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Capello expected to pick Rooney
Published : 04 Oct 2010 07:21:00
Fabio Capello is expected to take Sir Alex Ferguson up on his offer to select Wayne Rooney for England's Euro 2012 qualifier with Montenegro. Capello is set to unveil his squad later today and it would be a major surprise if Rooney was not in it. Although the 24-year-old missed Manchester United's draw at Sunderland on Saturday with an ankle injury, Ferguson believes the striker will be fit by next weekend. And, with England not in action until the October 12 clash at Wembley, there seems no obvious reason why Rooney would not be involved. Two other familiar names should be in Capello's squad. Rio Ferdinand and John Terry both missed last month's triumphs over Bulgaria and Switzerland through injury but are now fit again and with Michael Dawson ruled out and Kieran Gibbs shunted back into Stuart Pearce's Under-21 squad, it seems the pair can expect an instant recall. Less certain are their places in Capello's starting line-up and, in Ferdinand's case, whether he is still going to be captain. Few would argue against Ferdinand and Terry being amongst the best English central defenders but Phil Jagielka was superb in the Three Lions' flying start to Group G and it would be harsh to drop the Everton man. In addition to that poser, Capello must decide who his captain will be. As it presently stands, Ferdinand has the job. But the Manchester United man has been overlooked for the role at Old Trafford by Sir Alex Ferguson, who hinted the 31-year-old's questionable fitness was the key to his decision to give the job to Nemanja Vidic. Since being appointed England captain in the wake of Terry's sacking, Ferdinand has featured in only two of 10 internationals. In his absence, Steven Gerrard has been hugely impressive, particularly last month when he handled the fall-out from Rooney's much-publicised personal problems with maturity. There are plenty of observers who feel Gerrard should now get the job full-time, a belief fuelled by Capello's recent neutrality on the subject considering the Italian previously came out strongly in favour of Ferdinand keeping the job. Capello has never given any indication of being concerned about the captain's position. However, he has been in England long enough now to recognise it is a significant status symbol, which goes beyond merely handing it to the most experienced player, as he has been used to in his career so far.