DJ keen to follow Spain example

07 February 2009 11:30
David James believes Spain's stunning triumph at Euro 2008 can act as the spur for England to conquer the world in South Africa next year.Like England, Spain had been viewed as serial underachievers at international level until they emerged victorious in Vienna, Fernando Torres netting the only goal against Germany.Now the Three Lions, who head to Seville for a friendly on Wednesday against the team Fabio Capello regards as the clear world number one, need to follow their lead."The build-up around Spain having got there after so long without success was quite compelling because it is so similar with England," James said."That side of it gave us a bit of hope and playing Spain now is a good test for us. We've got a fantastic manager and he's given us belief, which is perhaps what was missing before."The aim is the World Cup in 2010 but we know the focus, once this friendly is out of the way, has to be the rest of the qualifying campaign."Capello will announce his squad tonight after a telephone conversation with Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson about Wayne Rooney.The striker has not featured since pulling a hamstring against Wigan and will only be involved at West Ham tomorrow as a substitute.Given his previous refusal to pick players who are short of match practice, it seems unlikely Capello will call on Rooney.However, Ferguson is willing to let the Italian decide."Wayne is not even a consideration for starting tomorrow," said Ferguson."But it is entirely up to Fabio. I have no strong objections."Steven Gerrard has already been ruled out with a hamstring injury, while Theo Walcott and Joe Cole are sidelined by shoulder and knee problems respectively.The return of Emile Heskey is guaranteed, although Gabriel Agbonlahor, who made such a fine debut in Berlin in November, will be involved along with Aston Villa team-mate Ashley Young, while skipper John Terry is expected to line up alongside his deputy Rio Ferdinand in central defence for the first time since the Wembley win over Kazakhstan four games ago.However, all this will be overshadowed by the inclusion of David Beckham in Capello's squad.Capello virtually confirmed Beckham's presence at a League Managers Association dinner on Thursday night and even an appearance as a substitute would allow the former England skipper - who is proving such a success at AC Milan - to equal Bobby Moore's record of 108 caps for an outfield player.For all the criticism Beckham still receives and those who feel there is no comparison between the respective abilities of two men who both led their country with dignity but only one of whom lifted the World Cup, it would be a remarkable achievement considering it is only two years since Capello tried to bomb him out of Real Madrid.But it is Capello who has been instrumental in the 33-year-old's move to Milan, which will become permanent if Los Angeles Galaxy bow to the player's demands, and clearly sees Beckham as a key part of his squad as he builds towards 2010.

Source: Eurosport