in Italy, it will be clear that the omission is personal, not form.

McManaman missed Le Tournoi de France for a knee operation but his brace of stunning goals against Celtic and Villa have underlined his return to form and fitness. Significantly, given his early season episode with Barcelona, Roy Evans also made him captain when Paul Ince was injured. "His football is brilliant again," the Liverpool manager said. "He's ready for England, he always is."

While McManaman was undistinguished against Italy in February, that was partly because of Hoddle's curious team selection involving Matt Le Tissier. The Saint is not in contention for the Italian job, having suffered a broken arm and pulled hamstring this season.

Also ruled out is Stuart Ripley, admittedly a very different type of winger to McManaman while Stan Collymore barely justifies a place in Villa's team on form let alone England's. He did, it is true, look good when coming on against Moldova but it would have been hard not to against such a poor and, by then, dispirited outfit.

Even in the continued absence of Alan Shearer, Hoddle has several other striking options though none are without doubts. Les Ferdinand, Teddy Sheringham, Robbie Fowler and Andy Cole have all just returned from injury which, in other circumstances, could have led to a chance for the in-form but uncapped Chris Sutton. However, this is no time for experimenting and the only forward change from the party chosen to play Moldova should be Fowler coming in for Emile Heskey.

Elsewhere, the squad is more predictable. Ince will return after suspension and Tony Adams after injury - Rio Ferdinand dropping out. Stuart Pearce and Martin Keown remain injured but Ian Walker's place is under threat from fit-again Tim Flowers.

Dennis Wise was an outside bet for inclusion until his two-footed lunge at Patrick Vieira and the midweek fracas with Roy Keane and David Beckham revealed the continuing fragility of his temperament. Another possibility, in the absence of Ripley, is Jason Wilcox. He was sent off when playing for Blackburn Rovers against Coventry City yesterday, and, with Ferdinand likely to start on the bench, Hoddle will probably settle for the width provided by the wing-backs.

Whoever Hoddle picks, he will now have an anxious week waiting to see who gets injured.

Probable squad: Seaman, Martyn, Walker; G Neville, P Neville, Le Saux, Southgate, Campbell, Adams, Pallister; Batty, Butt, Beckham, Gascoigne, Lee, Ince; Scholes, Sheringham, Ferdinand, Wright, McManaman, Fowler.

News
John Travolta is a qualified airline captain and employed the pilot with his company, Alto
people'That was the lowest I’d ever felt'
Life and Style
healthIt isn’t greasy. It doesn’t smell. And moreover, it costs nothing
News
i100

Other places that have held independence referendums
Arts and Entertainment
Jack Huston is the new Ben-Hur
film

It scooped up an unprecedented 11 Academy Awards when it was first remade in 1959

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Pharrell dismissed the controversy surrounding
musicThe singer said 'the last thing I want to do is degrade'
News
news

Arts and Entertainment
Blossoming love: Colin Firth as Stanley and Emma Stone as Sophie, in 'Magic in the Moonlight'
film

Actors star in Woody Allen's 'Magic in the Moonlight'

News
A male driver reverses his Vauxhall Astra from a tow truck
newsThe 'extremely dangerous' attempt to avoid being impounded has been heavily criticised
News
peopleThe Times of India said actress should treat it as a 'compliment'
Arts and Entertainment
Maxine Peake plays Hamlet at Manchester's Royal Exchange
theatreReview: Maxine Peake brings emotional ferocity to Shakespeare's starring part
News
news

Watch this commuter wage a one-man war against the Circle Line
Property
Home body: Badger stays safe indoors
lifeShould we feel guilty about keeping cats inside?
Life and Style
fashion

Olympic diver has made his modelling debut for Adidas

Travel
travel

...and the perfect time to visit them

Sport
Jonas Gutierrez (r) competes with Yaya Toure (l)
football

Newcastle winger reveals he has testicular cancer - and is losing his trademark long hair as a result

Caption competition
Caption competition
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

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

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

SEN Teaching Assistant Runcorn

£50 per day: Randstad Education Cheshire: SEN Teaching Assistant EBD , Septemb...

Head of Marketing - London

£60000 - £85000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Interim Head of Marketing / Marketin...

Primary supply teachers needed in Downham Market

£21000 - £35000 per annum: Randstad Education Cambridge: Primary teachers requ...

SEN Teacher

Negotiable: Randstad Education Birmingham: SEN Teacher required with immediate...

Day In a Page

Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

The Imitation Game, film review
England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week