Michael Owen is expected to miss out again when Fabio Capello names his squad for next week’s friendly against Slovenia and the World Cup qualifier against Croatia on September 9.
Owen scored his first Barclays Premier League goal for Manchester United against Wigan last weekend and must have hoped to catch Capello’s attention.
But the England manager does not even plan to watch United’s encounter with Arsenal this weekend, opting instead to check on the fitness and form of Joleon Lescott and David James at the clash between Portsmouth and Manchester City.
Capello will have Owen watched, but he is happy with his strikers at the moment.
While Wayne Rooney
is shining most prominently for United, Jermain Defoe, Carlton
Cole and Emile Heskey have also been impressive for their clubs.
The form of Defoe has become a real obstacle for Owen, especially when he is scoring goals for England as well as Tottenham.
Of more concern to Capello, it seems, is the likely absence of Rio Ferdinand with injury. As well as having West Ham’s Matthew Upson watched this weekend, Capello is keen to check on the progress of Bolton’s Gary Cahill. He names his squad on
Meanwhile, Harry Redkanapp says Ledley King can play at the World Cup, although his chronic knee problems mean he is unlikely to play for England this season.
The Tottenham boss criticised Capello when he selected King in his squad to face Ukraine and Slovakia last March, but now says he would be willing to speak to the England manager about including the centre half in his plans.