Villa boss O'Neill backs Young and Downing to fill Beckham's boots

15 March 2010 06:13
Martin O'Neill believes Aston Villa duo Ashley Young and Stewart Downing arecapable of 'playing very well indeed' in the right-sided midfield role that isup for grabs in the England squad after David Beckham's injury blow.

James Milner already appears a strong candidate to be part of Fabio Capello'sWorld Cup squad because of his ability to play in several positions.

But O'Neill feels Young and Downing can excel on England's right wing afterBeckham's Achilles injury ruled him out of the finals in South Africa.

Back-up: Downing (left) and Young

O'Neill said: 'I don't know what the England manager had in mind, whether hewas going to take David Beckham or not to the World Cup.

'The news coming out of the England camp suggests that he was - and thereforeit is a blow. He has been a very good player for quite some considerable time.

'On the other hand, as you say, if there is an opportunity there, we have oneor two players who actually play and can excel in that position.

'That is down to the England manager.'

O'Neill added: 'I said last week that, if the likes of Ashley and Gabby(Agbonlahor) and players of that ilk, still have designs left on heading toAfrica, every single game they play in will be a chance for them to shine.

Shoe in? James Milner

'I've heard that James Milner is in a great position to go, one of the reasonsbeing he can play well in a number of positions. When you've got a couple of all-purpose players in your squad, that wouldsuit any manager.

'As for the position wide right, there must be three or four candidates thathave got a strong chance. My own view is that Ashley can play there very wellindeed.

'Stewart Downing can play there very well indeed. I don't know what thethoughts are (of Capello) but there is still time.'

 Upset David Beckham vows to return to his best after devastating injury ends his England World Cup dreamDavid Beckham loss is a 'big blow' admits Fabio Capello as England boss faces up to World Cup without injured star PICTURE SPECIAL: Anguished David Beckham heads to Finland as achilles injury wrecks World Cup dream David Beckham's England milestones: Sportsmail looks back on his international career after midfield star is ruled out of World Cup Beckham joins Capello's casualty list - Sportsmail's guide to the missing men With Beckham ruled out who will replace midfield star in England squad?


Source: Daily_Mail