99 and out: Beckham misses England selection

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The Independent Football

Former captain David Beckham was left out of Fabio Capello's first England squad today for next week's friendly against Switzerland at Wembley.

The LA Galaxy midfielder, who was hoping to win his 100th cap, has not played a competitive match since England's 3-2 defeat by Croatia in a Euro 2008 qualifier last November but had been training with Arsenal in a bid to maintain his fitness.

There were call ups for two uncapped players, Aston Villa striker Gabriel Agbonlahor and defender Curtis Davies who is on loan at Villa from West Bromwich Albion.

Goalkeeper Paul Robinson, who lost his place for England's 3-2 defeat by Croatia in November and has since been dropped by his club Tottenham Hotspur, failed to make the squad.

Capello said Beckham's exclusion did not mean the end of the former Manchester United and Real Madrid midfielder's international career.

"I know there has been a lot of discussion about David Beckham," Capello said on the FA's Web site ( www.thefa.com ).

"The reason that David is not in the squad is because he has not had any real match practice since playing in November. When I spoke with David on the phone yesterday I advised him that he is still part of my plans and once he is playing regularly in America we will look closely at him again."

England provisional squad for the friendly against Switzerland on February 6:

Carson (Aston Villa), James (Portsmouth), Kirkland (Wigan); Bridge (Chelsea), Brown (Manchester United), A Cole (Chelsea), C Davies (Aston Villa), Ferdinand (Manchester United) G Johnson (Portsmouth), King (Tottenham), Lescott (Everton), Richards (Manchester City), Shorey (Reading), Upson (West Ham), Woodgate (Tottenham); Barry (Aston Villa), Bentley (Blackburn), Carrick (Manchester United), J Cole (Chelsea), Downing (Middlesbrough), Gerrard (Liverpool), Hargreaves (Manchester United), Jenas (Tottenham), Wright-Phillips (Chelsea), Young (Aston Villa); Agbonlahor (Aston Villa), Crouch (Liverpool), Heskey (Wigan), Owen (Newcastle), Rooney (Manchester United).