Foster in as Capello moves goalposts

The England manager, Fabio Capello, will break one of his own rules today and select Manchester United's Ben Foster for the matches against Slovakia and Ukraine at Wembley, even though he is not playing regular club football. The guidelines that apply to David Beckham and other outfield players are being moved in order to assess at first hand a goalkeeper whose progress has regularly been handicapped by injury.

Foster, who never played for England Under-21s, was called into a senior squad for Steve McClaren's first game as manager in August 2006. He made one appearance, against Spain in February 2007, but after being recalled by United following two years on loan at Watford, he was unavailable for nine months with a knee ligament injury. Six appearances for the first team this season have included one Champions' League game away to Celtic and the Carling Cup final against Tottenham, in which he was named man of the match.

"When I arrived here, all the managers told me Foster is a very good keeper, but he was always injured," Capello said. "I've watched him and he surprised me with his confidence. He'll be with us. Depending on Sir Alex [Ferguson] of course!"

The squad who lost to Spain should be strengthened by the return of Rio Ferdinand, Steven Gerrard and Wayne Rooney. Jonathan Woodgate is pressing for a recall, and in view of the knee injury that may keep Theo Walcott out for several weeks, Aaron Lennon, who is in excellent form, could be promoted this week or next from the Under-21s. With Shaun Wright-Phillips also playing well and Beckham impressing the manager when he watched him playing for Milan, England suddenly have a surfeit of riches in one position down the right.

The Aston Villa contingent will be cut, with James Milner out and team-mates Ashley Young and Gabriel Agbonlahor under threat, although the manager said of Agbonlahor: "For forwards, goals are like medicine: very, very important."

The Villa striker has suffered from a growing trend towards individual abuse by fans, which Capello observed in Italy and Spain but not until this season in England. He is appealing once more to the Wembley crowd to back his team "as a 12th man" in Saturday's friendly and the more important World Cup tie on Wednesday week.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Latest in Sport
Sport
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

How to stop an asteroid hitting Earth: Would people co-operate to face down a global peril?

How to stop an asteroid hitting Earth

Would people cooperate to face a global peril?
Just one day to find €1.6bn: Greece edges nearer euro exit

One day to find €1.6bn

Greece is edging inexorably towards an exit from the euro
New 'Iron Man' augmented reality technology could help surgeons and firefighters, say scientists

'Iron Man' augmented reality technology could become reality

Holographic projections would provide extra information on objects in a person's visual field in real time
Sugary drinks 'are killing 184,000 adults around the world every year'

Sugary drinks are killing 184,000 adults around the world every year

The drinks that should be eliminated from people's diets
Pride of Place: Historians map out untold LGBT histories of locations throughout UK

Historians map out untold LGBT histories

Public are being asked to help improve the map
Lionel, Patti, Burt and The Who rock Glasto

Lionel, Patti, Burt and The Who rock Glasto

This was the year of 24-carat Golden Oldies
Paris Fashion Week

Paris Fashion Week

Thom Browne's scarecrows offer a rare beacon in commercial offerings
A year of the caliphate:

Isis, a year of the caliphate

Who can defeat the so-called 'Islamic State' – and how?
Marks and Spencer: Can a new team of designers put the spark back into the high-street brand?

Marks and Spencer

Can a new team of designers put the spark back into the high-street brand?
'We haven't invaded France': Italy's Prime Minister 'reclaims' Europe's highest peak

'We haven't invaded France'

Italy's Prime Minister 'reclaims' Europe's highest peak
Isis in Kobani: Why we ignore the worst of the massacres

Why do we ignore the worst of the massacres?

The West’s determination not to offend its Sunni allies helps Isis and puts us all at risk, says Patrick Cockburn
7/7 bombings 10 years on: Four emergency workers who saved lives recall the shocking day that 52 people were killed

Remembering 7/7 ten years on

Four emergency workers recall their memories of that day – and reveal how it's affected them ever since
Humans: Are the scientists developing robots in danger of replicating the hit Channel 4 drama?

They’re here to help

We want robots to do our drudge work, and to look enough like us for comfort. But are the scientists developing artificial intelligence in danger of replicating the TV drama Humans?
Time to lay these myths about the Deep South to rest

Time to lay these myths about the Deep South to rest

'Heritage' is a loaded word in the Dixie, but the Charleston killings show how dangerous it is to cling to a deadly past, says Rupert Cornwell
What exactly does 'one' mean? Court of Appeal passes judgement on thorny mathematical issue

What exactly does 'one' mean?

Court of Appeal passes judgement on thorny mathematical issue