Capello welcomes selection headache
Fabio Capello cannot wait to stride into a selection minefield next month.
After introducing half a dozen youngsters into his squad for the November defeat to France, even more possibilities have opened up thanks to Wednesday night's win in Denmark. Although Jack Wilshere and Andy Carroll remain the most likely newcomers to force their way into Capello's plans on a regular basis, options are starting to emerge in many areas.
"I hope it will be difficult for me," he said. "It means there are new possibilities. It means we are really strong. It means I have decisions to make. I just want them in the same physical situation as they are now because everyone could see those who were here were in the top physical condition."
Where once John Terry and Rio Ferdinand had no realistic rival for their central defensive berths, now Michael Dawson, Gary Cahill, Phil Jagielka and Joleon Lescott are experienced international performers.
In midfield, Wilshere can scrap it out with Gareth Barry for the holding role with the debate no longer automatically about how to accommodate Frank Lampard and Steven Gerrard in the same team, more whether Capello has to.
England travelled to Copenhagen without the injured Adam Johnson, but came away with a win despite also eschewing the services of Aaron Lennon and Shaun Wright-Phillips, two players who went to the World Cup in the Manchester City man's place.
Up front, Darren Bent has scored two goals in as many England appearances this season, but still cannot be considered an automatic pick as he fights off challenges from Carroll and Jermain Defoe.
Even Wayne Rooney's position is no longer guaranteed following Ashley Young's second-half cameo, while Peter Crouch, missing with a back problem on Wednesday and someone Capello has always given the impression he would be happy to drop at the first available opportunity, is now looking very vulnerable.
Capello has to wait five weeks before England reconvene ahead of the Euro 2012 qualifier with Wales in Cardiff on March 26, and the rather strange friendly with Ghana three days later.
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