Capello's midfield plans in disarray after Barry ruled out of World Cup

Scan on injured ankle shows Manchester City player will not be fit before England must name final 23-man squad for South Africa

Fabio Capello's World Cup preparations were dealt a severe blow last night when it emerged that Gareth Barry, his last available specialist holding midfielder was set to miss the tournament.

Barry, 29, was told yesterday that he will need at least three weeks recovery from damage to his right ankle sustained against Tottenham on Wednesday night.

That takes the midfielder right up to the start of June when Capello has to name his 23-man squad and the England manager is already making preparations to cope with Barry's absence.

Barry has been a mainstay of Capello's England team and potential replacements are notably thin on the ground. Manchester United's Owen Hargreaves has only made one substitute appearance in 18 months, meaning it is likely that West Ham's Scott Parker will be named in the provisional 30-man squad on Tuesday.

Tottenham's Tom Huddlestone is another possibility or Capello may decide that Steven Gerrard is best suited to a more defensive role. The scan revealed the extent of the damage to Barry and Capello has already said this week that he cannot afford to take players who are still recovering from injury.

Barry established himself under Steve McClaren and has been a fixture in Capello's teams since the Italian took over in February 2008. Filling that holding midfield role presents major problems for Capello, who can hardly rely upon Hargreaves, who been battling against tendonitisin a knee since September 2008.

Missing the World Cup will be a considerable blow to Barry, who was continually overlooked by Sven Goran Eriksson when he was England manager and only came into regular contention when the Swede departed after the last tournament four years ago.

The manager has considerable injury worries, with fears over at least 11 of the players who are contenders for his squad as well as Barry.

The Tottenham captain, Ledley King, is now a certainty to be named in the 30-man squad for the World Cup finals after he came through two games in five days for his club side, culminating with Spurs' win at City on Wednesday.

Capello and his assistants have long been admirers of the 29-year-old, who is still yet to play a game for the England manager because of the chronic knee problems he suffers. They have been willing to explore any avenue to get King into the England squad, although the fear has always been that he would be unable to stand up to the rigours of tournament football.

However, that King came through Saturday's game against Bolton and Wednesday night's win at Eastlands was all the evidence Capello and his staff required that despite his problems, King could play at a World Cup. He is still not sure of a place in the final 23-man squad, especially with Rio Ferdinand also such a major injury worry, but he will be part of the squad for the pre-tournament friendlies against Mexico and Japan.

Tottenham's medical staff had previously claimed that King, who is unable to take part in training during the week because of the swelling to his knees that playing games engenders, was only capable of playing after six days' rest. The events of the last week would appear to suggest that, at a push, he can play more regularly than that.

There will be concerns at Tottenham about the potential effects on King should he play a World Cup with England. The club has bad memories of his last summer outing for England against Estonia in 2007 when he subsequently missed six months of the domestic season with complications the club believed were made worse by his international service.

King's team-mate Peter Crouch, who grew up alongside the Spurs captain as a youth team player at the club, said that a fit King was a "shoo-in" for the England team. Crouch said: "I've played with him since we were 12. He was always the best in youth team, schoolboys. He's a phenomenal player. He doesn't train ever, but then he comes in and he's our best player – man of the match [against City].

"If he can be fit, he's a shoo-in for the World Cup. If he can prove his fitness, there are not many better than him."

There is still an outside hope that the Capello camp may be able to talk Jamie Carragher out of his international retirement, three years after he announced his withdrawal from England, although that is still a long shot. What makes the Liverpool defender so valuable is that he is capable of playing right-back as well as his favoured position of centre-half.

There is a slight worry over the fitness of Aaron Lennon, who appeared to be limping when he left the pitch on Wednesday night. Lennon, who was substituted in the 71st minute, is only three games into his comeback after a four-month long absence with a groin problem.

Having advanced his claim for a place in Capello's England starting XI, Crouch said that Tottenham fully deserved their place among England's elite in the Champions League next season. He said: "When I first came in, I said 'How on earth are we not challenging for things?' When we've got international players out of the side, we've got international players to replace them. We've got a lot of young players, fantastic talent. It's only going to get better, and it's a really exciting time to be part of Tottenham.

"We'll be going all out to finish strongly at Burnley and get a result, and see what happens. I've got to be honest, we didn't dream about catching Arsenal. They were challenging for the title at one point, and we were never in the title race. But it is a possibility and that would be fantastic, the icing on the cake. We just want to get a result at Burnley and finish the season well.

