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Rediff.com  » Sports » Penpix of England's World Cup squad

Penpix of England's World Cup squad

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May 26, 2006 16:28 IST
England squad for the World Cup finals in Germany comprises the following 23 players:

(Statistics up to and including May 24 2006)

GOALKEEPERS

1-Paul Robinson (Tottenham Hotspur) Born: 15.10.79. Caps: 19. Goals: 0.

A product of the Leeds United academy, which he joined at 14, Robinson has blossomed since moving to Spurs in May 2004 after Leeds were relegated. Became England's first-choice keeper four months later and has not looked back. Fine shot-stopper whose good judgement makes him difficult to beat.

13-David James (Manchester City) Born: 1.8.70. Caps: 33. Goals: 0.  

Replaced David Seaman as number one in February 2003, but lost out in September 2004 after his howler in a World Cup qualifier in Austria turned victory into a draw. Great reflexes but judgement lapses means he is still 'Calamity James' to some.

22-Robert Green (Norwich City) Born: 18.1.80. Caps: 1. Goals: 0.

Helped Norwich to win promotion to the Premier League in 2004 and his performances were rewarded with a squad call-up. Played half of a 3-2 friendly win over Colombia in May 2005 but makes the squad partly due to Chris Kirkland's continuing run of injuries.

DEEFENDERS

2-Gary Neville (Manchester United) Born: 18.2.75. Caps: 78. Goals: 0.

Solid tackles, sensible passes and good positioning make him the undisputed first choice at right back. A bonus is his instinctive rapport on the flank with former United team mate and good friend David Beckham. Missed the 2002 World Cup through injury and was sidelined for three months this season. His experience will count for much in Germany.

5-John Terry (Chelsea) Born: 7.12.80. Caps: 22. Goals: 0.

Outstanding as Chelsea captain and voted PFA Player of the Year in April, Terry proved his England mettle in a 0-0 draw with Turkey in Istanbul two years ago which booked the team into Euro 2004. A goalscorer for champions Chelsea, he should start in Germany and is tipped as a future England captain. Watches videotapes of every game he plays, looking for ways to improve. Recently became the father of twins.

6-Rio Ferdinand (Manchester United) Born: 7.11.78. Caps: 45. Goals 1.

Has many critics as well as fans, given his occasional lapses in concentration, but his cool under pressure and ability to anticipate trouble are exemplary. Was dropped by coach Sven-Goran Eriksson after below-par performances for club and country earlier this season, but should partner Terry in central defence. Missed Euro 2004 due to eight-month ban for failing to take a dope test at United's training ground.

12-Sol Campbell (Arsenal) Born: 18.9.74. Caps: 66. Goals: 1

Unlikely to challenge Terry and 2002 World Cup partner Ferdinand after a year ruined by injury. Has power, authority and experience, but fitness and dips in form have let him down and age is beginning to count against him. Scored a good headed goal in Arsenal's Champions League final defeat to Barcelona, but that is unlikely to earn him back his place in the starting lineup.

15-Jamie Carragher (Liverpool) Born: 28.1.78. Caps: 23. Goals: 0.

England's most underrated defender, Carragher has been superb over the past two years, helping hometown club Liverpool to win the European Cup. Solid and reliable, his particular appeal for the England manager is that he can play anywhere at the back, most recently deputising for Cole on the left but he has also been in central defence, where he plays at club level.

3-Ashley Cole (Arsenal) Born: 20.12.80. Caps: 44. Goals: 0.

An attacking left-back whose great pace and sharpness in the tackle make up for a lack of height at only 1.73 metres. Was fined last June after being "tapped-up" by rivals Chelsea and missed the end of qualifying through injury. Missed much of the season through injury but returned to full fitness and played in the Champions League final.

14-Wayne Bridge (Fulham) Born: 5.8.80. Caps: 22. Goals: 1

An understudy for Cole in defence, he was out for eight months last year with a badly broken ankle. Loaned to Fulham in January after losing out to Asier Del Horno for a starting place at Chelsea, he has not been outstanding at their west London neighbours. Eriksson briefly tried him out as a midfielder.

MIDFIELDERS

7-David Beckham (Real Madrid, Spain) Born: 2.5.75. Caps: 87. Goals: 16.

England's captain is also the most famous player in the world. Has convinced Spanish sceptics with some inspired performances for Real this season and has kept his England critics firmly at bay by his commitment and workrate, despite losing some of his magic touch at free kicks. Scored a superb goal against Wales and another against Azerbaijan in qualifying.

8-Frank Lampard (Chelsea) Born: 20.6.78. Caps: 38. Goals: 10.

