Welbeck the only young player to make grade

Fabio Capello has begun his last season as England's manager by announcing that the nation's most promising young players will only displace their elders by proving they are their betters.

A mere handful took the opportunity to impress at this summer's European Under-21 Championship, with only Manchester United's Danny Welbeck earning a place in the senior squad for Wednesday's badly timed friendly international at home to Holland, three days before the Premier League starts.

He replaces Jermain Defoe, and Andy Carroll comes back for Darren Bent, who is struggling with a shoulder injury and was taken off in Aston Villa's friendly against Braga yesterday. Micah Richards deputises for the injured Glen Johnson and Jack Wilshere is named despite an ankle injury.

A year ago, following England's wretched efforts at the World Cup, Capello dropped nine players for the first match of a new season and introduced five new caps. Yet only one of those, Wilshere, has gone on to establish himself. The manager regularly cites him as an example of a youngster able to make a breakthrough at the highest level, but he also admits: "It's not easy to find a player like Wilshere, who explodes in six months."

He has been impressed by Phil Jones, Manchester United's versatile signing from Blackburn, who was in the provisional squad of 40. Asked about fresh faces, Capello said: "No, because I need to prepare for the [European Championship] games against Bulgaria and Wales." That means a reprieve for older hands like Frank Lampard, especially since Steven Gerrard is ruled out until September, probably missing the two competitive games as well.

Another midfielder, Scott Parker, was retained even though he stays at West Ham. No serious consideration was given to Joey Barton; Capello said: "He is a good player but he is a dangerous player because sometimes on the pitch you can play 10 v 11."

Apart from the return of Wayne Rooney, few changes are envisaged from the team that finished last season with a draw against Switzerland at Wembley, which left their chances of qualifying for next year's finals in the balance. If they fail to do so, Capello would almost certainly leave this autumn rather than waiting until July as planned.

The opening friendly comes too early again for all club managers, who will be inclined to withdraw any players carrying minor strains or knocks. "Pre-season it's difficult to find good form and it's a terrible moment to play a friendly game," Capello said. "It's too early. I am not very happy for the players. I am not very happy for me. Possibly some players will not be completely fit. The manager says: 'Why are you playing in a friendly game? We need you for an important game in the Premier League.' I know how they think."

After watching Fulham and Liverpool play in the past three days, he will be at Wembley for the Community Shield, but thinks he will have seen no more than seven or eight of his squad of 23.

England squad: Robert Green (West Ham), Joe Hart (Manchester City), David Stockdale (Fulham); Leighton Baines (Everton), Gary Cahill (Bolton), Ashley Cole (Chelsea), Rio Ferdinand (Manchester Utd), Phil Jagielka (Everton), Joleon Lescott (Man City), Micah Richards (Man City), John Terry (Chelsea), Kyle Walker (Tottenham); Gareth Barry (Man City), Michael Carrick (Man Utd), Stewart Downing (Liverpool), Adam Johnson (Man City), Frank Lampard (Chelsea), James Milner (Man City), Scott Parker (West Ham), Jack Wilshere (Arsenal), Ashley Young (Man Utd); Andy Carroll (Liverpool), Peter Crouch (Tottenham), Wayne Rooney (Man Utd), Danny Welbeck (Man Utd).

Fabio Capello was speaking at an FA MARS Just Play Q&A, the scheme aims to get 150,000 more people playing football by 2013. Search online for Just Play.

Life and Style
A monstrous idea? Body transplants might no longer be science fiction
Science An Italian neurosurgeon believes so - and it's not quite as implausible as it sounds, says Steve Connor
Sport
Demba Ba (right) celebrates after Besiktas win on penalties
footballThere was no happy return to the Ataturk Stadium, where the Reds famously won Champions League
Arts and Entertainment
Natural beauty: Aidan Turner stars in the new series of Poldark
arts + ents
News
Mia Freedman, editorial director of the Mamamia website, reads out a tweet she was sent.
arts + ents
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
people
Arts and Entertainment
The write stuff: masters of story-telling James Joyce, left, and Thomas Hardy
arts + ents...begging to differ, John Walsh can't even begin to number the ways
Sport
Jose Mourinho on Sky Sports
footballEXCLUSIVE COLUMN Paul Scholes: It was not a leg-breaking tackle, as the Chelsea manager had claimed
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

HIV pill: Scientists hail discovery of 'game-changer' that cuts the risk of infection among gay men by 86%

Scientists hail daily pill that protects against HIV infection

Breakthrough in battle against global scourge – but will the NHS pay for it?
How we must adjust our lifestyles to nature: Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch

Time to play God

Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch where we may need to redefine nature itself
MacGyver returns, but with a difference: Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman

MacGyver returns, but with a difference

Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman
Tunnel renaissance: Why cities are hiding roads down in the ground

Tunnel renaissance

Why cities are hiding roads underground
'Backstreet Boys - Show 'Em What You're Made Of': An affectionate look at five middle-aged men

Boys to men

The Backstreet Boys might be middle-aged, married and have dodgy knees, but a heartfelt documentary reveals they’re not going gently into pop’s good night
Crufts 2015: Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?

Crufts 2015

Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?
10 best projectors

How to make your home cinema more cinematic: 10 best projectors

Want to recreate the big-screen experience in your sitting room? IndyBest sizes up gadgets to form your film-watching
Manchester City 1 Barcelona 2 player ratings: Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man?

Manchester City vs Barcelona player ratings

Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man at the Etihad?
Arsenal vs Monaco: Monaco - the making of Gunners' manager Arsene Wenger

Monaco: the making of Wenger

Jack Pitt-Brooke speaks to former players and learns the Frenchman’s man-management has always been one of his best skills
Cricket World Cup 2015: Chris Gayle - the West Indies' enigma lives up to his reputation

Chris Gayle: The West Indies' enigma

Some said the game's eternal rebel was washed up. As ever, he proved he writes the scripts by producing a blistering World Cup innings
In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare and murky loyalties prevails

In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare

This war in the shadows has been going on since the fall of Mr Yanukovych
'Birdman' and 'Bullets Over Broadway': Homage or plagiarism?

Homage or plagiarism?

'Birdman' shares much DNA with Woody Allen's 'Bullets Over Broadway'
Broadchurch ends as damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

A damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

Broadchurch, Series 2 finale, review
A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower: inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

Inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower