Dawson gets Capello's attention after England regulars struggle

Fabio Capello is at last considering the Tottenham defender Michael Dawson for selection for the England World Cup squad as his injury worries in the centre of defence have got worse.

Either the England manager or his general manager Franco Baldini will be at Old Trafford on Saturday to watch Dawson in action for Spurs against Manchester United having tracked the player's progress over the last four weeks. Capello is increasingly aware that he cannot ignore the claims of the in-form defender with so many doubts over his England regulars.

Capello has never picked Dawson for an England squad in more than two years in the job, preferring the likes of Gary Cahill and Ryan Shawcross when he has had to make up the numbers.

However, the Capello camp has been impressed with Dawson's form even before Spurs' wins over Arsenal and Chelsea and he now has a chance of a place in the 30-man provisional squad to be named on 16 May.

Dawson, 26, is uncapped by England and arguably would not play in the Spurs team were it not for the longstanding injuries to Ledley King and Jonathan Woodgate.

He has come under consideration because so many of Capello's regulars are struggling for fitness with only John Terry and Matthew Upson of the usual quartet of centre-backs currently playing for their clubs.

Capello watched both the Manchester derby and the Spurs victory against Chelsea at White Hart Lane on Saturday very much aware that many of his squad for South Africa are finding themselves waylaid by injuries or simply out of favour at their clubs.

From the 23 players who are favourites to go to the tournament this summer, there were 19 whose clubs were in action over the weekend (excluding Steven Gerrard, Glen Johnson, Upson and Robert Green). Six of those 19 – Rio Ferdinand, Wes Brown, Joleon Lescott, Ashley Cole, Michael Carrick and Aaron Lennon – did not figure at all.

In addition, Joe Cole was substituted at half-time at White Hart Lane by Carlo Ancelotti, Emile Heskey came on for Aston Villa against Portsmouth with only 18 minutes remaining, Peter Crouch has a bronchial problem and played only the injury-time of Spurs' game and Wayne Rooney did not look fully fit against Manchester City.

It is the problems among Capello's centre-backs that are most pressing. Ferdinand missed United's game against City because of his recurrent fitness problems. Brown, Capello's back-up right back after Johnson, and also cover at centre-back, was not in the squad for the City game either. Lescott is still recovering from a hamstring problem.

The Capello camp has been given assurances from club medical departments that key players such as Ashley Cole and Ferdinand will be fit to play in South Africa but privately they admit they will only know that for sure when the squad meets for the first time on 17 May.

They have also been told that Lennon, who has not played since 28 December, will join full training at Spurs this week.

Dawson's manager at Tottenham, Harry Redknapp, said on Saturday that he had no doubts about the player's capacity to make the step up to international football. "Dawson is a fantastic centre-half and a great lad," said Redknapp. "He's an old-fashioned type of player, very committed. But he is also a great passer of the ball. He's a competitor, a player who gives everything."

Fulham striker Bobby Zamora is also understood to be in Capello's thoughts for this summer's World Cup as an alternative to Heskey.


*Rio Ferdinand: injured, longstanding back problems

*Joleon Lescott: hamstring injury

*Wes Brown: out with foot injury

*Ashley Cole: recovering from broken ankle

*Aaron Lennon: groin injury since December

*Michael Carrick: dropped since second leg against Bayern Munich

*Peter Crouch: bronchial problem, late substitute against Chelsea

*Emile Heskey: out of favour, late substitute against Portsmouth

*Joe Cole: replaced half-time v Spurs

*Hart, James, Terry, Baines, Lampard, Barry, Walcott, Milner, Rooney and Defoe were all selected for their clubs

*Gerrard, Johnson, Upson and Green all started last night at Anfield

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Alan Bennett criticised the lack of fairness in British society encapsulated by the private school system
peopleBut he does like Stewart Lee
John Terry, Frank Lampard
footballChelsea captain sends signed shirt to fan whose mum had died
Life and Style
food + drink
Arts and Entertainment
Rita Ora will replace Kylie Minogue as a judge on The Voice 2015
Life and Style
Life and Style
Alan Turing, who was convicted of gross indecency in 1952, was granted a royal pardon last year
Arts and Entertainment
Sheridan Smith as Cilla Black and Ed Stoppard as her manager Brian Epstein
tvCilla Episode 2 review: Grit under the glamour in part two of biopic series starring Sheridan Smith
Life and Style
Arts and Entertainment
Tennis player Andy Murray's mum Judy has been paired with Anton du Beke for Strictly Come Dancing. 'I'm absolutely delighted,' she said.
tvJudy Murray 'struggling' to let Anton Du Beke take control on Strictly
Life and Style
Vote with your wallet: the app can help shoppers feel more informed about items on sale
lifeNew app reveals political leanings of food companies
David Moyes and Louis van Gaal
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

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

Career Services

Day In a Page

Secret politics of the weekly shop

The politics of the weekly shop

New app reveals political leanings of food companies
Beam me up, Scottie!

Beam me up, Scottie!

Celebrity Trekkies from Alex Salmond to Barack Obama
Beware Wet Paint: The ICA's latest ambitious exhibition

Beware Wet Paint

The ICA's latest ambitious exhibition
Pink Floyd have produced some of rock's greatest ever album covers

Pink Floyd have produced some of rock's greatest ever album covers

Can 'The Endless River' carry on the tradition?
Sanctuary for the suicidal

Sanctuary for the suicidal

One mother's story of how London charity Maytree helped her son with his depression
A roller-coaster tale from the 'voice of a generation'

Not That Kind of Girl:

A roller-coaster tale from 'voice of a generation' Lena Dunham
London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice. In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence

London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice

In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence
Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with Malcolm McLaren

Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with McLaren

Designer 'felt pressured' into going out with Sex Pistols manager
Jourdan Dunn: Model mother

Model mother

Jordan Dunn became one of the best-paid models in the world
Apple still coolest brand – despite U2 PR disaster

Apple still the coolest brand

Despite PR disaster of free U2 album
Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits