Should Capello bring Carragher out of England retirement?
Carragher walked out on England three years ago because he was unhappy at being in so many squads but so few teams, and when he was in he did not like being played at full-back when he wanted to play centre-back.
Capello names his provisional 30-man squad on Tuesday and the latest round of media speculation is that the 32-year old will be in it.
For those who feel playing for their country should be the ultimate honour, it will be tough to take. Carragher loves playing for Liverpool and wears his heart on his long red sleeve but he said himself via his autobiography that the passion dries up when he dons the white of England. After missing a penalty in the 2006 World Cup quarter-final against Portugal he said he did not share the emptiness of his team mates. “I confess, defeats wearing an England shirt never hurt me in the same way as losing with my club…I simply didn’t put England’s fortunes at the top of my priority list. You can’t make yourself feel more passionate if the feelings aren’t there.”
Hardly the words to pin on the dressing room wall as England prepare for their latest tournament tilt.
Recalling Carragher seems a slightly bizarre move for pure footballing reasons as well, given that most people seem to agree his form has been below his usually high standards of late. He wants to play centre-back but Capello has plenty of choice there with Rio Ferdinand, John Terry, Matthew Upson, Joleon Lescott, Ledley King, Phil Jagielka and Michael Dawson in contention as well as the Liverpool man.
King played his fourth successive match for Tottenham on Sunday seemingly in a bid to prove to Capello that his knees are up to the rigours of a tournament, but will that be enough to convince a manager who is on record as saying he will not take anyone who is not fit?
Capello’s stance could work against Aaron Lennon, who is edging back after a fourth-month absence, and Gareth Barry, whose twisted ankle will ensure his unavailability for the friendles against Mexico and Japan.
Capello is unlikely to repeat the tactics of Sven Goran-Eriksson when he included untried Theo Walcott in his squad for 2006, and then ignored him, with Manchester City’s Adam Johnson probably the best bet to come in ahead of some more established performers.
PHOTO: Liverpool’s Jamie Carragher is seen during their English Premier League soccer match against Hull City in Hull, northern England, May 9, 2010. REUTERS/Nigel Roddis.