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Theo's U21 Euros fate in balance
Published : 21 May 2009 18:05:29
It is understood that senior England boss Fabio Capello and Under-21 coach Stuart Pearce have been locked in discussions over which players to take to the tournament in Sweden, with players in the provisional 29-man squad being informed of their inclusion. A final squad of 23 will be taken to the tournament after a training camp in Spain and a friendly against Azerbaijan at stadium:mk, the home of Milton Keynes Dons, on June 8. Pearce wants to take his strongest possible squad as he feels England can better their efforts of two years ago when they reached the semi-finals and lost after a marathon penalty shoot-out against Holland. Arsenal winger Walcott played a key role in qualification but has not played for the Under-21s in a year, after establishing himself in the senior squad. Pearce has previously insisted he will push for Walcott's inclusion, along with players such as Aston Villa forward Gabriel Agbonlahor who have recently been called up to the seniors. However, it looks as though he may have to be without a Tottenham trio as Tom Huddlestone and Jamie O'Hara have undergone surgery, while Aaron Lennon is carrying a groin complaint. West Ham midfielder Mark Noble is ready for a final push to his season. "When you play 35 games in a season it is tough on your body, that is without the England games as well," Noble said. "If I can keep myself fit, hopefully it will go well."