Brown calls end to England career

Brown visited England’s team hotel in Watford on Sunday night and
told manager Fabio Capello he no longer wishes to be involved
despite his call-up for Wednesday’s friendly. “Wes Brown has this
evening announced his retirement from international football,” read
a statement from the FA. “He came to the England team hotel this
evening to meet with and tell Fabio Capello in person.” The news
brings to an end a 23-cap career which began against Hungary in
1999. Injury continually prevented Brown from showing his best form
for his country, although he was part of the 2002 World Cup squad
in Japan and South Korea, but did not actually play a game. The
30-year-old started in Capello’s first two games in charge against
Switzerland and France, but injury took hold once more before the
Italian masterminded England’s passage to this summer’s Finals in
South Africa. More problems meant Brown did not figure in Capello’s
30-man provisional squad or the final 23, the right-back role going
instead to Glen Johnson, with Liverpool’s Jamie Carragher
controversially called up as back up. After not being involved in
today’s Community Shield victory over Chelsea, presumably Brown
felt there was little merit in pursuing an international career
while his place at Manchester United is so fragile and therefore
took the option he felt was best. Coming on the same day Paul
Robinson also decided to concentrate on club matters at Blackburn,
it leaves Capello looking slightly red faced. The Italian is yet to
decide whether to call up replacements for either man, with a clear
lack of communication evident with the fringe men he did pick.
Youngsters Jack Wilshere and Kieran Gibbs do represent a statement
about England’s future but Capello will need to be sure in his own
mind he has enough experience to carry England towards Euro 2012
qualification and the loss of both Brown and Robinson is a setback
in that regard.