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THE LIST: Sportsmail's top 50 English footballers who should be on Fabio Capello's radar, Nos 10-1

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26 Feb 2010 00:03:20

THE LIST: Sportsmail's top 50 English footballers who should be on Fabio Capello's radar, Nos 10-1

HAVE YOUR SAY...     Who is the best English player in the world today? There's a World Cup coming, time to look lively. Sportsmail's latest edition of The List celebrates the 50 best English footballers in the world today. Who should be in Fabio Capello's sights? Tell us the rising stars, the established stars not pulling their weight, and those you'd like to see return from international retirement. TELL US WHAT YOU THINK The World Cup is less than four months away - and Fabio Capello has some difficult decisions to make.   Next week he will send out a team to face Egypt in what will beEngland's last friendly before he names the provisional squad for SouthAfrica 2010. Who's in his thoughts? Is there a man to fill Ashley Cole's boots if the Chelsea man doesn't recover in time? Which of his imperfect goalkeepers will get the nod between the sticks? Sportsmail tryto help out the Italian by revealing the top 50 English players of thehere and now. Long-term injured stars such as Owen Hargreaves missesout, because, for example, it seems unlikely he can recover form andfitness in time for Manchester United. Butwe highlight some uncapped starlets that Capello should gamble on, pickout the retired stars who should be leaned on to reconsider and revealthose regulars who justify their place in the squad. As ever, we countdown with 10 per day, unveiling our No 1 on Friday, and you can join in the debate. Read Nos 50-41 Read Nos 40-31  Read Nos 30-21 Read Nos 20-11  10 Stephen Warnock Warnock joined Aston Villa from Blackburn Roversshortly before the transfer window closed last summer. Has £8m everbeen so well spent? After a faltering start to his career, Warnock hasestablished himself as one of the best left-backs in the country. A runof fine performances for Martin O'Neill's high-flyers have catapultedhim right into the frame for a place in South Africa - and to extendhis international career beyond the eight minutes it has lasted so far. Progress: Warnock Centre stage: Terry 9 John Terry Yes, there have been problems off the pitch but they areof no matter here. Aside from the Everton and Inter games recently, where hislapses cost Chelsea, he remains the most consistent Englishcentre-back. The Blues captain will remain the object of themedia and fans' attention for all the wrong reasons for some time buthe has already shown he can shrug off the criticism. He has overcomethe storm and is now free to focus on the mighty task in hand - keepingout the best strikers in the world. 8 Gareth Barry Barry would probably not have been able to predict justhow exacting this season was to be before his big-money move from AstonVilla. But excellent performances, while the talented egos atEastlands bicker and fight, have worked in his favour. His goalagainst Stoke was a timely reminder that he can chip in when it counts aswell as putting in the graft in the middle. Dependable: Barry Wide boy: Lennon 7 Aaron Lennon Tottenham's flying winger has come on leaps and boundsthis season, adding a killer final ball to the pace andtrickery that can worry the best defenders in the world. Lennonwas shaping up to become the provider for Wayne Rooney thissummer if only. A series of niggling groin injuries have refused togo away and things are looking bleak for a return before April. But ifhe does, he could be the key to unlock tight defences in SouthAfrica. 6 Jermain Defoe In devastating form this season, the diminutivestriker has 25 goals in all competitions, including a brace forEngland against Holland back in August. A regular in the England squadbut he has enjoyed few starts, yet Rooney is the only English playerwho is more prolific in front of goal this season. Theonly worry for Capello is the former West Ham and Portsmouth striker'stemperament. Defoe has a short fuse and is prone to lashingout when provoked - something that international defenders willsurely play on. Hot shot: Defoe Engine: Gerrard 5 Steven Gerrard A fraught season for the Liverpool captain who has suffered as his side have fallen at every hurdle. Gerrard hasstruggled to hit the heights he reached last season but he remains oneof a select band of players capable of single-handedly winning matches atclub and international level. His form for England has been excellent,too. All credit to Capello who has discovered the formula that allowsGerrard and Frank Lampard to play together in midfield. 4 Joe Hart Hart's move from Manchester City is proving one to be oneof the finest deals of the season. A loan move to play at the back of a formside which has based its success on a parsimonious defence. AlexMcLeish's side have shipped just 28 goals all season and the Birminghamstopper is firmly on Capello's radar. Hart is likely to win his secondEngland cap against Egypt next week, a game which could cement the23-year-old's place in the squad for South Africa. Hard to beat: Hart Versatile: Milner 3 James Milner Milner has been in sparkling form all season for AstonVilla and he is an adaptable player who could fill in other positionsin midfield, or at full-back, should he be required. One of a number ofconsistent English players who have taken Aston Villa to the CarlingCup final while pushing for a Champions League spot. Milner had to wait until last August to make his full Englanddebut but the 24-year-old has featured regularly for Capello since and should be guaranteed a spot in the Italian's squad. 2 Frank Lampard The highest scoring midfielder in Premier Leaguehistory, Lampard is doing the business again this season. One ofEngland's golden generation, he has another 16 goals in allcompetitions this season but knows that, at 31, this is hislast chance to make his mark on the world stage. He is in the kindof form which suggests he is up for the domestic and internationalchallenges facing him. Midfield masterclass: Lampard Wayne's World Cup: Rooney 1 Wayne Rooney Quite simply irresistible for Manchester United this season. Rooney has taken up the slack since the departure of Cristiano Ronaldo... and then some. He already has 23 league goals this term from 27 appearances but with the glory will come the pressure. Rooney knows that a nation's hopes will rest on his young shoulders when they travel to South Africa in the summer. Right now everyone is talking about Rooney. He's the player that everyone wants to see at this tournament and he is chomping at the bit to get out there. The United striker has unfinished business at the World Cup after he was sent off against Portugal in the quarter-finals in Germany four years ago. He has the chance to erase that memory and given his current form, you wouldn't bet against him being one of the big stars this time around. The best of the rest of The ListSportsmail's top 50 unlikely sporting heroesSportsmail's top 50 golden oldies in British footballSportsmail's top 50 Premier League players of the decadeSportsmail's top 50 last-gasp goals in British footballSportsmail's top 50 footballers never to play at the World CupSportsmail's top 50 sporting feuds of all timeSportsmail's 50 great sports photographsSportsmail's top 50 commentators of all timeSportsmail's top 50 sporting venuesSportsmail's top 50 performers of the season so farSportsmail's top 50 all-time managers in BritainSportsmail's top 50 goal poachersSportsmail's top 50 footballing traitorsSportsmail's top 50 FA Cup heroesSportsmail's greatest Wembley finals in historySportsmail's top 50 biggest hitters in cricketSportsmail's top 50 British & Irish LionsSportsmail's top 50 Ashes heroes  Explore more:People:Ashley Cole, Cristiano Ronaldo, Martin O'Neill, Wayne Rooney, Fabio Capello, Alex McLeish, Frank Lampard, Owen HargreavesPlaces:Liverpool, Birmingham, South Africa, The Netherlands, United Kingdom, Germany, Egypt, Portugal


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