First the squad, then the opinion:
David James (Portsmouth), Robert Green (West Ham), Joe Hart (Birmingham City, on loan from Manchester City)
Wes Brown (Manchester United), John Terry (Chelsea), Matt Upson (West Ham), Joleon Lescott (Manchester City), Ryan Shawcross (Stoke), Leighton Baines (Everton), Steven Warnock (Aston Villa)
James Milner (Aston Villa), David Beckham (AC Milan), Theo Walcott (Arsenal), Frank Lampard (Chelsea), Gareth Barry (Manchester City), Steven Gerrard (probable captain, Liverpool), Michael Carrick (Manchester United), Shaun Wright-Phillips (Manchester City), Stewart Downing (Aston Villa)
Emile Heskey (Aston Villa), Jermain Defoe (Spurs), Wayne Rooney (Manchester United), Peter Crouch (Spurs), Carlton Cole (West Ham)
Weâ€™re almost 100 days until the World Cup kicks off and Wayne Bridgeâ€™s decision to rule himself out of further contention for the England team plus injuries to Ashley Cole and Rio Ferdinand are casuing a major defensive headache. Injuries are one thing â€“ and to be honest, it would have been a miracle if weâ€™d gone into the tournament without any â€“ but for an established international like Bridge to have withdrawn as a consequence of John Terryâ€™s off-field behaviour vindicates the decision by Sr. CapelloÂ to look for on-field leadership elsewhere.
To his credit, at the end of last week Sr. Capello made it clear that if Bridge was to reconsider his decision, the Manchester City defender would be welcomed back to the squad. I really hope we havenâ€™t heard the end of this because I think weÂ may need Wayne Bridge this summer, especially as all sorts of rumours are flying around about Ashley Coleâ€™s mental state following Cheryl Coleâ€™s decision to end their marriage. If Cole (A) Â is neither mentally nor physically fit this summer then he shouldnâ€™t go to South Africa at all.
To cap it all, one of the defensive replacements has a lot of back page coverage this morning. I didnâ€™t see Ryan Shawcrossâ€™ tackle on Aaron Ramsey (I was in the kitchen listening to the game while I cooked dinner) but as soon as I heard the commentary I was instantly reminded on a similar injury that occurred about a decade ago at my local club. Shawcross got an instant red card and left the field in tears. A few hours later he got his England call up.
Apart from the casualties listed above, Glen Johnson and Aaron Lennon are also injury concerns at the moment, thankfully Gary Cahill is on the mend after suffering a health scare with a blood clot, but Joe Cole is missing again, simply because heâ€™s not playing regularly for Chelsea. Intriguingly, Theo Walcott returns to the squad and I wouldnâ€™t be surprised to see him make an appearance at some point on Wednesday; his last chance to impress Capello perhaps.
To put all of this into some kind of perspective, if you think Englandâ€™s preparations have been hampered by scandal and injuries, Chile have cancelled both of their friendlies that were scheduled for Wednesday after the country was hit by a massive earthquake on Saturday morning â€“ the strongest one to affect the country for 50 years, which was the biggest ever recorded. We also havenâ€™t sacked our manager â€“ Vahid Halilhodzic was dumped by the Ivory Coast on Saturday, fuelling speculation that Guus Hiddink would take over for their World Cup campaign, although I don’t think Bora Milutinovic is busy at the moment.
Weâ€™ll have a look at the Egypt squad on Tuesday evening â€“ the game will be live on ITV in the UK everywhere other than Scotland (kick off at 8pm GMT) and although we havenâ€™t decided to run one of our infamous live blogs for this game yet, weâ€™ll let you know on Tuesday.