Owen left out again as Capello stays loyal to Defoe for Holland match
09 August 2009 01:01
Fabio Capello has snubbed Michael Owen yet again leaving him out of his latest England squad in a clear sign that the Manchester United striker has a long struggle to convince the Italian he is worthy of a World Cup place next summer.
Owen, who is expected to start as a substitute for today's Community Shield at Wembley - which Capello will attend - has been overlooked in favour of Jermain Defoe for the friendly international against Holland on Wednesday.
The England manager has said that he will remain loyal to the players who served him so well last season.
Ben Foster, who is expected to start in goal for Manchester United today after Edwin van der Sar's injury, will also have his chance to stake a claim to be England's No 1, as David James is left out with a knee injury.
Owen, who has scored 40 goals in 89 appearances for England, was hopeful that his move to United might prompt a return, but Capello says that, while playing Champions League football will aid his cause, he is not prepared to disrupt the current squad.
Capello said: 'The door is always open for the players. I watched Owen against Valencia last week and he played well. He missed a lot of chances to score goals but it's pre-season.
'He has to play well and score goals, no more than that. He has to be better than the same players I had in last season. We chose the best players in every moment.
'But we played our last game well and it's really, really important, to maintain this group. I think the most important thing for me is the spirit of the group, not only the individual players.
'I read what (Italian World Cup winning coach) Marcello Lippi said. He said, 'I didn't choose the best players of Italy but the players who played together'. This is why I think that the group is really, really important.'
Foster will be expected to start the game in goal against Holland and Capello added: 'I'm happy he is playing for United because I can check on him and see him in really important games. He plays without fear and with confidence.'
Peter Crouch failed to make the squad due to a lack of pre-season and David Beckham will fly in from Los Angeles for the midweek game at Wembley.