Foster fails with Capello looking on

United goalkeeper's poor display at Wembley throws England start into doubt

Ben Foster was Fabio Capello's first choice goalkeeper to start against the Netherlands on Wednesday but the England manager was given cause to think again after another unconvincing performance from the Manchester United man yesterday. Watching at Wembley, Capello saw Foster look less than sound for both Chelsea's goals in a 2-2 draw that United lost on penalties.

There had been an instinct among the Capello camp to give Foster what would be only his second start for his country in Amsterdam when the squad was named on Saturday without the injured David James and that may well stand. However, Capello was given plenty of reasons to think again by the 26-year-old who continued a poor run of pre-season form.

With Edwin van der Sar out, Foster made a bad job of punching clear Florent Malouda's cross in the build-up to Ricardo Carvalho's equaliser and was almost caught in possession twice by Didier Drogba in the first half. Frank Lampard's goal in the 70th minute also seemed to go straight through the United goalkeeper. There was little the United goalkeeper could do about Chelsea's expertly taken four penalties.

James is making a slower than expected recovery from a shoulder operation and is yet to play a pre-season match, although he hopes to be ready for his club's Premier League opener against Fulham. With Foster injured in June, Robert Green played in the World Cup qualifiers against Kazakhstan and Andorra and he is Foster's chief rival for a starting place on Wednesday.

Foster was selected by Sir Alex Ferguson ahead of Tomasz Kuszczak for yesterday's defeat but the United manager had admitted on Friday that it was a close call between the two goalkeepers. Having said earlier in the summer that he fully expected Foster, 26, to be England's first choice goalkeeper come the World Cup next summer, Ferguson was given cause for doubt by some of the pre-season performances.

On Foster, Ferguson said: "He should have done better for the second goal, knowing the ability he has. He's waited a long time, had his injuries. In pre-season I spread the load between Van der Sar, Ben and Tomasz and maybe he hasn't had enough minutes. We know his ability. Knowing that ability, I don't have any worries about him."

The United goalkeeper was badly at fault during a game against a Malaysian select XI in which he miscontrolled a ball on the edge of his area and conceded a goal. By contrast, Kuszczak has been excellent in pre-season and can feel aggrieved that he was left out in favour of Foster yesterday in the absence of Van der Sar who has broken fingers.

Foster's only other start for England was against Spain in February 2007 under Steve McClaren. He has suffered a debilitating cruciate ligament injury and a broken finger but now finds himself with an opportunity after injuries to the No 1 goalkeepers at his club and for his country.

Michael Owen has been left out of the England squad, as reported in The Independent on Friday. The United striker has scored four goals in pre-season for United but struggled in the friendly against Valencia at Old Trafford on Wednesday night when Capello was in attendance. There are still lingering doubts in the England hierarchy that Owen will ever be suitable to play in the new formation that pairs Wayne Rooney with a traditional targetman like Emile Heskey.

Ferguson said yesterday that he was not surprised Owen had been omitted from the England squad. He said: "He's just arrived at the club. His pre-season work has been very promising for us. He's not missed a training session and shown great attitude, good professionalism. Once he starts getting regular football for us, which he will do, that's the formula for him to get into the England squad.

"I didn't expect Fabio to pick him on the back of what he did 10 years ago, but if he does well for us. I hope he does go to the World Cup because that would be a great tribute to him, and it would have meant he'd done well for us."

Peter Crouch has also been left out of the squad by Capello because he has not played in a pre-season friendly yet this summer. The Tottenham striker, who played his first game yesterday for Spurs against Olympiakos at White Hart Lane, has missed out on a large part of pre-season while his move from Portsmouth was finalised.

Capello will not select players who have not proved their match fitness but Crouch is not out of the England reckoning. Carlton Cole keeps his place in the squad from June when five strikers were picked by Capello.

England squad

Goalkeeper: Foster (Man Utd), Green (West Ham), Robinson (Blackburn)

Defenders: Bridge (Man City), A Cole, Terry (both Chelsea), Ferdinand (Man Utd), Johnson (Liverpool), Lescott (Everton), Upson (West Ham)

Midfielders: Barry, Wright-Phillips (both Man City), Beckham (LA Galaxy), Carrick (Man Utd), Gerrard (Liverpool), Lampard (Chelsea), Milner, Young (both Aston Villa), Walcott (Arsenal)

Forwards: C Cole (West Ham), Defoe (Spurs), Heskey (Aston Villa), Rooney (Man Utd)

