FA to follow police advice over England game
Police to have final say on whether tomorrow night's friendly with Dutch can go ahead
The Football Association will take their lead from the Metropolitan Police this morning on whether to proceed with tomorrow's England friendly against the Netherlands at Wembley after the riots in London.
There were minor reports of violence in Harlesden and the Brent Cross shopping centre, both of which are near to Wembley Stadium. The final decision lies with the police, who are responsible for all public order outside the stadium, and the FA will have to follow whatever lead it is given.
As it stood at 7pm last night, the FA was of the understanding that the game was still on but with the situation in London changing all the time, there will be discussions throughout the day with the game's commanding police officer.
As usual there is a big crowd expected with around 70,000 tickets already sold. There were confirmed postponements of tonight's Carling Cup first-round matches, West Ham v Aldershot and Charlton v Reading on police advice last night. Crystal Palace v Crawley Town is also expected to be postponed.
West Ham said in a statement: "The club were contacted this evening [yesterday] and told that all major public events in London were to be rearranged because of the need to focus police resources elsewhere."
The FA is regarded as one of world football's leading organisations when it comes to staging major games – as exemplified by the decision by Uefa to award Wembley a second Champions League final in 2013 after the success of the final in May. However, the FA will check this morning that there is no compromise of safety standards.
A spokesman for the Met Police said: "Every football match is subject to some form of assessment around police resources. This is no different."
In the meantime, Fabio Capello finds himself without four of his first-choice midfielders following the withdrawal of Frank Lampard last night with flu symptoms. Earlier in the day, Jack Wilshere and Michael Carrick both went home with injuries picked up in the last 10 days. Steven Gerrard is missing long-term.
Capello called up Manchester United's 21-year-old Tom Cleverley – who made such an impression in Sunday's Community Shield win over Manchester City – for the first time to the senior squad. It is turning into a remarkable week for Cleverley for whom the game against City was his first senior appearance for the club.
Wilshere's ankle injury was picked up in pre-season and although Arsène Wenger said over the weekend that there was no chance the player would feature at all in tomorrow's game, Capello made a point of calling him up so the FA staff could check the player. The England manager is not prepared simply to take the club's word when it comes to players withdrawing as a result of injuries.
Manchester United's new winger Ashley Young is almost certain to start for England tomorrow after scoring against Switzerland as a second-half substitute in June. He said yesterday that he believed the young players emerging alongside him and Wayne Rooney at United could "maybe" form the core of the England team in the future. United's Phil Jones was in Capello's provisional squad last week and Chris Smalling has also been capped at senior level. Danny Welbeck is in this squad, and Cleverley's inclusion has kept the number of United players currently in Capello's squad at five.
Young said: "I am sure the manager [Sir Alex Ferguson] has bought players coming through to add to the youth. [On Sunday] after Patrice [Evra] went off I was the oldest player on the pitch at 26. It is nice that the players who are coming through and those he has bought are getting that winning mentality and the medal that sets us up for the season.
"I don't think there is anyone in the squad who plays with any fear. Whenever called upon in the team you want to go out there and grab your chance. You want to do well for yourself, your team and your club.
"I think I will be judged differently because I'm at the biggest club in the world. I could tell the difference as soon as I got there. With them being on tour over in America you could see how big the club is. I said I wanted to go to a club and win titles and medals, play in the biggest competitions and I've got a chance to do that now."
Stars For The Future
Manchester United's young guns could make up the backbone of the England side in the coming years...
Phil Jones, 19, defender
Chris Smalling, 21, defender
Tom Cleverley, 21, midfielder
Ashley Young, 26, winger
Danny Welbeck, 20, striker
Wayne Rooney, age 25, striker
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