Brilliant all-rounder who combines great short and long passing with a remarkable eye for goal, scoring winners in England's final two qualifiers and three at Euro 2004. Won two Player of the Year awards, from England fans and football writers last year. Goals galore helped Chelsea to retain their league title this season. Father, also called Frank, played for West Ham, where Lampard junior began his career.

4-Steven Gerrard (Liverpool) Born: 30.05.80. Caps: 40. Goals: 6.

A towering presence for Liverpool and a big part in their European Cup title-winning side. Gerrard's tackling and passing is among the best and he also has a lethal shot which he proved with two stunning goals in the FA Cup final against West Ham. However, the Liverpudlian struggles to turn it on for England and made little impact at Euro 2004. Missed the 2002 World Cup due to injury and has plenty to prove in Germany, where he will be the more defensive partner alongside goal-happy Lampard in the middle.  

17-Jermaine Jenas (Tottenham Hotspur) Born: 18.2.83. Caps: 15. Goals: 0.

A stylish player and long tipped for the national side, Jenas has found few opportunities with England due to the tough competition. Very good from free kicks and has impressed at Spurs after an early-season move from Newcastle United. Will be hoping for his chance from the substitutes' bench.

19-Aaron Lennon (Tottenham Hotspur) Born: 16.4.87 Caps: 0 Goals: 0.

Moved from Leeds United to Spurs last year and has matured at White Hart Lane in an improving Spurs side that finished fifth this season. Has blistering pace down either wing and has the capacity to leave any defender trailing in his wake.

11-Joe Cole (Chelsea) Born: 8.11.81. Caps: 30. Goals: 5.

Right-footed, but still England's best option for the problem role on the left side. Has improved greatly under club coach Jose Mourinho, adding steel and discipline to his natural trickery on the ball and enjoys Eriksson's full support. Scored a vital qualifying winner against Wales in September and a friendly winner against Uruguay in March.

16-Owen Hargreaves (Bayern Munich, Germany) Born: 20.1.81. Caps: 29. Goals: 0.

More than four years after his debut, the Canadian-born midfielder is still little known in England and is almost as anonymous when he plays for the national side. Made a rare and ill-fated start in their 1-0 qualifying defeat in Belfast last year. Proved at Bayern that he can play in defence if needed.

18-Michael Carrick (Tottenham Hotspur) Born: 28.7.81. Caps 5. Goals 0.

Cultured rather than aggressive in the holding midfield role, Carrick scores highly for vision and passing skills. Made a particularly strong finish to a fine season at club level.

20-Stewart Downing (Middlesbrough). Born 22-07-84. Caps 1. Goals 0.

Made his only appearance as a substitute in a friendly against the Netherlands in February 2005 when he was widely tipped as the answer to England's long-standing problem on the left of midfield. A serious knee injury in August took him out of the reckoning for five months but he regained his form to help Boro to reach the UEFA Cup final. His ability to deliver a stream of tempting, curling crosses from the left make him a useful weapon.  

FORWARDS

9-Wayne Rooney (Manchester United) Born: 24.10.85. Caps: 29. Goals: 11.

The most famous injured person in England. If he makes a full recovery from his broken foot, England have a chance of doing well in the finals as so many of their hopes are firmly pinned on the extravagant skills of the Liverpudlian 'Boy Wonder', who joined United from Everton for 27 million pounds in 2004. Now 20, he burst on to the international stage with four goals at Euro 2004 before breaking a bone in his foot in the quarter-final against Portugal. Great dribbling, shooting and passing make him a potential cup winner.

10-Michael Owen (Newcastle United) Born: 14.12.79. Caps: 75. Goals: 35.

Great strike rate, with high points including a memorable goal against Argentina at the 1998 World Cup, hat-trick against Germany in 2001 and two in last November's friendly win over Argentina. Though his pace is not what it was, his eye for goal is as good as ever and he has Bobby Charlton's all-time England scoring record of 49 goals within his sights. Fitness a worry after being sidelined since December with a broken metatarsal. Played only one match before the end of the league season.

21-Peter Crouch (Liverpool) Born: 30.1.81. Caps: 5. Goals: 1  

Picked by club and country despite a slow start to the season without a goal. Began to find the net regularly before Christmas. Towering height makes him useful for laying off high balls in the area for Owen, as Emile Heskey once did. Broke his England goalscoring duck in a friendly win over Uruguay in March and will be sent on if England are struggling for a goal.

23-Theo Walcott (Arsenal) Born: 16.3.89 Caps: 0 Goals: 0.

Is widely touted as a superstar of the future but to date has played only a handful of matches in the second division for Southampton and a few reserve games for Arsenal who bought him for a fee rising to 12 million pounds in January. Eriksson selected him for the squad as "a gamble", admitting he had never seen him play.

Source:
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