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.

ENGLAND'S WEEKEND REPORT

*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

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
life
Arts and Entertainment
Cold case: Aaron McCusker and Christopher Eccleston in ‘Fortitude’
tvReview: Sky Atlantic's ambitious new series Fortitude has begun with a feature-length special
Voices
Three people wearing masks depicting Ed Miliband, David Cameron and Nick Clegg
voicesPolitics is in the gutter – but there is an alternative, says Nigel Farage
Voices
The veterans Mark Hayward, Hugh Thompson and Sean Staines (back) with Grayson Perry (front left) and Evgeny Lebedev
charity appealMaverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
News
i100
News
people
Sport
Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho
footballThe more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him
Life and Style
Vote green: Benoit Berenger at The Duke of Cambridge in London's Islington
food + drinkBanishes thoughts of soggy school dinners and turn over a new leaf
News
Joel Grey (left) poses next to a poster featuring his character in the film
peopleActor Joel Grey comes out at 82
News
i100
News
business
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

Isis hostage crisis: The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power

Isis hostage crisis

The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power, says Robert Fisk
Missing salvage expert who found $50m of sunken treasure before disappearing, tracked down at last

The runaway buccaneers and the ship full of gold

Salvage expert Tommy Thompson found sunken treasure worth millions. Then he vanished... until now
Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Maverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
Assisted Dying Bill: I want to be able to decide about my own death - I want to have control of my life

Assisted Dying Bill: 'I want control of my life'

This week the Assisted Dying Bill is debated in the Lords. Virginia Ironside, who has already made plans for her own self-deliverance, argues that it's time we allowed people a humane, compassionate death
Move over, kale - cabbage is the new rising star

Cabbage is king again

Sophie Morris banishes thoughts of soggy school dinners and turns over a new leaf
11 best winter skin treats

Give your moisturiser a helping hand: 11 best winter skin treats

Get an extra boost of nourishment from one of these hard-working products
Paul Scholes column: The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him

Paul Scholes column

The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him
Frank Warren column: No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans

Frank Warren's Ringside

No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans
Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

Comedians share stories of depression

The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

Has The Archers lost the plot?

A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

14 office buildings added to protected lists

Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee