Robinson and Brown walk out on Capello's new-look squad

Fabio Capello's attempt to rebuild confidence in his England regime after the summer's dismal World Cup finals showing was undermined yet again yesterday when Wes Brown and Paul Robinson responded to call-ups for Wednesday's friendly against Hungary by withdrawing from the squad and retiring from international football.

There were also suggestions last night that Ledley King, who has not been selected for the squad to face Hungary, was also considering retiring from international football. Any more and it could get embarrassing for Capello.

Both Brown and Robinson were overlooked for the World Cup squad and neither could be considered crucial to England's future but in terms of symbolism it was another blow for an England set-up that is struggling for confidence. Brown, 30, who has 23 caps, came to the England team hotel last night to tell Capello in person of his decision.

In May, the Manchester United defender was regarded as a victim of Jamie Carragher's decision to return to international football and slipped down the pecking order for England. In the end, Capello took just one specialist right-back, Glen Johnson, to South Africa.

Robinson, 30, was rather more abrupt in his announcement. Having been largely ignored by Capello during his time as England manager, the former No 1 choice wasted no time in telling the Italian that he wanted no part of his Euro 2012 qualifying campaign.

Robinson argued that the timing of his decision yesterday morning was not designed to damage the England manager but done purely because it was the first time he had been selected for a squad since making his decision to retire from international football. Nevertheless it certainly came across as an announcement designed to cause maximum embarrassment to the England manager.

Robinson, who has 41 caps, said yesterday: "Only now have I been able to make this decision as previously I haven't been in contention for selection. As a professional who wants to play every time I have the chance I don't see myself as a No 3 or 4 keeper and find that role very frustrating.

"I haven't had the opportunity of anything other than this [not being first choice] in recent years, therefore I feel it in the best interest of myself and my club Blackburn Rovers that I concentrate solely on my club football."

The goalkeeper's club manager, Sam Allardyce, who had previously criticised Capello for not selecting Robinson, said that he thought the player would have agreed to return if he had been assured of a starting place. In the event Capello also selected Joe Hart and Ben Foster who appeared to be ahead of Robinson. Robert Green and David James were also excluded.

Allardyce said: "For the time being, England will miss him. They missed him at the World Cup because he should have gone there. He feels that if he isn't going to be No 1, then he doesn't feel the need to be travelling with England. You'd have to ask him if he'd come back if guaranteed the No 1 spot, but I would presume so.

"Certainly at this moment in time, though, he doesn't feel that's the case. He feels that he should be No 1 and has always felt that way. As my player, I support him because I see him week in, week out and know how well he has performed. It's a big decision he's made, but I understand it."

From his Wembley seat at the Community Shield yesterday, Capello gave the impression of being relaxed and at ease despite the national mood of intense disappointment at his side's showing in South Africa. He had a brief public exchange with the Manchester United midfielder Michael Carrick, one of 13 from the World Cup squad of 23 who are not part of the squad to face Hungary, which suggested that Capello told the player he had thought him injured.

Sir Alex Ferguson later said that he had been wrong to rule Carrick out of the running to play against Hungary this week and that the player was now fit. It will be too late for the midfielder now, unless one more of Capello's players withdraws today.

Chelsea denied that anything should be read into Ashley Cole failing to acknowledge Capello as the player climbed the Wembley steps to pick up a losers' medal yesterday. The club said that the England left-back slipped as he reached the top of the stairs and failed to notice Capello as he regained his footing.

Today will also be Capello's first chance to explain his thinking behind an unusual squad selection. The England manager has agreed with the Football Association to break the usual custom of speaking to the press on the day before the game, instead preferring to face up to the inquest before his players are put in the firing line.

Among the notable absentees are Peter Crouch who has scored 21 goals in 40 England caps and was afforded only two substitutes' appearances totalling 18 minutes at the World Cup finals. Also left out was Joe Cole, another player largely overlooked by Capello at the tournament who made a strong case to be included with his performance last week for Liverpool in the Europa League qualifier against FK Rabotnicki.

Aaron Lennon, Shaun Wright-Phillips, King and Matthew Upson are also out. Bizarrely, Scott Parker, Tom Huddlestone and Leighton Baines, who were among the original 30 players picked in May before Capello whittled the squad down to 23, were also left out. It is not clear whether Capello has picked an intentionally experimental squad with the intention of recalling some of the more familiar names for the first Euro 2012 qualifier against Switzerland next month.

It would appear that he has bowed to pressure to select untried young players from the Under-21s such as Jack Wilshere and Kieran Gibbs, both of whom will be among the players who convene at the Grove Hotel in Hertfordshire today. The uncapped Bobby Zamora is also in the squad, as is Theo Walcott, Ashley Young, Darren Bent, Carlton Cole, Gary Cahill and Phil Jagielka.

England squad details

Squad for the friendly match against Hungary at Wembley on Wednesday:

Goalkeepers

Foster (Birmingham, Age 27, 4 caps)

Hart (Manchester City, 23, 3)

Defence

Cahill (Bolton, 24, 0)

A Cole (Chelsea, 29, 82)

Dawson (Tottenham, 26, 0)

Gibbs (Arsenal, 20, 0)

Jagielka (Everton, 27, 3)

G Johnson (Liverpool, 25, 26)

Terry (Chelsea, 29, 64)

Midfield

Barry (Manchester City, 29, 39)

Gerrard (Liverpool, 30, 84)

A Johnson (Manchester City, 23, 1)

Lampard (Chelsea, 32, 82)

Milner (Aston Villa, 24, 11)

Young (Aston Villa, 25, 7)

Walcott (Arsenal, 21, 11)

Wilshere (Arsenal, 18, 0)

Forwards

Bent (Sunderland, 26, 6)

C Cole (West Ham, 26, 7)

Rooney (Manchester United, 24, 64)

Zamora (Fulham, 29, 0)

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
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

The Greek referendum exposes a gaping hole at the heart of the European Union – its distinct lack of any genuine popular legitimacy

Gaping hole at the heart of the European Union

Treatment of Greece has shown up a lack of genuine legitimacy
Number of young homeless in Britain 'more than three times the official figures'

'Everything changed when I went to the hostel'

Number of young homeless people in Britain is 'more than three times the official figures'
Compton Cricket Club

Compton Cricket Club

Portraits of LA cricketers from notorious suburb to be displayed in London
London now the global money-laundering centre for the drug trade, says crime expert

Wlecome to London, drug money-laundering centre for the world

'Mexico is its heart and London is its head'
The Buddhist temple minutes from Centre Court that helps a winner keep on winning

The Buddhist temple minutes from Centre Court

It helps a winner keep on winning
Is this the future of flying: battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks?

Is this the future of flying?

Battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks
Isis are barbarians – but the Caliphate is a dream at the heart of all Muslim traditions

Isis are barbarians

but the Caliphate is an ancient Muslim ideal
The Brink's-Mat curse strikes again: three tons of stolen gold that brought only grief

Curse of Brink's Mat strikes again

Death of John 'Goldfinger' Palmer the latest killing related to 1983 heist
Greece debt crisis: 'The ministers talk to us about miracles' – why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum

'The ministers talk to us about miracles'

Why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum
Call of the wild: How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate

Call of the wild

How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate
Greece debt crisis: What happened to democracy when it’s a case of 'Vote Yes or else'?

'The economic collapse has happened. What is at risk now is democracy...'

If it doesn’t work in Europe, how is it supposed to work in India or the Middle East, asks Robert Fisk
The science of swearing: What lies behind the use of four-letter words?

The science of swearing

What lies behind the use of four-letter words?
The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won't have him back

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won’t have him back
Africa on the menu: Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the continent

Africa on the menu

Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the hot new continent
Donna Karan is stepping down after 30 years - so who will fill the DKNY creator's boots?

Who will fill Donna Karan's boots?

The designer is stepping down as Chief Designer of DKNY after 30 years. Alexander Fury looks back at the career of 'America's Chanel'