Voices
Numbers of complaints about unwanted calls have trebled in just six months
voices
News
people
Arts & Entertainment
Picture of innocence: Ricky Gervais and Karl Pilkington in ‘Derek’
tvReview: The insights of Ricky Gervais's sweet and kind character call to mind Karl Pilkington's faux-naïf podcast observations
Life & Style
Looking familiar: The global biometrics industry is expected to grow to $20bn by 2020
tech
VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition iPad app?
News
Higher expectations: European economies are growing but the recovery remains weak
newsThe eurozone crisis has tipped many into despair and extremism - this radically altered landscape calls for a new kind of politics, argues economist Philippe Legrain
Arts & Entertainment
Tangled up in blue: Singer-songwriter Judith Owen
musicAnd how husband Harry Shearer - of Spinal Tap and The Simpsons fame - helped her music flourish
Sport
Karim Benzema celebrates scoring the opening goal
sportReal Madrid 1 Bayern Munich 0: Germans will need their legendary self-belief to rescue Champions League tie in second leg
Arts & Entertainment
Paul Weller: 'I am a big supporter of independent record stores but the greedy touts making a fast buck off genuine fans is disgusting'
music
Arts & Entertainment
William Shakespeare's influence on English culture is still strongly felt today, from his plays on stage to words we use everyday
arts
Sport
Manchester United manager David Moyes has claimed supporters understand the need to look at
sportScot thanks club staff and fans, but gives no specific mention of players
News
Strange 'quack' noises could be undersea chatter of Minke whales
science
News
weird news... and film it, obviously
Life & Style
Balancing act: City workers at the launch of Cityfathers
lifeThe organisation is the brainchild of Louisa Symington-Mills who set up Citymothers in 2012 - a group boasting more than 3,000 members
Arts & Entertainment
tv
News
Fresh hope: Ruth Womak and her dog Jess. A free training course in basic computing skills changed Ruth’s life
educationHow a housing association's remarkable educational initiative gave hope to tenant battling long-term illness and depression
Caption competition
Caption competition
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

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

Career Services

Day In a Page

Migrants in Britain a decade on: The Poles who brought prosperity

Migrants in Britain a decade on

The Poles who brought prosperity
Philippe Legrain: 'The eurozone crisis has tipped many into disillusionment, despair and extremism - we need a European Spring'

Philippe Legrain: 'We need a European Spring'

The eurozone crisis has tipped many into disillusionment, despair and extremism - this radically altered landscape calls for a new kind of politics, argues the economist
A History of the First World War in 100 moments: A moment of glory on the Western Front for the soldiers of the Raj

A History of the First World War in 100 moments

A moment of glory on the Western Front for the soldiers of the Raj
Judith Owen reveals how husband Harry Shearer - star of This Is Spinal Tap and The Simpsons - helped her music flourish

Judith Owen: 'How my husband helped my music flourish'

Her mother's suicide and father's cancer also informed the singer-songwriter's new album, says Pierre Perrone
The online lifeline: How a housing association's remarkable educational initiative gave hope to tenant battling long-term illness and depression

Online lifeline: Housing association's educational initiative

South Yorkshire Housing Association's free training courses gave hope to tenant battling long-term illness and depression
Face-recognition software: Is this the end of anonymity for all of us?

Face-recognition software: The end of anonymity?

The software is already used for military surveillance, by police to identify suspects - and on Facebook
Train Kick Selfie Guy is set to scoop up to $250,000 thanks to his viral video - so how can you cash in on your candid moments?

Viral videos: Cashing in on candid moments

Train Kick Selfie Guy Jared Frank could receive anything between $30,000 to $250,000 for his misfortune - and that's just his cut of advertising revenue from being viewed on YouTube
The world's fastest elevators - 20 metres per second - are coming soon to China

World's fastest elevators coming soon to China

Whatever next? Simon Usborne finds out from Britain's highest authority on the subject
Cityfathers tackles long-hours culture that causes men to miss out on seeing their children

Cityfathers tackles long-hours culture

The organisation is the brainchild of Louisa Symington-Mills, a chief operating officer who set up Citymothers in 2012 - a group that now boasts more than 3,000 members
Brits who migrate to Costa del Sol more unhappy than those who stay at home

It's not always fun in the sun: Moving abroad does not guarantee happiness

Brits who migrate to Costa del Sol more unhappy than those who stay at home
Migrants in Britain a decade on: They came, they worked, they stayed in Lincolnshire

Migrants in Britain a decade on

They came, they worked, they stayed in Lincolnshire
Chris Addison on swapping politics for pillow talk

Chris Addison on swapping politics for pillow talk

The 'Thick of It' favourite thinks the romcom is an 'awful genre'. So why is he happy with a starring role in Sky Living's new Lake District-set series 'Trying Again'?
Why musicians play into their old age

Why musicians play into their old age

Nick Hasted looks at how they are driven by a burning desire to keep on entertaining fans despite risking ridicule
How can you tell a gentleman?

How can you tell a gentleman?

A list of public figures with gallant attributes by Country Life magazine throws a fascinating light on what it means to be a gentleman in the modern world
Pet a porter: posh pet pampering

Pet a porter: posh pet pampering

The duo behind Asos and Achica have launched a new venture offering haute couture to help make furry companions fashionable