The furore continues to rumble on surrounding England’s ignominious exit from the World Cup at the hands of Germany but, regardless of how long he will remain as manager, Fabio Capello is already making plans for the future.
The defeat to Germany marked the end of an era, certainly in terms of the World Cup, for England’s so called ‘Golden Generation’. This group of players that includes the likes of Rio Ferdinand, John Terry, David Beckham, Frank Lampard and Steven Gerrard (Emile Heskey, quite frankly, does not warrant a mention) were perceived to be the ones who would secure international glory for the Three Lions.
It, as is now plain for all to see, didn’t quite work out that way and, although several members of the World Cup squad will continue to play for the national team for some time (the likes of Ashley Cole and especially Wayne Rooney), it is evident that some fresh impetus and a change of approach is required if England are to rise from this deepest of holes.
It is somewhat refreshing, then, that Capello has acknowledged this and is determined to do something about it. Granted, he may not be around to see the results but it is important for the re-building process to commence as quickly as possible.
Jack Wilshere, as identified here in the direct aftermath of the Germany defeat, could have a key role to play by the time the next World Cup comes around but, judging by Capello’s comments, his time could come a lot sooner, perhaps in the friendly against Hungary at Wembley on August 11th. Speaking at a press conference yesterday, Capello said “Jack Wilshere is an interesting player, who is very good. Kieran Gibbs is another. I hope some good young players will be okay in the next six months.” The mention of Gibbs may cause some to wonder what might have been had the left-back not succumbed to a long-term injury early last season. Prior to that, he had been touted for a World Cup call up and, if he had not been so unfortunate, may have ended up in South Africa.
Another player who missed the plane, albeit in vastly different circumstances, was Theo Walcott, who was a surprise omission when Capello trimmed his 30-man squad down to 23. Capello is open to recalling Walcott for the Hungary game and may also offer reprisals to Adam Johnson and Gabriel Agbonlahor.
England’s World Cup squad may have been shorn of any Arsenal involvement but, if Capello stays true to his word, then the next side representing the Three Lions at a major tournament could have several Gunners at its core.