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)

News
Denny Miller in 1959 remake of Tarzan, the Ape Man
people
Arts and Entertainment
Cheryl despairs during the arena auditions
tvX Factor review: Drama as Cheryl and Simon spar over girl band

News
Piers Morgan tells Scots they might not have to suffer living on the same island as him if they vote ‘No’ to Scottish Independence
news
News
i100Exclusive interview with the British analyst who helped expose Bashar al-Assad's use of Sarin gas
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Sport
Angel Di Maria celebrates his first goal for Manchester United against QPR
Football4-0 victory is team's first win under new manager Louis van Gaal
Arts and Entertainment
art
News
newsIn short, yes
Arts and Entertainment
Rob James-Collier, who plays under-butler Thomas Barrow, admitted to suffering sleepless nights over the Series 5 script
tv'Thomas comes right up to the abyss', says the actor
Arts and Entertainment
Calvin Harris claimed the top spot in this week's single charts
music
Sport
BoxingVideo: The incident happened in the very same ring as Tyson-Holyfield II 17 years ago
News
Groundskeeper Willie has backed Scottish independence in a new video
people
Arts and Entertainment
The Doctor poses the question of whether we are every truly alone in 'Listen'
tvReview: Possibly Steven Moffat's most terrifying episode to date
News
i100
Life and Style
Cara Delevigne at the TopShop Unique show during London Fashion Week
fashion
News
The life-sized tribute to Amy Winehouse was designed by Scott Eaton and was erected at the Stables Market in Camden
peopleBut quite what the singer would have made of her new statue...
Sport
England's Andy Sullivan poses with his trophy and an astronaut after winning a trip to space
sport
News
peopleThe actress has agreed to host the Met Gala Ball - but not until 2015
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

These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

The Imitation Game, film review
England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week
The fall of Rome? Cash-strapped Italy accused of selling its soul to the highest bidder

The fall of Rome?

Italy's fears that corporate-sponsored restoration projects will lead to the Disneyfication of its cultural heritage
Glasgow girl made good

Glasgow girl made good

Kelly Macdonald was a waitress when she made Trainspotting. Now she’s taking Manhattan
Sequins ahoy as Strictly Come Dancing takes to the floor once more

Sequins ahoy as Strictly takes to the floor once more

Judy Murray, Frankie Bridge and co paired with dance partners
Wearable trainers and other sporty looks

Wearable trainers and other sporty looks

Alexander Wang pumps it up at New York Fashion Week
The landscape of my imagination

The landscape of my imagination

Author Kate Mosse on the place that taught her to tell stories