News
The Banksy image in Folkestone before it was vandalised
people
Life and Style
tech

Sales of the tablet are set to fall again, say analysts

News
Brian Harvey turned up at Downing Street today demanding to speak to the Prime Minister
news

Met Police confirm that there was a 'minor disturbance'

Life and Style
A street vendor in Mexico City sells Dorilocos, which are topped with carrot, jimaca, cucumber, peanuts, pork rinds, spices and hot sauce
food + drink

Trend which requires crisps, a fork and a strong stomach is sweeping Mexico's streets

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
George Lucas poses with a group of Star Wars-inspired Disney characters at Disney's Hollywood Studios in 2010
films

George Lucas criticises the major Hollywood film studios

Sport
football West Brom vs Man Utd match report: Blind grabs point, but away form a problem for Van Gaal
Arts and Entertainment
Bloom Time: Mira Sorvino
tvMira Sorvino on leaving movie roles for 'The Intruders'
Arts and Entertainment
Gotham is coming to UK shores this autumn
tvGotham, episode 2, review
News
i100
News
First woman: Valentina Tereshkova
peopleNASA guinea pig Kate Greene thinks it might fly
Voices
Chris Grayling, Justice Secretary: 'There are pressures which we are facing but there is not a crisis'
voices

Does Chris Grayling realise what a vague concept he is dealing with?

Life and Style
The charity Sands reports that 11 babies are stillborn everyday in the UK
lifeEleven babies are stillborn every day in the UK, yet no one speaks about this silent tragedy
News
Blackpool is expected to become one of the first places to introduce the Government’s controversial new Public Space Protection Orders (PSPOs)
news

Parties threaten resort's image as a family destination

Life and Style
Northern soul mecca the Wigan Casino
fashionGone are the punks, casuals, new romantics, ravers, skaters, crusties. Now all kids look the same
Life and Style
gaming

I Am Bread could actually be a challenging and nuanced title

Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

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

Career Services

Day In a Page

Two super-sized ships have cruised into British waters, but how big can these behemoths get?

Super-sized ships: How big can they get?

Two of the largest vessels in the world cruised into UK waters last week
British doctors on brink of 'cure' for paralysis with spinal cord treatment

British doctors on brink of cure for paralysis

Sufferers can now be offered the possibility of cure thanks to a revolutionary implant of regenerative cells
Ranked seventh in world’s best tourist cities - not London, or Edinburgh, but Salisbury

Salisbury ranked seventh in world’s best tourist cities

The city is home to one of the four surviving copies of the Magna Carta, along with the world’s oldest mechanical clock
Let's talk about loss

We need to talk about loss

Secrecy and silence surround stillbirth
Will there be an all-female mission to Mars?

Will there be an all-female mission to Mars?

Women may be better suited to space travel than men are
Oscar Pistorius sentencing: The athlete's wealth and notoriety have provoked a long overdue debate on South African prisons

'They poured water on, then electrified me...'

If Oscar Pistorius is sent to jail, his experience will not be that of other inmates
James Wharton: The former Guard now fighting discrimination against gay soldiers

The former Guard now fighting discrimination against gay soldiers

Life after the Army has brought new battles for the LGBT activist James Wharton
Ebola in the US: Panic over the virus threatens to infect President Obama's midterms

Panic over Ebola threatens to infect the midterms

Just one person has died, yet November's elections may be affected by what Republicans call 'Obama's Katrina', says Rupert Cornwell
Premier League coaches join the RSC to swap the tricks of their trades

Darling, you were fabulous! But offside...

Premier League coaches are joining the RSC to learn acting skills, and in turn they will teach its actors to play football. Nick Clark finds out why
How to dress with authority: Kirsty Wark and Camila Batmanghelidjh discuss the changing role of fashion in women's workwear

How to dress with authority

Kirsty Wark and Camila Batmanghelidjh discuss the changing role of fashion in women's workwear
New book on Joy Division's Ian Curtis sheds new light on the life of the late singer

New book on Ian Curtis sheds fresh light on the life of the late singer

'Joy Division were making art... Ian was for real' says author Jon Savage
Sean Harris: A rare interview with British acting's secret weapon

Sean Harris: A rare interview with British acting's secret weapon

The Bafta-winner talks Hollywood, being branded a psycho, and how Barbra Streisand is his true inspiration
Tim Minchin, interview: The musician, comedian and world's favourite ginger is on scorching form

Tim Minchin interview

For a no-holds-barred comedian who is scathing about woolly thinking and oppressive religiosity, he is surprisingly gentle in person
Boris Johnson's boozing won't win the puritan vote

Boris's boozing won't win the puritan vote

Many of us Brits still disapprove of conspicuous consumption – it's the way we were raised, says DJ Taylor
Ash frontman Tim Wheeler reveals how he came to terms with his father's dementia

Tim Wheeler: Alzheimer's, memories and my dad

Wheeler's dad suffered from Alzheimer's for three years. When he died, there was only one way the Ash frontman knew how to respond: with a heartfelt solo album