Capello rules Almunia out of England reckoning

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The Independent Football

Fabio Capello has ruled out any chance of Manuel Almunia being called up during his time as England manager.

With David James already ruled out through injury and Ben Foster pulling out of tomorrow's friendly with Holland in Amsterdam because of a knee problem yesterday, talk has once again started to surface about the Arsenal keeper.

Almunia is now eligible to play for England under FIFA's residency rules and has revealed fellow Gunner Theo Walcott has already quizzed him about whether he would be interested.

It always seemed like something the FA hierarchy would frown upon and a gentlemen's agreement is believed to exist between the four home nations to prevent such a scenario occurring in the future.

And, while he was not at his most expansive when addressing the subject, Capello made it pretty clear the whole idea of choosing Almunia was a total non-starter.

"Almunia, for me, is Spanish," he said.

"He is Spanish and he plays for the Arsenal team."

With James and Foster ruled out, it seems certain West Ham's Robert Green will keep his place at the Amsterdam ArenA, with Paul Robinson and Joe Hart, who has had to join Birmingham on loan after having his first-team place at Manchester City taken by Shay Given.