The Manchester United centre-back Phil Jones has been named in Fabio Capello's provisional squad for Wednesday's friendly against Holland at Wembley and will learn if he makes the final 23 on Saturday evening.
Capello has also indicated that he will name the players he needs – and not bow to criticism of a very early-season friendly that is unpopular with managers – by selecting Arsenal's Jack Wilshere in the provisional squad. His club manager Arsène Wenger said on Sunday that the 19-year-old, who has become the key man in England's midfield, had an ankle injury that gave him no chance of playing in the game.
The provisional squad of around 40 is decided upon by the England manager and his staff, and is communicated to the players so that they know they are on standby to be selected and do not make alternative plans. While Jones has stiff competition for a place among the centre-halves – virtually all the regulars are fit – he has a chance.
The England manager will be at Liverpool's friendly against Valencia tomorrow, suggesting that he will be keeping an eye on the form of Andy Carroll who missed the last squad through injury. Capello's general manager Franco Baldini is watching Everton's game against Villarreal today and Spurs v Athletic Bilbao tomorrow.
Capello was impressed with the 19-year-old Jones' performances for Stuart Pearce's under-21 team in the European Championship in March. Other than Jones no other surprise new names are rated as possible selections, barring mass squad withdrawals.
Wilshere is an interesting case given that Wenger was so emphatic that the ankle injury he aggravated against the New York Red Bulls on Sunday would mean he was not fit for England. There is also the matter of a two-leg Champions League qualifier later this month that Capello will take into consideration with Wilshere and Kieran Gibbs.
However, the player has said himself that he should be fit to play next week after a scan showed nothing more than an inflammation of his ankle. Theo Walcott is not under consideration having not trained since he was sent home from the club's pre-season break.
Despite his telling the England hierarchy that he was considering retirement in March, Robert Green is among the provisional names having been a late call-up to the squad to face Switzerland in June. Scott Carson has already withdrawn because his wife is due to give birth next week leaving Capello with just three goalkeepers: Joe Hart, Green and David Stockdale.
There is also a place in the provisional squad for Peter Crouch – but not for David Beckham, despite some of Capello's staff being keen on a recall for the Los Angeles Galaxy veteran.Reuse content