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England according to the Capello Index - with Luke Varney up front!
Published : 02 Sep 2010 17:14:13
Who is right: Fabio Capello or the Capello Index? The web ranking which bares his name if not his blessing features just six of the Italian's current squad among its current top 24 English players. And putting retired Paul Robinson aside, the first 23 players could make up an England squad of three goalkeepers, eight defenders, six midfielders and six forwards which looks rather different from those gathering at Wembley. The Index has proved controversial since its launch before the 2010 World Cup, with fears of embarrassment for the players judged so publicly by criteria agreed by the national team boss. But with the project going ahead, Sportsmail analyses who the boffins suggest should be wearing the Three Lions against Bulgaria on Friday and Switzerland on Tuesday... Pressure: Fabio Capello came in for a lot of criticism following the release of the index England starting XI Formation: 4-2-2GK: Scott Carson (3 caps,0 Goals) RB: Luke Young (7,0)CB: Roger Johnson (0,0)CB: Matthew Upson (21,2)LB: Nicky Shorey (2,0) RM: Theo Walcott (12,3)CM: Craig Gardner (0,0)CM: Paul Scholes (66,14)LM: Kieron Dyer (33,0) CF: Darren Bent (6,0)CF: Luke Varney (0,0) Total caps: 150 Total goals: 19 GoalkeepersScott Carson (West Brom), Matthew Gilks (Blackpool), Joe Hart (Manchester City) Having both faced 6-0 defeats this season, Carson and Gilks are still the highest rated English keepers based on the index. Despite his recent Scotland call up, Gillks has yet to be capped and could still conceivably be called upon Capello, should he take note of the handy index. Hart can only sit on the bench and watch as third choice despite his superb form his club. DefendersLuke Young (Aston Villa), Roger Johnson (Birmingham), Matthew Upson (West Ham), Ian Evatt (Blackpool), Nicky Shorey (West Brom), Paul Robinson (Bolton Wanderers), Michael Turner (Sunderland), Gary Cahill (Bolton Wanderers) A leaky defence that between them has seen 36 goals fly past them in just three Premier League games this season. Luke Young is England's best right back but it didn't stop him being over-looked by Capello, and he announced his international retirement last season. Fancy tempting him back, Fabio? Johnson, Evatt, Robinson and Turner have never earned a call-up between them but the Birmingham centre back finds himself in the starting XI. Still waiting: Despite fine club form, Roger Johnson has never been called up to the England squad MidfieldersTheo Walcott (Arsenal), Craig Gardner (Birmingham), Paul Scholes (Manchester United), Kieron Dyer (West Ham), Kieran Richardson (Sunderland), Aaron Lennon (Tottenham) England skipper Steven Gerrard does not even make the list. Judging by the Index, Capello was right to try to convince Scholes to come out of retirement. But he would be paired with the uncapped and uncalled upon Craig Gardner, who is in the team as statistically England's best central midfielder after a good start with Birmingham City this season. From the squad to face Switzerland and Bulgaria, only Theo Walcott features in midfield - and the Arsenal man was considered not good enough for the World Cup! International struggle: Bent has yet to score for his country Forwards Darren Bent (Sunderland), Luke Varney (Blackpool), Fraizer Campbell (Sunderland), Kevin Davies (Bolton), Bobby Zamora (Fulham), Danny Welbeck (Sunderland) In the Premier League as a whole, Bent is top of the index. But aside the Sunderland striker, the rest of the forwards in the squad have one England cap between them. With three keepers already selected, Rooney would have been the next featured player from the list but he is only ranked at No 26 as England's seventh best striker. Capello's other chosen attackers for England's two qualifiers, do not even come close, failing to make the Premier League top 100. Arsenal hotshot Theo Walcott ready to tough it out for England after shock World Cup axeMARTIN KEOWN: How I'd tackle the problem of England's defensive woesBack to the bad old days for England boss Capello as Euro qualifiers loomMARTIN SAMUEL: Show respect - Fabio Capello is no clown