Kevin Davies called up by England
Monday 04 October 2010
Bolton striker Kevin Davies has been picked by England, a week after admitting he had given up any remaining hope of representing his country.
Fabio Capello's squad for the Euro 2012 qualifier with Montenegro at Wembley next Tuesday is littered with surprises, and includes recalls for Joe Cole, Robert Green, Rio Ferdinand, John Terry and Aaron Lennon.
But it is the inclusion of 33-year-old Davies that will raise the biggest eyebrow as England look to maintain their 100% start to Group G.
Ahead of Bolton's Premier League draw with Manchester United last weekend, Davies spoke of his unfulfilled international ambitions.
"I was in the expanded squad a couple of times but even when a few players pulled out and I thought I had a chance, someone else got called up," he told ESPN.
Little did he know at the time that Capello was looking at him closely once more.
And, while Wayne Rooney has been given the green light to join up with the squad, with Bobby Zamora and Gabriel Agbonlahor ruled out through injury and Andy Carroll bypassed after a recent dip in form at Newcastle, Davies has shot ahead in the queue.
Whether a player who has served Bolton so loyally for seven full seasons after failing to make an impression at Blackburn and in his second spell at Southampton actually gets to make an appearance remains to be seen.
Only this morning, quotes have been released by the FA confirming the Italian's belief that Darren Bent could be a pivotal player in the future, while Peter Crouch - also named in the squad - went to the World Cup.
Indeed, counting Ferdinand, 14 members of Capello's World Cup squad are named, including Cole and Lennon, who have not been selected since.
Cole has endured a far from smooth ride since his arrival at Liverpool from Chelsea, and his dismissal on his Premier League debut against Arsenal in August and the suspension that followed were probably contributing factors in his missing the qualifiers against Bulgaria and Switzerland.
Both of those matches were won, with Phil Jagielka contributing towering central defensive performances in the absence of Ferdinand and Terry.
As Jagielka keeps his place, Capello faces a tricky selection dilemma when he names his starting line-up.
The same could also be said of the captaincy given the mature manner in which Steven Gerrard handled the fall-out from Rooney's off-field problems last month.
In addition, Ferdinand has been overlooked for the honour at Manchester United by Sir Alex Ferguson due to his questionable fitness record.
For Green, it will be a relief to be back, and a chance to show he can recover from the nightmare handling error against the United States in Rustenburg that set the tone for England's dismal campaign.
Spurs fans would regard the introduction of Tom Huddlestone as long overdue given the injection of youth into Capello's squad.
With James Milner suspended, Arsenal's Jack Wilshere gets a call, although he will only report for duty after England's European Under-21 Championship play-off first leg against Romania in Norwich on Friday.
The England squad for the European Championship qualifier against Montenegro on October 12 is:
Ben Foster (Birmingham City), Robert Green (West Ham United), Joe Hart (Manchester City);
Ashley Cole (Chelsea), Phil Jagielka (Everton), Glen Johnson (Liverpool), Rio Ferdinand (Manchester United), Joleon Lescott (Manchester City), John Terry (Chelsea), Stephen Warnock (Aston Villa);
Gareth Barry (Manchester City), Joe Cole (Liverpool), Steven Gerrard (Liverpool), Tom Huddlestone (Tottenham Hotspur), Adam Johnson (Manchester City), Aaron Lennon (Tottenham Hotspur), Jack Wilshere (Arsenal), Shaun Wright-Phillips (Manchester City), Ashley Young (Aston Villa);
Darren Bent (Sunderland), Peter Crouch (Tottenham Hotspur), Kevin Davies (Bolton), Wayne Rooney (Manchester United)
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